I got free teeth whitening, but now I’m getting concerned about the fillings in my front teeth. The fillings are 4 years old and although they still look white with my current tooth color, what will happen after I use the gel. Is it okay to use the gel even though I have the white fillings? Thanks. Raven
White fillings won’t prevent you from being a candidate for teeth whitening. Of course, the bleaching gel will whiten your teeth, but not your fillings.
After your whitening treatment is complete and your teeth are as white as you want them, if the fillings are noticeable, they can be replaced. If the fillings are too dark, a cosmetic dentist can use dental composite to replace them. Composite will be mixed to match the shade of your bright smile.
It’s best to wait a few weeks until the color of your teeth has stabilized to ensure the dentist makes a good match.
If you anticipate needing cosmetic dentistry (e.g, porcelain crowns, dental bonding), it should be completed after your teeth are whitened. The restorations can be made to match the color of your teeth. Otherwise, the restorations will be darker than your bleached teeth.
Caution before Using Free Teeth Whitening
Before whitening of any kind is used, it’s best to consider the following factors:
Ensure you’ve had a recent dental cleaning and exam.
Your teeth and gums should be healthy and free of decay.
Bleaching gel can irritate unhealthy teeth or gums and cause inflammation.
Depending on the cause of stains in your teeth, bleaching gel can make them more noticeable.
Follow the instructions to avoid overbleaching your teeth. Too many whitening sessions, or sessions that are too long, can make your teeth brittle and discolored.
I have been trying some cheap and free teeth whitening techniques to try to even out my smile some. For the past six months or so, I’ve noticed my teeth have developed some white spots on them. I wanted to get rid of the spots or make them blend in more. I tried special toothpastes and strips, but none of those were working, so I finally went and saw a dentist who was offering free teeth whitening treatments to all new patients. We went through the whole thing and I followed their instructions exactly. Well, my teeth seem a little brighter, but the spots look brighter too. I called the office and the woman told me that spots like I have won’t respond to bleaching and that I should have known that before I started. How could I have possibly known if they didn’t tell me? I have to wonder if it’s possible that they were just using a fake gimmick to get people in the dental office. If, however, they are being truthful and the spots can’t be fixed this way, where exactly does that leave me in terms of fixing the problem? Thanks. Kris
Sorry to hear you’re having so much trouble with spots on your teeth. It sounds like decalcification might be the problem. The dental office should have let you know the results you could expect before your free teeth whitening treatment started, but all is not lost. Let’s discuss what’s happening.
A Balanced Mouth Is a Healthy Mouth
Ideally, natural teeth are in a pH-balanced environment, bathing in mineral-laden saliva. In everyday life, intake acid food and drink that disturb the pH balance. Health conditions like acid reflux or bulimia introduce even more acid, and certain medications reduce the amount of saliva in our mouths. We get plaque buildup and feed bacteria in our mouths with sugary foods, which also upsets the pH balance.
Decalcification Occurs When Minerals Leave Your Teeth
The enamel on your teeth is incredibly tough when it’s healthy, but when your mouth isn’t balanced, the minerals start to leak. They’re in a constant state of flux; losing minerals and then gaining minerals from your saliva and diet. If you’re really good about brushing and flossing and don’t have health concerns, yet eat a lot of sugar or consume a lot of acidic things, your teeth will naturally remineralize on their own. But when your teeth have significant mineral loss, white spots, also known as decalcification, will develop.
Decalcification Is Often Called Pre-Cavity
The white spots on a tooth are not as strong as the rest of the tooth structure. Many dentists refer to them as pre-cavities, though precarious lesion is the more clinical term for it. Some people do believe you can heal those spots by correcting the imbalance and making sure you’re getting the minerals you need. There are specialty products on the market that claim to remineralize teeth. Unfortunately, there’s little evidence to support this. Those spots typically become cavities. If you’re really diligent and follow a good care regimen (your dentist may have specific suggestions to help you), then you may be able to delay decay for an extended period of time- perhaps even years.
Your Dentist Will Need to Repair the Spots
Often, dentists will want to repair the spots before they become cavities.
Depending on the severity of yours, there may be minimally-invasive options, such as abrasion. Teeth are usually repaired just like cavities.
You’ll need an evaluation from your dentist to find out which options are best. As for the free teeth whitening you received, it was probably legit, but it won’t get rid of the white spots or even tooth color. However, dentists usually recommend that you have whitening done before any restorative work, because bleaching gel won’t brighten filling materials or veneers. If you did want a brighter smile overall, the whitening helped, but you need alternate treatment to correct the white spots.
I got free teeth whitening from my dentist. I have been using it every night for 4 months. My dentist wanted me to give it a break but I can’t stop. Today and lunch, I felt this horrible electric shock through my bottom teeth. I thought immediately that it must be from the whitening. I am scared that I overdid it. Now every 15 minutes or so the shock comes back. It won’t stop. Could this really have come from the bleaching gel? I just took an Advil. Is this going to go away? I’m too embarrassed to call my dentist because she told me to stop whitening a long time ago. Thanks. Shellie
Shellie – It is likely that the sensation you are feeling in your teeth is from the free teeth-whitening gel. Hopefully, the Advil will give you some relief. We recommend that you stop using the bleaching gel. Give your teeth a break.
If the pain becomes more frequent, or if it increases over the next day or two, call your dentist to have your teeth examined. If you have time today, you can try using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne, to see if you get some relief.
Risks of Using Too Much Free Teeth-Whitening Gel
Many people over-bleach their teeth. It’s important to follow your dentist’s direction on the frequency for doing touch-ups.
Teeth can weaken
Nerve irritation that results in hypersensitivity
Teeth can darken
It’s good that you started your whitening process with your dentist. Some people choose to use professional-strength bleaching gel without the supervision of a dentist, and problems can result from it. Based on the characteristics of your teeth and your sensitivity, your dentist can recommend a bleaching gel of the appropriate strength for your case.
Don’t wait too long to contact your dentist if you don’t feel any relief, or if the situation gets worse.
I received a box of free teeth whitening pens at a mall kiosk. I was only able to use 3 of the pens. 2 weeks ago I got a new kitten that is really active. When I’m away at work, I keep her in the laundry room so she doesn’t get into anything harmful. Today when I came home, the cat was out of the laundry room. She had one of my teeth whitening pens between her paws. Only 2 pens were left in the box. Her whiskers looked sticky, so I’m sure she liked it. I threw the pen away, but I’m wondering if there is anything in the gel that might make her sick. Thanks. Jen
We hope your kitty will be okay. We have some tips for her and for you and anyone who is considering getting their teeth whitened.
Is Swallowing Teeth Whitening Gel Harmful?
Below are four things to keep in mind if you or your pet swallows bleaching gel.
If it’s swallowed in large amounts, it can cause stomach pain, inflammation, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Anyone who swallows large amounts should call a doctor or go to an urgent care facility.
Take the product with you to the visit for the staff to see the ingredients and provide the right treatment.
But we don’t know what effect, if any, it will have on your pet. It will likely depend on how much of the gel your pet swallowed.
Give your veterinarian a call.
If you don’t have a vet, you can take your pet to the vet office at a local pet store.
Take the teeth-whitening pens box with you so they can see the ingredients in the gel. The vet will take care of your pet and let you know what you can expect over the next few days.
Caution for DIY Teeth Bleaching
We advise all of our writers to be careful with do-it-yourself or free teeth-whitening gel. Be certain that your teeth and gums are disease and cavity free. The gel can irritate your teeth and gums if they are not healthy.
Your dentist should be able to you if bleaching your teeth is safe, or if another method should be used to whiten them. In some cases, bleaching gel can make the stains on your teeth look worse.
Hi, I am getting 4 new crowns in April. I received some free teeth whitening. I want to get my as white as I can before I get the crowns. Will you please tell me how many weeks I should do the touch up and how long I should keep the gel on each time? Keva
Keva – It concerns us that you didn’t receive details from your dentist on how to effectively whiten your teeth before you receive your crowns. This is something a dentist usually discusses with patients in detail as part of your treatment plan.
Before You Use Free Teeth Whitening
Our first concern is the source of your free teeth-whitening gel. If it wasn’t received from a dentist or a reputable company, your teeth may not get white, or the gel could actually damage your teeth.
Assuming that you’ve receive professional bleaching gel, there are several factors to consider.
How white do you what your teeth to be? That will affect the number of weeks you use your free teeth whitening. Your teeth will become increasingly whiter the longer you do the touch-up. The pace of the whitening will get slower as time goes on, but your teeth will continue to brighten.
How sensitive are your teeth? The sensitivity of your teeth to the bleaching gel is also a factor. Your teeth and gums can be irritated from the bleaching gel. Usually for daytime whitening, you would leave the gel on at least 20 to 30 minutes. If you sleep with the whitening trays on your teeth, the gel is less inhibited by saliva slow while you sleep, and the whitening will be more effective. Be careful with high-strength bleaching gel. If it’s used overnight, it might irritate your gums and teeth.
Your teeth will continue to whiten for a while after you stop treatments. Oxygen bubbles from the bleaching gel continue to whiten your teeth for approximately two weeks after your touch-up treatment is complete. Complete the touch-up at least a full two weeks before receiving your porcelain crowns.
You’ll need to do touch-ups. Touch-ups are needed to keep your smile bright. Certain food and drinks like coffee, tea, and berries can stain your teeth, so the touch-ups will remove the stains.
A dentist with strong cosmetic dentistry experience will ensure that your touch-ups are correctly done before you receive your crowns. He or she will also ensure that your crowns perfectly match your natural teeth.
I’m wondering if you can recommend a good brand of free teeth whitening for me. Over the past 4 years I’ve spent so much money on dental appointments and braces. My braces were removed in September but my teeth still have spots and stains on them. My whitening toothpaste isn’t doing anything for them. My dentist offers whitening but it’s over $400. With all of the money I spent in the office I can’t believe that she won’t give me a discount. I even asked, but she isn’t discounting the whitening for me. So I’m looking at my options for free whitening and I’ll do it myself. Is there are brand you can recommend? Thx. Kip
Kip – When you wear braces, diligent care must be taken to avoid the buildup calcification under brackets and wires. Your teeth have to be regularly and thoroughly cleaned and brushed. Otherwise, teeth will be stained when the braces are removed. But exercise caution with trying to remedy the situation with free teeth whitening, unless the whitening treatments are provided by a dentist.
Removing Teeth Stains after Braces Are Removed
Surface stains can be polished off by a dentist. Any discoloration that’s left can be improved, too. But the way it is done depends on the type and extent of stains on your teeth.
Cement residue – Can be improved with dental cleaning and polishing.
Surface stains – Are improved when your teeth are cleaned and polished. Teeth whitening can be used to remove embedded stains.
Decay or erosion – Chairside dental bonding can improve the appearance of your teeth. Dental bonding is mixed to match the color and translucence of your natural teeth.
It’s best to visit an experienced cosmetic dentist to determine which treatment—or which combination of treatment—is best to remove the spots and stains from your teeth. You might not be able to receive free teeth whitening from a dentist, but if whitening is needed, the dentist will ensure treatments are completed before you receive dental bonding.
Some dentists offer free teeth whitening for their own patients who keep regularly scheduled appointment for dental cleanings and exams. We suggest that you schedule a consultation with at least two cosmetic dentists to discuss your options.
Be assured that spots from braces can be concealed, but you need an experienced cosmetic dentist to determine the best way to remove them. Don’t try do-it-yourself, free teeth whitening. It can make your teeth look worse.
I have a question about free teeth whitening samples. There are so many at home whitening kits on the market, it’s hard to choose. A lot of the products I’m interested in have free whitening samples, which sounds like a great way to try out a product. My teeth are just yellow and have a few brown stains on them. I really want them to be a lot brighter. Can free whitening done at home be just as effective and safe as what you can get professionally from a dentist? Thanks Liana
Liana – The ability to whiten your teeth for free sounds good. But when whitening products are not being monitored by a professional, there are several risks.
Even home whitening kits that are bought over the counter can be harmful if they are used incorrectly. Some of the risks with at home, DIY teeth whitening include:
Gum sensitivity – This is the most common. With a strong concentration of bleaching gel, if it is not applied properly, the process can cause burns to your soft tissue, or even cause irreversible gum recession.
Inadequate bleaching trays – Many teeth whitening kits require the use of bleaching trays, which helps contain the gel and prevent spillage. Unfortunately, if a dental professional is not supervising the procedure, it’s possible the trays won’t fit properly. Some of the gel may leak out onto your gums, mouth, or skin, and cause burns.
Low-quality bleaching gel – Depending on the chemicals used in the product, instant whitening kits can cause irreparable damage to tooth enamel.
Free whitening is best when offered and supervised by a dentist. There are several reasons:
Dentists are able to predict if the stains in your teeth can be dissolved by bleaching gel, or if the gel will make your stains noticeable.
A dentist can also provide the correct strength of bleaching gel, based on the sensitivity of your teeth.
Bleaching gel from a dentist doesn’t contain cheap products that will harm your teeth.
You’ll receive customized bleaching trays that fit well and keep the bleaching gel in contact with your teeth, but away from your gums and lips.
Speak with your dentist to find out what types of teeth whitening are offered and how it can be made affordable for you. Some dentists offer free teeth whitening to their patients.
I went to a teeth whitening kiosk in June just to check it out. I spoke with a lady there who told me about the costs, how long it would take, and how my teeth would look when I finished all of the treatments. There was a certificate posted on the kiosk, and the lady there said that all of the reps at the kiosk are certified teeth-whitening specialists. I was told that I needed 8 sessions and the first 2 would be free. I signed up for the whitening. Unfortunately, I was able to only go the first 2 times. Within 15 minutes my teeth and gums got really sensitive. My gums are white in spots from the burns. This happened both times I went to the kiosk. I guess I should have stopped the treatment after the first time. Now my teeth have white spots all over them too. I called the kiosk and was told that the color would even out in about a week. That was three weeks ago. Nothing has changed. I’m embarrassed to schedule an appointment with my regular dentist. She offered me teeth whitening but I declined because of the cost. Are my teeth ruined? Thanks. Bailey
Bailey – Your teeth aren’t ruined. Anyone who wants their teeth properly whitened should be cautious about offers of free teeth whitening, unless it is offered by a dentist. There are several things to consider:
The American Dental Association doesn’t accept, endorse, or regulate any role as a “certified teeth whitening specialist.” The term likely originated with the company that owns the teeth whitening kiosk. Only an official company representative can tell you what their certification process involves.
Before your teeth are whitened, a dentist will examine your teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy.
A dentist will also determine if bleaching gel will be effective on your teeth or if it will make the stains worse.
During professional whitening, your gums should be protected to prevent them from burning.
A dentist monitors the effectiveness of whitening sessions and makes adjustments as needed.
The discoloration that resulted from your teeth whitening needs the attention of a dentist—particularly since the color hasn’t stabilized. Your dentist can determine the cause of the discoloration and how it should be remedied.
There are dentists who provide their patients with free teeth whitening, as long as appointments for regular exams and dental cleanings are kept. If this option isn’t offered by your dentist, you can consider finding a dentist who offers free or discounted whitening.
I’m feeling really burned by a free tooth whitening offer I found online. The deal was that if I only paid shipping, this company would send me a free trial of their whitening pen. I figured they were able to give the free teeth whitening kits out because people would order the full-sized version when it worked, so I paid almost $20 for shipping. I followed the instructions, but nothing is happening. I e-mailed the company a week ago, but they aren’t responding back, and now I’m pretty sure I got scammed. I guess it’s not so much the money, but the fact that I trusted them. Is there something more I should be doing with the kit that might improve its effectiveness? Do I have any recourse with the company? Thanks, Marcus
It’s tough to say if you should be doing something different with your free teeth-whitening kit, because you haven’t provided the name of the company or the product, nor have you said how you’re using it. Generally speaking, anything you can get over-the-counter is weak. Sometimes, it’s totally ineffective. If you aren’t getting it from a trusted supplier, you can’t tell if it is safe and effective.
Depending on where the company is based, you may have no real recourse. If it’s not in the United States, your money is probably gone. You can try to dispute the charge with your credit card company, but this company may still get away with it because you only paid for the shipping. The product was free, and the shipping wasn’t the problem, so they may have found a way against scam controls. The only way to find out if you can have the charge erased is to call your credit card company and ask to file a complaint.
How to Get Legit Free Tooth Whitening
Go Local: Only get free teeth-whitening products from a local and trusted source. You can follow up easily if there’s a problem.
Choose a Professional: Over-the-counter products tend to be weak. You have to use them a lot to see any difference. If you want rapid results, you need professional-strength products, only available through medical and dental professionals.
Talk to Your Dentist: Many dentists offer a free teeth-whitening program to new patients. Ask if your dentist’s office does something similar. While it’s designed to attract new patients, the office may consider giving you the package anyway, just to keep you happy. If that isn’t an option, they may have a low-cost solution that will give you the results you need in a safe and effective way.
After I found out how much my dentist charges for teeth whitening, I started looking around to see what I could find that was much cheaper. I found a website where you can complete surveys and after survey #20 you could pick a gift. Free teeth whitening was one of the gifts so I chose that. The whitening kit came about 6 weeks ago. The instructions have a disclaimer about not whitening your teeth without a dentist’s supervision. What’s the point of that? Anyway I’ve had a dental cleaning appointment since then and told my dentist about the free teeth whitening. She said she doesn’t recommend it and she will not supervise it for me because she doesn’t know the source. I think it’s unfair. If I can’t afford whitening from her, what’s wrong with getting free teeth whitening? It seems like she isn’t interested in helping me improve my smile unless I’m getting the work done from her. Is it worth it to find another dentist who can work with me on this? – Shauna
Before you receive teeth whitening of any kind, there are several things you should know:
Are your teeth healthy enough? Your teeth should be clean and free of decay before they are whitened.
Is whitening the right option? Depending on the cause of the stains in your teeth, whitening them can make the stains more noticeable. In these cases, a dentist wouldn’t recommend it.
What bleaching gel is best for your teeth? The cause of your stains, the extent of them, and any sensitivity issues with your teeth help a dentist determine the type and the strength of bleaching gel you need.
You need bleaching trays. The teeth whitening gel should not be applied directly to your teeth. A minimal amount of gel should be placed in custom bleaching trays to keep the gel in contact with your teeth, but away from your gums. Excess gel can irritate your teeth and gums.
How long should you use the bleaching gel? It is possible to over-bleach your teeth. During the treatment period, bleaching gel should be used for a limited amount of time each day. With professional-strength bleaching gel, the length is usually about 30 minutes. After a two-week period, your dentist will check the progress of your treatment.
You need periodic touch-ups. Periodic touch-ups are needed to keep your teeth white. Usually, once or twice a year is enough. You will need to obtain additional bleaching gel for touch-ups.
Your dentist’s concerns are valid. Without being able to verify the source and the contents of the free teeth whitening gel, how can she predict the results? Of course, she would feel responsible for the outcome. Seriously consider your dentist’s concerns before you use the whitening gel. Any dentist would have the same concerns about bleaching gel from a questionable source.
The safest way to get your teeth whitened is with a dentist’s supervision. If whitening isn’t affordable through your dentist, you can consider switching to a dentist who offers free whitening for patients who stay current with dental cleaning and exam appointments.