Is professional teeth whitening right for me?

  1. Is professional whitening right for me?

Did you know researchers have determined there are 19 different types of smiles? We smile for so many reasons – from politeness, laughing, joy, and surprise— but if you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, you may be embarrassed or hesitant to show even one smile. One way that we help patients become confident to smile freely is through cosmetic treatments such as professional teeth whitening. Drs. Mike and Jeremy Frith use certain criteria, described below, to determine if whitening treatments are the best cosmetic solution based on your unique oral and overall health, and desired smile results. Learn more about our St. Louis, MO practice’s teeth whitening criteria below!

We help patients every day experience not just healthier smiles, but more beautiful smiles, too. Dr. Mike Frith is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, which means you can rest assured that cosmetic treatments at Masterpiece Smiles will be of the upmost quality and precision. If you want more information about crafting a beautiful new smile through cosmetic dentistry, contact our office at 636.394.5200.

When determining a patient’s eligibility for professional teeth whitening, Drs. Mike and Jeremy Frith consider the following factors:

Teeth Stains

Tooth stains fall into one of two categories:

  • Extrinsic Stains: This refers to surface stains, or stains on the outer tooth’s enamel. These stains usually develop from eating and drinking, and do not penetrate deeper than the outer enamel layers.
  • Intrinsic Stains: These stains come from within the tooth structure, penetrating the deepest inner layers. Often, intrinsic stains are caused by trauma, certain medications, or aging.

Fortunately, extrinsic stains respond well to teeth whitening; however, intrinsic stains usually do not. For these types of stains, porcelain veneers offer a better solution for a whiter, more uniform smile.


As a precautionary measure, women should wait to receive treatments until after they are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding.

Previous Restorative Procedures

Restorations that are visible in the smile do not whiten with enamel-bleaching products. If patients have dental crowns, veneers, or composite bonding whitening treatments could result in uneven coloration.  Drs. Frith can help work through options for achieving optimal results. In some cases patients with previous discolored restorations can achieve much better results from porcelain veneers or dental bonding.

Tooth and Gum Health

A healthy mouth is critical for patients considering cosmetic treatments of any kind. Dr. Mike or Dr. Jeremy Frith will perform a thorough examination to ensure any worn enamel, cavities, receding gum lines or periodontal disease is treated. It is important to have a stable foundation for the whitening and cosmetic work to look the best and last.

Teeth Sensitivity

Our whitening products are safe, and do not damage tooth enamel; however, patients with sensitive teeth can sometimes experience sensitivity or discomfort. However with a newer Ozone technique it has significantly decreased or eliminated tooth sensitivity while whitening, even for people who have been sensitive to whitening before, it shortens the time needed to whiten, and increases the results of tooth whitening.


Patients considering whitening treatments should ideally be over the age of 16. However, there are exceptions, every person and situation is different and should be evaluated.

If the above criteria are not inhibiting a patient from receiving optimal results through teeth whitening treatments, Drs. Mike or Jeremy Frith can perform quick and non-invasive, in-office procedures that dramatically lighten the smile for results that last!  To maintain results, it is best to have a clear diet. For the results to last, always rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking tooth-staining food and drink.  Also, be sure to read prescription bottles for tooth staining side effects.

If you believe you could be a good candidate for teeth whitening, contact our St. Louis, MO practice today to schedule your cosmetic consultation with a member of our team.

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About the Author

Mike Frith

Being St. Louis’s leader in accredited cosmetic dentistry gives patients confidence. Accreditation by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry sets the very highest standard in cosmetic dentistry. Patients feel comfortable knowing their dentist has achieved excellence in virtually every type of cosmetic case. Less than 1% of dentist nationwide can offer that. St. Louis’ first Diplomate in craniofacial pain and Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine gives patients solutions for a new beginning. With proper evaluation and diagnosis, the conditions of Craniofacial pain, sleep apnea and snoring can be successfully treated with non-surgical therapies. It’s my goal to return patients back to where they can breathe, sleep, heal and live again.