Grey is definitely out. So is yellow. But, how white is enough? Well, no one really knows given the rush in recent years to have a whiter smile. And as stands right now, teeth whitening is the number one cosmetic procedure performed in a dental office today. But what about the oral health benefits?
What we know is there are additional benefits beyond bleaching your teeth. So while attempting to achieve the right smile with a bright smile, whitening your teeth with 10% carbamide peroxide may actually help prevent cavities. The bacteria that causes cavities flourish when the pH of your mouth is slightly acidic, which happens to be a bi-product of eating or drinking. However, according to Dr. Van Hayword of GRU Augusta a 10% carbamide peroxide bleaching gel in a custom tray can help elevate the pH, which helps fight decay. There is also some evidence that the same regimen can help keep plaque from forming on the teeth, which may help prevent gum disease.
So while deciding how white is enough is a personal decision, weighing the costs and benefits of any cosmetic transformation probably should involve the input of your dental provider. I encourage you to contact your dentist. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
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 Carbamide peroxide (10% and 15%) has been classified by the United States Food and Drug Association as Category 1, which means there is sufficient data to demonstrate that these agents are safe and effective for use in the oral cavity as oral antiseptic agents (Haywood, 1993; Dental Product Spotlight, 2001).
 Van B. Haywood, DMD, Department of Oral Rehabilitation, School of Dentistry, Georgia Regents University.
 Parts of this article were derived from http://www.dentaleconomics.com/articles/print/volume-100/issue-1/features/bleaching-and-caries-control-in-the-elderly.html.