Tooth Whitening

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I am on your system now for almost 3 weeks and love it and will not ever stop.

However, I would like to know if you would approve of me using a tooth whitening pen called “Brite Smile”. It is sold on QVC. If I was careful not for the product to touch my gums, do you think that it is a safe product to whiten the teeth a little quicker?

I came very close to buying a tooth whitening system that had trays from my Dentist. He said it would take 2 weeks. However, I knew the whitening solution would touch my gums and perhaps damage my teeth so I changed my mind. I have seen the Brite Smile Pen on QVC and thought maybe that would be a little safer.

Please advise. I trust your opinion very much.

Thank you in advance,
STN

Dear STN,

Here are some facts:
— Tooth enamel is colorless.
— The color of a tooth is reflected from its surface you know how a hard and mineral-rich diamond sparkles brighter.
— The softer your tooth the yellower or darker it will look.
— The harder the surface of your tooth the brighter( whiter) it will look.

Natural Hardening of young teeth is called Maturation:
Every new tooth that erupts into a child’s mouth will initially be soft and so it will look dull and yellow. There is a process of natural hardening for a new tooth that dentists call “maturation”.
It takes about a year for minerals that are present in the saliva in the mouth to go into the surface of the tooth building its strength and making it hard and whiter.

The use of xylitol and my mouth rinse system encourages this same process to occur but it is able to stimulate this natural remineralization in mature teeth of any age adult. The products I suggest simply enhance this same natural process. The system I recommend stimulates and encourages minerals to go into your teeth . This system and the use of xylitol makes mouth conditions suitable for this natural mineralization process to occur.

This system is designed to stimulate remineralization every time you use the mouth rinse system AND every time you eat some xylitol at the end of a meal or during the day when your mouth is dry. This is how you can naturally brighten (whiten) your teeth.

The worst feature of my system is that it takes time you should continue to see whitening up to two or three years after using the system. I do not know anything about the product you mention. It may work but I do not know how it works.

Most whitening products etch the outer layer of your enamel. Etching enamel takes away the hardness by taking away minerals from the enamel. (This reverses the process we are trying to encourage!)

Etching enamel opens up holes or pores to allow the peroxide bleach to go into them.
The bleaching agent then travels through the softened enamel to bleach the underlying yellow part of the tooth  the dentin layer. In the dentin layer there are live cells that are easily damaged they may even be altered and changed by this process. This is very worrisome to me.

I would encourage you to be patient. Get your calendar and find a date that is three months away. Check your teeth on that date. If you think they look whiter with my system then I would keep going another 3 months. If they still look very yellow then you may want to try a one time bleach knowing that this will weaken your teeth.

If you do decide to bleach your teeth I would encourage you to get right back on the system to build back the strength and brightness into them as quickly as possible.
It is hard to be patient and maybe you cannot wait.

I wish I could tell you what to do, but my experience is telling patients how to brighten and strengthen their teeth safely and slowly with over-the-counter mouth rinses.

Good luck I hope this helps,
Ellie Phillips, DDS



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