Tag Archives: Plano TX free teeth whitening

Are Lemons or Oranges Safe for Free Teeth Whitening?

I’ve been looking at some alternatives for free teeth whitening, but I really want it to be natural. My teeth aren’t that bad, but I would love them to be a few shades brighter. One of the things I keep reading about is the use of lemons and oranges. Supposedly, if you use the essential oils or rub the peels on your teeth regularly, they work as a whitening agent. I figure it can’t hurt, so I might as well try it. Any idea if there is science behind this or how it works? Also, is it safe for long-term use or will the acid harm my teeth?

Thanks. TJ

TJ

Although lemons are listed on some natural health sites as a way to whiten your teeth, it’s a really bad idea that can permanently damage your teeth. Let’s explain.

Teeth Can Be Discolored for Many Reasons

Tooth discoloration can be intrinsic or extrinsic. An intrinsic discoloration comes from within the tooth. For example, certain medications can make a tooth change color from the inside out. If a tooth dies, it may become gray. If your enamel becomes thin, perhaps due to age, brushing too hard, acid wear, or taking certain medications, the color of the dentin below may show through. Genetic factors can also have an effect. You may get extrinsic staining from certain habits, including drinking cola, coffee, tea, wine, and juice. Smoking is also a big culprit.

External Stains Don’t Usually Collect on Clean Teeth

Our teeth naturally build up plaque. This is actually a biofilm that forms when bacteria adheres to your teeth. If you’ve ever wadded in a river and felt a slippery rock, it was due to a type of biofilm. The biofilm on your teeth includes the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, which brushing twice daily is recommended. It is also important to get regular professional cleanings. When your teeth clean and smooth, the coloring in the foods you eat or drinks you consume are less likely to cling to your teeth. When your teeth build up biofilm, stains adhere. Your primary defense against staining is to keep your teeth clean. It might require limiting certain foods or drinks that are bad for your teeth.

What about Citrus Fruits for Teeth Whitening?

Citrus fruits can brighten your teeth because the acid in them kills bacteria. Apple cider vinegar is also routinely touted as a cure for discolored teeth, but it contains acetic acid.

Acids are Bad News for Your Enamel

Eventually, the acid will weaken your tooth enamel wear it down over time. As you lose enamel, the discoloration will likely worsen and your teeth can become sensitive and more prone to decay. Worse yet, once the enamel is gone, it will not regrow. Your dentist can help with some of the issues that occur, but the enamel will be permanently affected.

Use Professional Whitening Systems

Before and after photos for information on free teeth whitening, from Plano TX dentist Miranday Lacy DDS.
Free teeth whitening should be dentist supervised

There are many natural “cures” for stained teeth, but they are often dangerous. Before you try do-it-yourself methods, talk to your dentist about what he or she recommends, or use a professional system that has been tested and is safe.

This blog is sponsored by Dr. Miranda Lacy. Learn more about her Plano free teeth whitening special here.

Will my free teeth whitening work on spots my braces left?

Before I use it, I’m wondering if my free teeth whitening gel will work on the spots left from braces. I received the gel from a friend who got a bunch of gel tubes from her dentist. I wore braces for 2 years because I had severe overjet. Even though I tried hard to keep my teeth clean while I wore the braces, after my orthodontist took the braces off , I had noticeable white spots on my teeth. She explained decalcification to me. I talked to my dentist about the white spots, so she did an in-office bleaching treatment. I had three sessions in the first appointment and it made my teeth super white, but the white spots from the braces were more noticeable. We waited a month and my dentist did a second treatment and the results didn’t change. Her response is that we need to give it more time. That’s why I want to try the new gel I received to see if I get better results. Is it okay to give it a try? Thanks. Kelli

Kelli – The problem you are experiencing isn’t unique to any particular brand of bleaching gel. It can occur with any type of teeth whitening gel—including the free teeth whitening gel you received.

Why Decalcification Occurs

As your orthodontist probably explained to you, decalcification occurs because of lack of minerals in the teeth. People who wear braces are especially prone to having decalcification on their teeth. A buildup of plaque around the brackets can rob the teeth of minerals, and the issue displays itself as white spots on your teeth. Some patients benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste and an electric toothbrush.

Is Teeth Whitening Gel Effective on Decalcification?

Consider the facts:

  • Teeth whitening products in general make white spots from decalcification more noticeable.
  • The white spots should not be left on your teeth, because decalcification can lead to tooth decay.
  • It might be beneficial to have your teeth remineralized.
  • Don’t try to resolve the issue yourself.
  • We suggest that you get a second opinion from an experienced cosmetic dentist who has extensive training in teeth whitening and tooth restoration. He or she knows what tools, techniques, or materials are needed to get the best results for your teeth.
  • Dental bonding or a combination of techniques may be needed to even the color of your smile.

Schedule consultations with at least two cosmetic dentists to examine your teeth and explain  your options.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female cosmetic dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

My kitty swallowed my free teeth whitening gel. Will she get sick?

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

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.

Humans

  • Teeth whitening gel is not for internal use, and it should be kept away from children.
  • 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.

Pets

  • 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.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Need a good brand of free teeth whitening to remove spots from braces

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.

 

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Free teeth whitening made blotchy spots on my teeth

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.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Free teeth whitening kit discolored my dental bonding

I won a free teeth whitening kit. I thought it was a good prize for answering some survey questions because I’ve had whitening in the past, and it was pretty expensive.  I followed the directions and used the whitening for 2 weeks. I have bonding on 3 teeth and the whitening discolored the bonding. So now you can tell that there is bonding on those teeth. I’m wondering if it was the brand of whitening that caused this problem. Can a dentist lighten the bonding or will it have to be redone now? Thanks. Emily

Emily – Free teeth whitening is safe when it’s offered by your dentist. Supervision from your dentist allows him or her to do the following:

  • Examine your natural teeth and any restorative work on them to determine if bleaching gel will help or harm your teeth
  • Monitor the progress of teeth whitening treatment
  • Make adjustments in the strength of the bleaching gel, or in the treatment time needed

Why Teeth Whitening Won’t Brighten Bonding

Although bleaching your teeth can have dramatic results, it won’t whiten your bonding. Here’s why:

  • Unlike natural teeth, dental bonding is nonporous.
  • Bleaching gel is designed to penetrate pores, but that’s not possible with bonding.
  • As your natural teeth get whiter, your dental bonding won’t change. Whiter teeth make bonding look as if it’s getting darker.

As bonding ages, it attracts stains. A cosmetic dentist can replace the bonding with a color and translucence that matches your natural teeth.

Your cosmetic dentist will:

  • Choose dental composite that matches your whitened teeth
  • Use dental tools to roughen the old bonding
  • Apply and shape the new composite
  • Cure the composite with a special light
  • Further shape and polish the bonding

It’s best to wait until you’ve finished your whitening treatment before having your dental bonding replaced. It ensures the bonding will match your whitened teeth. But rather than use free teeth whitening with questionable ingredients, only use whitening gel you receive from your dentist or that is approved by your dentist. If the free bleaching gel damages your teeth, the cost of restoring them will be greater than the cost of getting whitening treatments from your dentist.

This post is sponsored by Plano female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

 

Free teeth whitening made my teeth way too white

I got free teeth whitening from my sister and now my teeth are too white. I got custom trays from eBay and used the bleaching gel. I did it for 2 months straight because my teeth were so dingy. I didn’t notice how white my teeth were getting and now when I look in the mirror my smile looks ridiculous. Now I want to darken my teeth. I’m wondering if there is something I can buy to darken them up. I’m embarrassed to go to my dentist any time soon because she will notice right away that I did something with my teeth. What are my options for making them darker? Thanks. Jilian

Jilian – It sounds like the free teeth whitening you received from your sister was professional-strength bleaching gel that really worked well.

There are a few things everyone should consider before teeth whitening:

  • If you want whiter teeth with at-home treatment, a dentist will recommend that you bleach them two weeks at a time.
  • After you finish each whitening session, the bleaching gel continues to break down stains in your teeth.
  • After each session you will be instructed to wait at least a week in between for your tooth color to stabilize. If your teeth aren’t bright enough at that point, whitening sessions can continue.

Based on your results, you probably whitened your teeth without waiting for the color to stabilize. That’s likely the reason that you didn’t notice how white your teeth were getting.

What can you do about it now? Give it time. Your teeth will pick up stains and their brightness will be a little less noticeable. Bleaching gel lightens the natural pigmentation of your teeth. So you’ll still have a super bright smile, but in time, it won’t be so stark white. Don’t do touch-up whitening treatments until you’re absolutely sure you need it.

In the future, keep in mind that it’s not safe to whiten your teeth for two months straight without the supervision of a dentist. It’s possible to over-bleach your teeth and damage your tooth enamel or cause your teeth to become discolored.

It’s best for whitening to be supervised by a dentist who can monitor the progress.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Can I use my free teeth whitening trays as a retainer?

Hi. Just wondering if I can use my free teeth whitening trays as a retainer. I got the trays from my former dentist and I still use them to whiten my teeth. They are in almost new condition. I completed Invisalign treatment 5 months ago and I have misplaced my retainer. The last place I had it was at home and I haven’t traveled recently, so it has to be here. I’m not ready to replace my retainer because I had some unexpected expenses this month. I know I need to wear something on my teeth at least overnight and I am wondering if the whitening trays are okay to wear temporarily or is it better to just go without the whitening trays? Gina.

Gina,

Your free teeth-whitening trays should not be used as a retainer. There are several reasons why.

Why Teeth-Whitening Trays Shouldn’t Be Used as a Retainer

  • The material is different – Teeth whitening trays are flexible and comfortable to wear. The material is softer than a retainer, because bleaching trays are not designed to keep your teeth aligned. Metal or hard plastic makes retainers rigid so they will hold their shape and keep your smile aligned.
  • It’s too early after treatment – If it’s only been several months since you’ve completed orthodontic treatment, your teeth are still quite subject to movement. If you had been wearing a retainer for a year or more, they would be less likely to shift so quickly. At this point, you want to ensure that your teeth aren’t moving, and free teeth-whitening trays aren’t the answer.
  • Age is a factor – Although you didn’t mention your age, from the teen years into your early 20s, jawbone growth can cause your teeth to shift. It’s critical to wear a custom-made retainer to keep your teeth aligned.
  • Your free teeth-whitening trays really don’t fit – You received your free teeth-whitening trays before you completed orthodontic treatment. They really don’t fit the new position of your teeth. You shouldn’t use them. When you can afford it, ask your dentist for new custom trays. Some dentists provide free or discounted whitening trays as long as you keep your regularly scheduled appointments for cleaning and exams.
  • Consider the risks – Without a retainer, there is always the risk of your teeth shifting, so you shouldn’t go without it at all. If your teeth shift, you will have to resume orthodontic treatment for a short period. This can cost you more time and money than getting a new retainer.

We recommend that you contact your dentist and ask for the cost of a new retainer. If the cost is really out of your budget, ask if your dentist is willing to provide you with a payment plan to make it more affordable. Your free teeth-whitening trays will do more harm than good. There is no substitute for your retainer.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

 

Can I give my free teeth whitening to my husband?

My new dentist gives patients free teeth whitening after their second dental cleaning appointment. I don’t want to bleach my teeth because I have crowns on 2 teeth and I don’t want my own teeth to be whiter than the crowns. I can’t use the whitening and the office doesn’t do substitutions for other services. My husband is interested in whitening his teeth and he doesn’t have any crowns or anything to worry about. The lady at the front desk at the dentist’s office was hesitant when I mentioned that I would just give the kit to my husband, and then she told me that the kits are only for active patients of my dentist. Is there any reason why he shouldn’t use it or were they just trying to keep the kit and save money because I can’t use it? Thanks Gemma

Gemma,

Even if the teeth whitening kit is free, a professional kit from a dentist is customized for each patient. Bleaching trays are made based on impressions of your teeth to ensure they fit well and provide the best results. It sounds like your husband isn’t a patient at your dentist’s office. Otherwise, he would eventually receive a free whitening kit of his own.

The kit would be incomplete without customized trays for your husband. This puts him at risk for getting not enough—or too much—bleaching gel on his teeth and gums. Store-bought bleaching trays are not a reliable and effective way to put the bleaching gel in contact with his teeth.

Before teeth whitening is completed, an examination is needed to determine if bleaching will help or harm your husband’s teeth. In some cases, the gel will make stains on teeth more noticeable. If your husband is a candidate for whitening, he should have a professional dental cleaning first. This will make the whitening treatments more effective. Still, he needs professional whitening trays.

As a suggestion, your husband can ask his dentist about whether or not free teeth whitening is available, or how it can be made affordable for him. Many dentists are willing to work with patients to make a bright smile affordable.

This post is sponsored by Plano female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

 

Is this free teeth whitening damaging my tooth enamel?

I got free teeth whitening a couple of months ago and I think that it is started to damage my tooth enamel. My teeth are starting to a weird color. Also they are super sensitive to anything cold. Sometimes even if I am not drinking anything cold, I get this powerful shock in my teeth that really hurts. I took ibuprofen last night and that seemed to help. At first I really thought the stuff was working because my teeth looked whiter. Now they don’t look or feel good. I guess I should stop using it. Can it permanently damage my tooth enamel? Thanks. Joseph

Joseph – You should stop using the free teeth whitening. You didn’t mention how often you use the whitening gel, but if you are using it more than once a month, you are probably using it too often.

Any type of bleaching gel, if used frequently, can weaken your tooth enamel and even discolor your teeth. If bleaching gel is professional strength, usually touchup treatments are needed once or twice a year. If you smoke or drink daily, touchups may need to be more frequent, perhaps quarterly.

But bleaching your teeth daily or weekly should be avoided. Teeth whitening treatments that are unsupervised by a dentist can damage your tooth enamel. Your teeth can become translucent and very sensitive.

Schedule an appointment with a dentist to examine your teeth and to look at the ingredients in the bleaching gel you are using. The dentist will be able to determine if your free teeth whitening gel is causing the sensitivity in your teeth and if it has done any lasting damage to your teeth.

Some dentists offer free teeth whitening or discounted teeth whitening to patients who maintain their regular cleaning and examination appointments. This is a safe way to brighten your smile and get predictable results. Your dentist will monitor the progress and decrease or increase the strength of the bleaching gel, depending on how it is affecting your teeth. He or she will also let you know how frequently you should do touchups.

Schedule an examination with an experienced cosmetic dentist as soon as possible.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.