Polishing the pearly not-so-whites

Posted on May 10th, 2010 by Gina

Dentist and patientNot a day goes by that LookinGood doesn’t get at least five spam emails about whitening teeth.  As we sort through the press releases each week, there’s two or three from dentists around the country hawking their newest technique.  Brightening your smile has taken the place of erectile dysfunction in the spam world.

There are a thousand ways to do it, and truthfully, it really makes a person look better.  But there are some who can’t bleach their teeth or who need more than a simple Crest strip as a remedy.

WebMD says there’s a number of reasons a person shouldn’t bleach their teeth.  For one thing, no one under the age of 16 can do it because the nerve of the tooth is still enlarged at that age and easier to hit (yikes!).  Sensitive teeth or people allergic to peroxide are out, or if you have had any composites such as veneers, crowns or caps, you’re out because the material can’t be whitened.

Or, bleaching just plain doesn’t work.  Your teeth still have brown or white spots.  What now?

Just as you can even out skin tone with microdermabrasion, similarly, you can even out “tooth tone” with a process called microabrasion, during which a dentist uses a paste of acid and abrasive solution to treat white and brown spots.  Just like the facial treatment removes layers of skin, the tooth treatment removes a very fine top layer of enamel.  Dentists say it is both safe and effective, and in fact, this procedure is often done on children’s teeth, where bleaching is not.

The first step here is consulting with a dentist to make sure the brown spots aren’t significant tooth decay that needs to be treated in a different way.  There’s at least one dentist out there that uses microabrasion to remove mild decay rather than drilling, then fills the problem spot.

Of course, if neither whiteners nor microabrasion are effective for whitening your teeth, the next step is to consider those veneers we mentioned earlier, but that’s a whole other story.

Anybody tried this microabrasion technique?  Do you bleach your teeth?  Tell us your experience!

Sassback - Leave a Reply

More Posts

A short history of cosmetics

150BC Romans use yellow eye shadow.

The Romans preferred to use gold-colored eye shadow which was made from saffron and painted onto the area around the sides and under their eyes. Then they used powdered wood ash to color their eyelids black. This gold color was quite significant at the time because they saw themselves as the rulers of the Mediterranean.