06.14.2009
Dr. Lee Gause on teeth whitening



So I recently had the opportunity to ask Dr. Lee Gause, DDS, a few questions about teeth whitening. Personally, I’ve always wanted to do it but I had a few questions…here they are:

Since many girls in their 20s would love to whiten their teeth but can’t afford it, what are the options from top price to bottom? What are some of your favorite over-the-counter whitening products?

Although, the most effective whitening is an in-office whitening treatment, some over-the-counter whitening treatments are relatively effective. If a patient simply needs to whiten their teeth only a few shades, Crest White Strips and Listerine Whitening Rinse are two good over the counter products. However, Listerine will take about a month to see any real results and will only get your teeth about a third as white as an in-office whitening. Crest White Strips get teeth a little whiter, but can cause uneven whitening known as “checker boarding.”

It’s also important to note that OTC products will not whiten veneers so drug store kits are a waste of money for people with such dental work. Overall, OTC whitening products are inexpensive and can be a great option for those with good oral hygiene who want to whiten their natural teeth slightly.

Although a little more pricey (about $500), an in-office whitening treatment is the most effective option. By having a trained professional evaluate a patient’s situation, the dentist can also recommend other options. For example, tea stain can often be removed with a good cleaning using a prophy jet (air abrasion that polishes the tooth’s surface).

What are your tips for keeping teeth super white?

A great option is have whitening trays made. This allows you to whiten your teeth for a few days after your normal dental cleaning and many patients see successful results. Also, it is smart to avoid things that stain teeth such as smoking, coffee and tea.

What’s the most common cause of stained teeth for women in their 20s?

Common causes of stained teeth of women in their 20s include smoking, consuming heavily dyed foods and drinking dark-colored beverages such as coffee, tea, soda and red wine.

What’s the difference between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching?

Bleaching is slang for teeth whitening; however, no bleach is used. The whitening agent is actually a peroxide based compound.

For someone who wants to go “green” is there a good eco friendly product that you would recommend?

Peroxide is an eco-friendly biodegradable compound and the in-office procedure such as ZOOM uses a whitening light that is reusable. Dentistry as a whole has made a concerted effort to clean up its act. In the past, dentists used to flood the waterlines with Mercury-containing-water from silver fillings, and now, most dentists do not utilize mercury as a cavity-filler. In addition, it is now a law that dentists have to separate the silver from the water if they do opt to fill cavities with silver.

2 thoughts on “Dr. Lee Gause on teeth whitening

  1. This is a great post – thanks for sharing this interview. It's great to hear it from the professional's side of things.

    I'm still skeptical about paying so much for a regular teeth whitening. I can see myself getting the pro treatment every few years, but not yearly at $500+

  2. Just swish it around your mouth for a couple of minutes, or
    you can mix it with a teaspoon of baking soda and a dash of
    salt to make a teeth whitening paste you can apply on your teeth.

    Whatever is the problem, these products and systems have solutions for it.
    This is the word on the street as well as the
    word from the professional teeth whitening reviews doing the rounds of the Internet.

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