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For Patients: Health Resources - Orthodontics

Life with Braces

As always, it is extremely important to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly to prevent cavities and gum disease. You can brush effectively with either an electric or a regular toothbrush.

When using a regular toothbrush, place the soft bristles where the gums and teeth meet. Use a circular or small vibrating back-and-forth motion around the gum lines, braces and where you chew. Brush each arch separately, one tooth at a time. Don't forget to brush your tongue and the top of your mouth too. If you use an electric toothbrush you must only position it correctly near the gum lines, around the braces, and where you chew. It will do all the vibrating for you.

Flossing should be done nightly after brushing. Use the floss threader we give you to get the floss between your gums and braces. Flossing will remove the plaque that the toothbrush cannot reach. A Water Pik® can be used after brushing as well. If you want to use one, place on the low pressure setting with warm water and point the water jet toward the gum line and bite.

  • Check daily in a mirror to be sure your braces are shiny and your gums are firm. If your gums are sore and/or bleed, rinse them with warm salt water and work harder on your oral hygiene. Swollen, bleeding gums will slow your progress as teeth move more quickly through healthy bone and gums.
  • Electric toothbrushes and flossers can be utilized to improve hygiene if manual tooth brushing and/or flossing is not adequate or not being done.
  • Regular dental cleanings are even more important with braces. There are more areas where plaque can form and an increased effort is required to keep the teeth, gums, and braces clean. We recommend 3 to 6 month intervals to maintain the health of your teeth and gums while wearing braces. If you are not maintaining good oral hygiene, then we will likely recommend that you have your teeth cleaned every 3 to 4 months.
  • If proper oral hygiene is not maintained, then it may become necessary for us to remove your braces. While a more functional occlusion and well aligned teeth are desirable, decaying teeth are unattractive and unhealthy.
Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

When you have braces it's very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.

Brushing and Flossing When Wearing Braces

We've all heard horror stories about how much braces hurt. Well, having worn them ourselves we can assure you that this is usually not the case. This is not to say that there will not be any discomfort. When the braces are placed and an archwire is engaged, the initial reaction of the teeth is to begin to loosen. Remember, they need to be loose to move so don't be alarmed when you can wiggle them a little. The discomfort is similar to that of having loose primary "baby" teeth except now you have a lot of teeth getting loose at once. Almost always the discomfort can be relieved with either Tylenol® or Advil® taken as directed. Also, chewing sugarfree gum when your braces are placed can be helpful in relieving some of your discomfort.

The initial wires are thermally sensitive meaning that you can eat or drink something cold so that the "tension" in the wire will be lessened. Conversely, eating or drinking something warm or hot will increase the "tension" in the wire. Both effects are transient and force levels become constant again at their predetermined levels once the wire returns to oral temperature.

Your lips and cheeks need time to adapt to the braces as well and sores may develop. You can place wax on your braces that are causing the sores until they heal. Rinsing with warm salt water (1 tsp. To 8 oz. of warm water) will help to cleanse and heal.

Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Let's talk about what you shouldn't eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you'll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid
  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new -- corrected -- positions.

Loose Wire or Band

Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

Brushing

It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

Wearing retainers is one of the most important parts of your orthodontic treatment. Together we have worked hard to get your teeth into their best possible position. However, when braces are removed, the teeth have a tendency to want to return to their original positions. To prevent this from happening and to allow the teeth to adapt to their new positions, retainers must be worn faithfully.

Minor tooth movement occurs in every mouth throughout life, whether or not there has been prior orthodontic treatment. The most common area for change is in the lower front teeth. These changes are normal and may be greatly minimized or possibly eliminated by continued retainer wear on a long term basis.

After the initial stabilizing period, your retainers will need to be worn only at night. The length of time varies with each patient and depends on the relationship of your teeth. If the retainers are damaged or lost, there is an additional charge to replace them. If your retainers do not fit correctly or you are unable to wear them, please call the office immediately. Not wearing a retainer even for a short period of time may require a new retainer or possibly rebonding of the teeth at an additional cost.

Please bring your retainers to all of your retention appointments so we may check their fit and adjust them if necessary.

Types of Retainers
Traditional

Traditional removable retainers are made with colored acrylic and wire. You can choose from many colors and designs.

   
Clear Overlay

Clear overlay retainers are small and easy to wear. They also protect the surfaces of your teeth if you have a grinding or clenching habit.

When the retainers are removed in the morning, please brush them carefully with your toothbrush and cold water. If plaque builds up on your retainer, please bring it in for us to clean. During the day please put the retainers in the case provided. If you have a cat or dog, please keep the retainers away from them even when they are in their case. Please do not put the retainers or retainer cases in the direct sunlight, boiling water or in the microwave to clean them. Do not chew gum with the retainers in!

A bonded retainer is a small wire bonded (glued) to the tongue side of your lower and/or upper front teeth.

Care must be taken to try and avoid breaking the bonded retainer by watching what you bite into with your front teeth. Please do not bite into anything hard or chewy.

Each tooth is attached to the wire with a small pad of tooth-colored bonding material. Please inspect these bonds when you brush your teeth and call us immediately if one is missing or has come unattached from a tooth. Once a tooth comes unbonded it is free to move and often will do so. If this occurs, the bonded retainer may have to be removed and remade, resulting in additional charges. Please make sure to brush around the bonded retainer thoroughly twice a day to remove all visible plaque. It should also be flossed daily by using a floss threader as instructed in our office. If you ever choose to remove a bonded retainer, it should be replaced with a removable retainer that will be worn at night only.

Retention Phase

One of the most challenging aspects of orthodontics is to keep the teeth in place once the braces have been removed. We make every effort to place permanent retainers behind your upper and lower front teeth. We request that your wear your removable retainers every night forever. For some this might be three to four times a week and for others it might be once a week to check to see if any tooth movement has occurred.

Your retention fee includes the initial set of retainers and follow up visits for 1 year. After this time, patients with retainers should call us if their retainers need adjustment. If the retainers become lost, broken or do not fit properly, we urge you to call the office as soon as possible. Any additional services will be subject to our current fees at that time.

Following treatment you will have x-rays taken to evaluate your jaws, teeth, and the status of your wisdom teeth. We will check for pathology and evaluate the roots as well as bone. These x-rays will be sent to your dentist, who we encourage you to see as soon as possible after orthodontic treatment. The x-rays to check for cavities will be taken by your dentist as needed.

Other Types of Appliances

The Rapid Palatal Expander special appliance is designed to widen the roof of your mouth by gently separating the suture in the center of your palate. The suture is similar to the soft spots in a baby's head and will eventually fill in with bone as well. This expansion is easier and more effective at earlier ages because the "soft spot" is bigger. Rapid Palatal Expanders (RPEs) are used to create space in the maxilla (upper jaw) to allow the teeth to erupt and/or to correct a transverse skeletal discrepancy (crossbite).


Rapid Palatal Expander

Transpalatal Arch
   
How often should we activate the RPE?

The activation schedule is dependent on each individual case. Please activate as directed. Usually, the RPE screw is turned once per day for 4 to 6 weeks. You will visit our office regularly while activating your appliance so we can monitor your progress.

How do we activate the appliance?
  • Firmly grip the RPE key. The metal tip key will rotate about the end of the plastic handle. This provides the needed mobility for activation.
  • Insert the key carefully into the hole in the middle, front part of your appliance.
  • Push the key gently and steadily from the front toward the back of your mouth. Do not back up. Remove the key towards your throat. Pushing the key back as far as possible brings forward a new keyhole position. Now you're ready for the next activation.
What will it feel like?
  • You may sense some initial discomfort and pressure causing a tingling or "itch" under your RPE.
  • A tingling sensation may occur on the bridge of your nose.
  • You may see a space open between your two front teeth.
How should I clean my RPE?
  • Brush your teeth as you usually would and brush carefully around your appliance.
  • Use a Water Pik® or kitchen sink sprayer and mouthwash to keep your mouth free of spoiled, irritating food particles.
  • Take Tylenol® or Advil® for any discomfort.
How long will it take?

The length of time depends on what we are trying to accomplish. Most corrections can be achieved in 4 to 6 weeks while others take up to 1 year. Typically, the appliance remains in your mouth for 2 months after turns have been completed. Then a smaller "permanent" retainer, a transpalatal arch, is placed for at least 6 months while the new bone is regenerating in your mouth.

Other Considerations

Once the expander is removed, it is sometimes necessary to place braces on the permanent incisors to improve their alignment.

The Forsus is used primarily to correct overjets (commonly referred to as overbites where the upper front teeth are positioned too far ahead of the lower front teeth). Historically, this kind of correction often required wearing headgear for several hours daily despite the potential for embarrassment and discomfort. Now the Forsus appliance may be placed in a single appointment. The length of time that the Forsus appliance is worn varies depending on the level of correction needed for each patient. It has been designed to provide optimal patient comfort while effectively aiding the correction of overjets.

The Forsus is a three-piece telescoping spring solution that is attached to regular braces. The design incorporates an external spring assembly that won't compromise comfort and provides a means for predictable, successful bites and smiles. The time to install the Forsus and achieve the desired result can now be accomplished in much less time and with greater comfort than with other appliances.

Elastics, also known as rubber bands, are used to exert a gentle, continuous force for aligning the teeth and/or bite.

Elastic Placement

A dental assistant will help you practice placing your elastics on the brackets in the manner the doctor has prescribed for you. If you ever forget where to place them, call our office for clarification. The teeth will move into their proper positions when elastics are worn consistently and as directed. Not wearing your elastics for even one day after wearing them for a week could result in them shifting back into their original positions.

Elastic Wear

Wear your elastics as prescribed; this is usually 24 hours a day, every day. They will work only when worn constantly. You may take them out while brushing and eating, but place them back immediately afterwards. Change your rubber bands at least a couple times every day because they will start to lose their elasticity. Failure to wear your rubber bands, as instructed, will result in treatment running longer than expected. It may also affect the finished orthodontic treatment result.

Loose Brackets

If a bracket holding the elastic comes loose, call the office immediately so we may repair it as soon as possible.

Discomfort

When you begin wearing your elastics you may experience some discomfort. This discomfort will disappear as you continue to wear them. Tylenol or Advil can be taken to alleviate any discomfort. If you wear your elastics one day and leave them off the next, your teeth set up a resistance that can slow or even stop your progress and discomfort in your mouth will increase.

If you are running low or lose your rubber bands, please contact our office at 214-691-1172. You may pick up more during office hours, or we can mail them to you.

Temporary anchorage devices (TADs) for orthodontic anchorage are widely accepted. They are changing the way orthodontists treat some patients' malocclusions. TADs provide a fixed point from which to apply force to move teeth. They can be placed in many different sites in the mouth. Placement is customized for each patient. TADs may contribute to predictable results, shorter treatment time and completion of active treatment on schedule.

There is little or no discomfort when a TAD is placed. Caring for your TAD generally requires only routine brushing. Although small, the TAD does a big job of helping Dr. Johnson move your teeth predictably into optimal positions.

What are TADS (Temporary Anchorage Devices)?

TADs are titanium-alloy mini-screws, ranging from 6 to12 millimeters in length and 1.2 to 2 millimeters in diameter. They are temporarily fixed to bone in order to enhance orthodontic anchorage. Titanium alloys have been used as joint replacements and as dental implants for many years. These alloys are not rejected by the body. TADs allow Dr. Johnson to overcome limitations of certain appliances to predictably perform more difficult tooth movements.

Where are TADs placed?

TADs are generally placed in one of two places: the bone between the roots of the teeth or in the bone in the roof of the mouth.

How is a TAD placed and does it hurt?

Placement is minimally invasive and often completed using only topical anesthetic. TADs are inserted directly into the bone using a special instrument. There is little or no discomfort because there are no nerve endings in the bone tissue. Once placed, Dr. Johnson is able to use the TAD as orthodontic anchorage immediately.

Because of the possibility that TADs can loosen or fall out, patients should avoid picking or pulling at the TAD. If the TAD does become loose or come out, call our office as soon as possible.

How long are TADs left in?

Dr. Johnson will advise you about how long a TAD will be needed. It may be required only for a few months, or it may be needed throughout your orthodontic treatment. TADs are versatile and may be used in different parts of treatments.

Can TADs be used for patients at any age?

TADs are placed on patients who have permanent teeth. Patients with active periodontal (gum) disease may not be candidates for TADs.

Retainers for Moving Teeth

Your retainer is a removable appliance designed to allow for some simple tooth movements in order to improve the functionality or aesthetics of your teeth. It is extremely important to wear your retainer as directed so that your teeth will move in the desired directions.

Proper care of your retainers is important to maintaining their life.

Wear Instructions:
  • Wear your retainers at all times except while brushing and flossing.
  • Typically, it is best to eat with your retainer in so that it is not lost. Once done eating, you may rinse and/or brush your retainer.
  • You may experience some tooth discomfort since one or more springs are being utilized to move your teeth. Almost always the discomfort can be relieved with either Tylenol® or Advil® taken as directed.
  • If your speech is affected, it should return to normal within a few days of wearing your retainer.
  • If you have soreness, it usually disappears within a few days. Occasionally, a localized sore spot can occur after 3 or 4 days of wearing your retainer. If this occurs, please call our office for an appointment.
Care Instructions:
  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it with cool water and toothpaste or mouthwash and occasionally soak it in over-the-counter denture cleanser. NEVER soak it in hot water.
  • When it's not in your mouth, keep your retainer in the provided retainer case given to you. Retainers wrapped in napkins or left on counters are often thrown away and those placed in pockets are usually broken.
  • Keep retainers away from pets. Retainers rank second only to homework of those things eaten most frequently by dogs.
Other Instructions:
  • Bring your retainer to each appointment so it can be checked and adjusted as necessary.
  • If you ever feel that your retainer has become distorted in any way, please call us so that the appropriate adjustments can be made.
  • Lost or broken retainers need to be replaced and a fee will be assessed.

Retainers After Braces

Congratulations! Your braces are off and we hope that you are proud of your teeth because you had to work hard alongside us to create your beautiful smile. If we were able to, we have 'permanently' placed a wire behind your lower front teeth and possibly upper front teeth and should remain there to minimize tooth movement. The wire can be removed at any time rather easily, but should only be done so if you no longer can tolerate it or you cannot maintain proper hygiene. Your tongue may rub the wire initially, which could cause your tongue to be sore, but this will subside within a few days. You will also be given removable retainers designed to maintain your teeth in their corrected positions. It is extremely important to wear your retainer as directed as your teeth begin to stabilize and the bone and gums around them matures. Proper care of your retainers is important to maintaining their lifespan.

Wear Instructions:
  • Wear your retainers at all times except while brushing or eating.
  • Typically, we will ask you to wear your retainer while sleeping at night forever. While a reduced wear schedule is possible later, we have found that wearing nightly as a routine is the surest way to minimize future tooth movement.
  • If your speech is affected, it should return to normal within a few days of wearing your retainer.
  • If you have soreness, it usually disappears within a few days. Occasionally, a localized sore spot can occur after 3 or 4 days of wearing your retainer. If this happens, please call our office for an appointment.
Care Instructions:
  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it with cool water and mouthwash and occasionally soak it in over-the-counter denture cleanser. NEVER soak it in hot water.
  • When it is not in your mouth, keep your retainer in the provided retainer case given to you. Retainers wrapped in napkins or left on counters are often thrown away and those placed in pockets are usually broken.
  • Keep retainers away from pets. Retainers rank second only to homework of those things eaten most frequently by dogs.
Other Instructions:
  • Bring your retainer to each appointment so it can be checked and adjusted as necessary.
  • If you ever feel that your retainer has become distorted in any way, please call us so that the appropriate adjustments can be made.
  • Lost or broken retainers need to be replaced and a fee will be assessed.

Whether you wear braces or not, protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury. If you participate in basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and/or wrestling it is recommended by the American Dental Association that you wear a mouthguard.

Types of mouthguards

There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the "boil-and-bite" fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard, which you can have made at Dr. Johnson's office. When you chose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.

Pre-made mouthguards and "boil-and-bite" mouthguards can be purchased at most sporting good stores. Custom-made mouthguards are specially designed by Dr. Johnson to provide optimal protection against mouth injuries, fit better and more comfortably, and interfere less with speech or breathing. If you wear braces or a retainer, it is imperative for you to wear a mouthguard. Your dentist or orthodontist can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile.

Taking care of your mouthguard

Similar to a retainer, braces, or any other special dental appliance, it is important to take care of your mouthguard. You should clean your mouthguard regularly, store it properly in a cool, dry place, and replace when worn and no longer efective. Here are a few simple ways to maintain your mouthguard:

  • Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
  • Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water, it may melt or become deformed.
  • Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every sports season or if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
  • Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, your dentist will help design a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.
  • Do not chew or cut pieces off of your mouthguard.
  • Bring your mouthguard to each checkup and so Dr. Johnson can check to make sure it's still in good shape!

Sports related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries athletes receive. Our goal is to help minimize your chances of a sports related injury to your smile. Be sure to ask Dr. Johnson about mouthguards at your next checkup - GO TEAM!

Ortho Dictionary

Appliance
Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth that moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.

Archwire
The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.

Band
A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth and goes completely around your tooth. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.

Bond
The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

Bracket
A metal or ceramic part cemented ("bonded") to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.

Coil Spring
A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.

Elastic (Rubber Band)
A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.

Elastic Tie
The rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.

Headgear
Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to gently guide the growth of your face and jaw by moving your teeth into proper position. The force is applied to the facebow by a spring-loaded neck strap or head strap. The straps have a safety release that disconnects if the facebow is pulled or snagged.

Headgear Tube
A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it.

Hook
A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

Ligature
A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.

Lip Bumper
A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth.

Mouthguard
A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

Palatal Expander
A device that makes your upper jaw wider.

Retainer
An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable and others are bonded to the tongue-side of several teeth.

Separator (or Spacer)
A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.

Tie Wire
A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Wax
Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.

Banding
The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

Bonding
The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.

Cephalometic X-ray
An x-ray of your head which shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.

Consultation
A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.

Debanding
The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

Debonding
The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

Impressions
The process of making a model of your teeth by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.

Ligation
The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

Panoramic X-ray
An x-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw and other facial areas.

Teeth Whitening

Your smile is one of the first things people notice when they meet you so it is understandable to want a whiter, brighter smile! Many factors contribute to stained and darkened teeth such as drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine, smoking and aging. Whitening can help to improve the aesthetics of your smile and there are many products and procedures available to you. We proudly offer several different whitening options for both patients and parents in our office.

It is noteworthy that there are potential side effects to whitening your teeth. For example, it is not uncommon for patients to experience sensitivity during the whitening process. In most cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation. This can result either from an improperly fitting tray or from whitening solution coming in contact with the tissues. If you have concerns about such side effects you should discuss them with Dr. Johnson prior to starting your whitening treatment.

Finding the Best Treatment for You

Schedule a visit with Dr. Johnson to learn whether or not whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners do not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish teeth will probably bleach well, brownish teeth may not bleach as well, and grayish teeth may not bleach at all. Likewise, whitening may not enhance your smile if you have had tooth-colored fillings or crowns. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you do have other options such as porcelain veneers.

Younger patients who do not have all of their permanent teeth are generally not encouraged to use the whitening products in our office. This is because baby teeth have a different structure than permanent teeth and bleaching baby teeth can lead to extreme senstivity and an uneven whitening pattern, post-treatment. However, should you or your child desire or have a need for whitening please discuss this with our office as there are many options available.

Tooth Whitening Treatments

When selecting a whitener or any dental product, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance — your assurance that a product has met The American Dental Association's standards of safety and effectiveness.

Professional teeth whitening is the best choice when you need immediate whitening results. This procedure is referred to as chair-side bleaching and will require an additional at-home whitening system to maintain desired result. Each visit may take from sixty to ninety minutes. During chair-side bleaching, a Registered Dental Assistant will apply a protective gel to your gums and then a bleaching agent to the teeth.

There are several types of products available for use at home that can either be dispensed by Dr. Johnson or purchased over the counter. They are generally teeth whitening trays (bleach trays) or strips.

  • Teeth Whitening Trays
    These products contain peroxide(s) which actually bleach the tooth enamel. Carbamide peroxide is the bleaching agent and various whitening methods offer different concentrations of this ingredient (10%, 16%, and 22%). Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a bleach tray. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used twice a day for two weeks while others are intended for overnight use for one to two weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from our office, we can make a custom-fitted bleach tray for you that will fit your teeth precisely. Currently, the only home-use, tray-applied gels to carry the ADA Seal are 10% carbamide peroxide and must be dispensed by a dentist.
  • Teeth Whitening Strips
    Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible, plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The bleaching agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips into place to insure contact with all of your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.

All toothpastes help to remove surface stain from your teeth through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.