My Blog

Posts for tag: teeth whitening

By Elite Smiles
September 22, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

A relatively easy and inexpensive way to improve your smile is to whiten your teeth. In fact, you may even be able to do it yourself at home. Although there are differences between at-home and professional whitening, the former can still be effective.

That effectiveness, though, might be dependent on how well you understand what home whitening can do and what it can’t. So before you purchase your kit, here are a few things to know about DIY teeth whitening.

Home kits are safe—when used as directed. Although nothing in life is completely risk-free, home whitening kits are relatively safe. But only if you follow the directions: If you overuse the bleaching solution beyond its intended use, you could wind up with permanent damage to your tooth enamel that can be costly to treat.

Bleaching solutions are relatively mild. Nearly all home kits use carbamide peroxide, a form of hydrogen peroxide, as their bleaching agent. Home kits usually contain no more than 10% of this agent, much lower than professional solutions. Used as directed, this amount of bleaching agent poses little to no risk to dental or general health. On the other hand, the weaker home kit solution does limit the extent of brightness you can achieve compared to stronger professional treatments.

For top results (or certain conditions), consider professional whitening. While you can obtain good results with a home whitening kit, professional whitening provides more precise brightness control and range, and may possibly last longer. That’s because your dentist has more advanced techniques and equipment, as well as stronger bleaching solutions. And, if your discoloration originates inside your teeth, a home kit won’t help—only a dentist can address that kind of discoloration.

Even if you decide to “go solo,” your dentist can still give you advice on what to look for in a home kit, as well as tips for the actual procedure. But whether you whiten at home or let your dentist do it, teeth whitening can take years off your smile and give you a more attractive look.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips: Are Bleaching Products Safe?

By Elite Smiles
August 03, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth WhiteningTo achieve a whiter smile, do you have to get expensive crowns or veneers? The answer is no! At Elite Smiles in Morrisville, NC, Dr. Geetha Sripathi offers quick and easy teeth whitening processes which dramatically improve tooth color by many shades. And, because your procedure is professionally supervised, you know your teeth and gums will feel just fine afterwards. Learn more here about this popular cosmetic dental treatment.

How teeth become stained

Why does a material as hard as tooth enamel acquire discolorations? Frankly, while tooth enamel is highly calcified, it's also porous because it consists of a network of fibers. Organic matter from smoking, food, and beverages stick in this network and change tooth color over time. Age, with its thinning tooth enamel, certain prescription medications, oral injury, poor brushing and flossing, and even heredity all contribute to tooth color.

Overall, patients should have realistic expectations regarding smile brightness. Plus, as the Journal of Dentistry reports, even dentists vary in what they believe to be optimal tooth color in relation to a person's age, gender, skin tone, and overall facial appearance.

What is teeth whitening?

It's a great way to a brighter, more youthful-looking smile. Dear Doctor magazine reports that whitening with your Morrisville dentist improves tooth color, and the shade will remain brighter for up to two years or even longer with consistent oral hygiene and dietary habits.

Dr. Sripathi offers both in-office and at-home versions. Both use powerful hydrogen peroxide gel to lift staining organic matter from tooth enamel and dentin, the second, more sensitive and yellow, tooth layer.

Superior to over-the-counter products which can be ineffective and often cause gum and dental sensitivity, professional whitening is completely safe. The at-home version uses customized acrylic trays to deliver the gel to tooth surfaces on a daily basis. Generally, it takes a week to complete the process.

With the in-office version, Dr. Sripathi applies the gel and allows it to penetrate. Then, it's rinsed off, leaving teeth up to eight shades whiter in just about one hour.

Will it work for you?

Dr. Sripathi can help you determine that with a cosmetic dentistry consultation at her office in Morrisville. She'll make sure your gums and teeth are healthy enough for whitening and help you determine if whitening would be your best aesthetic treatment.

Contact us

Dr. Sripathi and her dedicated team at Elite Smiles enjoy helping people look and feel their very best. Call today for your personal consultation in Morrisville, NC: (919) 388-0137.


Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”


Whitening can transform the dullest teeth into a dazzling smile fit for a Hollywood star. But before you undergo a whitening procedure, you might have a few questions about it. Here are the answers to a few of the most common.

How white can I go? In an office application we can adjust the solution and application time to control the level of shade (dark or light) from subtle to dazzlingly bright. The real question, though, is how much color change will look best for you? A good rule of thumb is to match the shade in the whites of your eyes.

Whitening will improve poor dental conditions…right? Not necessarily. Besides foods, beverages or poor hygiene, decay, abscesses or problems from root canal treatments can also cause discoloration. In some dental situations, whitening could make your smile less attractive. If, for example, you have exposed roots due to gum recession, those areas won't bleach like the enamel and could make their exposure stand out more. Better to try and repair these problems before whitening.

What effect will teeth whitening have on my dental work? None รข??composite or ceramic materials won't lighten. The real concern is with creating a situation where whitened natural teeth don't match the color of dental work. Depending on the location of your veneers, crowns or other bridgework you could have a color mismatch that will look unattractive. We would therefore need to take your dental work into consideration and adjust the shading accordingly.

Will teeth whitening work on any stained teeth? That depends on the cause of the staining. If it's on the enamel, then external bleaching techniques should work. If, however, the discoloration comes from inside the tooth, then only a dental procedure that applies a bleaching agent inside the tooth can alleviate that kind of discoloration.

So after whitening, I'm good to go? Well, not permanently. Eventually the brightness will diminish or fade, usually in six months to two years. You can, of course, prolong the fade rate by not using tobacco, cutting back on staining beverages like red wine, tea and coffee, practicing daily oral hygiene and visiting us for regular office cleanings and other dental work. We can also touch up your existing whitening during your visits.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Important Teeth Whitening Questions…Answered!

By Elite Smiles
July 29, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth whitening has become the most popular cosmetic dental procedure, and it's easy to understand why: it's quick, affordable and teeth whiteningeasily accessible. However, there's a big difference in over-the-counter whitening treatments and those offered by Dr. Geetha Sripathi, your dentist at Elite Smiles in Morrisville, NC. Professional teeth whitening offers several benefits over the kits you can use at home; here's just a couple of them.

Quick and long-lasting

Teeth whitening kits, pastes and other products have been available for over-the-counter purchase in pharmacies and other retail stores for many years. While these teeth whitening products do contain the same type of peroxide-based agents as those offered by your Morrisville dentist, they are not as concentrated as professional-grade treatments. This means that when you use over-the-counter whitening products, it will usually take longer to see results and the regimen will likely need to be repeated in a few weeks for maintenance. However, the results you get from teeth whitening products used at Elite Smiles will be immediately evident after just one half-hour appointment, and can last up to a year before a repeat session is needed. And although professional teeth whitening is initially more costly than a kit you can buy in the store, it still remains one of the most affordable cosmetic dental procedures you can have and its dramatic results pay for themselves.

Priority on safety

Although teeth whitening doesn't have many health hazards associated with it, working with the dental staff at Elite Smiles in Morrisville ensures that the treatment is done properly. The peroxide can cause uncomfortable chemical burns on the sensitive tissue of the gums, lips and inner cheeks, but our trained staff members prepare each of Dr. Sripathi's patients before their whitening session begins, so these tissues are protected from any exposure to the bleaching agents. The time in which the solution is left on the teeth is also carefully monitored to minimize sensitivity afterward.

If you'd like to learn more about professional teeth whitening, offered by Elite Smiles, or to schedule an appointment, please call our Morrisville, NC office! We look forward to giving you something to smile about!