Dr. Jill DeBiasi and Dr. Cheryl Tomasulo are two dentists making a name for themselves in NYC. Owners of DT Smile Design, they were recently featured on TLC's 10 years younger.
They're talking to us today about teeth whitening, and the pros and cons of all the treatments available today.
What's the difference between in-office and over-the-counter bleaching treatments?
In-office and over-the-counter treatments are very different, and will produce extremely different results. Over-the-counter treatments do have a similar composition to in-office, however they are much weaker.
In-office treatments are stronger and may cost more in the short term, but will produce more visible results in just hours and will save money in the long term, as results will last longer.
If I'm new to teeth whitening, why would in-office treatments be advised?
We always advise people who are exploring the world of teeth whitening to go for in-office if at all possible. This will give any patient the biggest change in appearance in the shortest amount of time, in controlled conditions under the safe supervision of a certified dentist.
What about those who are afraid they are going to be too bright and white after visiting the clinic? (Read: Ross Gellar)
That Friends episode, while funny, is really just a myth. In actuality, bleaching only brings your teeth to the most natural, whitest and brightest state possible.
Bleaching whitens your teeth by “pulling” out stains from the tubules of your teeth. It does not add artificial color to your teeth- so while sometimes, immediately after a bleaching session your teeth might look slightly blotchy, it will balance out after a few hours, to reveal a beautiful, pearly white smile!
Tell us the truth, do whitening toothpastes really do anything other than empty our wallets faster?
I will tell you, whitening toothpastes do work. They are made with an ingredient called sodium bi-carbonate, which cleans the teeth, but it doesn’t bleach them. So brushing with whitening toothpaste can take surface-level stains off as long as you are brushing for at least 2 minutes per sessions. However, it isn’t as effective as a bleaching treatment, either over-the-counter or in-office.
What would you advice to those people who want to brighten their smile, but don't have the extra funds to opt for the professional whitening?
I think that any over-the-counter treatment will produce results. There are so many out there now, strips, gels, at-home trays; the list is endless. I really don’t recommend any one brand over the rest, it’s really a process of trial and error. Different systems work for different people; it just depends on your preference and budget.
Lastly, do you have any advice for those of us (me!) who love their coffee and red wine?
Well - you can start the drinking-red-wine-through-a-straw trend! Some people really do this, and it does work to preserve the whiteness of our teeth. But understandably, many people don’t want to walk around drinking red wine through a straw, so there are a few things to keep in mind that are more practical.
We recommend carrying a small travel toothbrush with you, so whenever you have a chance to duck into a bathroom, you can just use water and clean/rinse your teeth. There is no need to carry around toothpaste and make it a lengthy, complicated process. Doing this will remove the surface stain without letting it seep in.
Do avoid red wine and coffee right after a bleaching treatment and for approximately one week after, however, as teeth are at highest vulnerability at this time.
To learn about Dr. Jill DeBiasi and Dr. Cheryl Tomasulo, visit their website at DTSmileDesign.com.