Ask an Oral Health Expert

Lipstick Powder N Paint wants you to be beautiful­ ‑ inside and out ‑ and the best way to do that is to make sure you have all your questions answered by true beauty experts. Every Monday, our experts will be answering your questions about skincare, makeup, hair and oral health.

Today’s expert is Dr. Lee Gause, DDS of Smile Design Manhattan.

dr-lee-gause-dds Dr. Lee Gause DDS is the head of Smile Design Manhattan, New York’s premiere state-of-the-art dental facility, and a member of various dental associations including the ADA, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists, International College of Oral Implantologists and New York Invisalign Study Group. Dr Gause is also the recipient of several prestigious awards including “2006 Recognition for Lecturing to Young Dentists,” presented by Health and Hospitals Corporation, “Oral Biology Award,” from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and “Graduating Dentist Award: Exemplary Character and Highest Level of Clinical Skill” and “Best in Residency Award,”given by Howard University.

Today’s question is one we’ve all probably wondered at some point…

Q: I would like to ask what is the best way to achieve celebrity white teeth. I don’t smoke, drink coffee or wine, I brush diligently and yet my teeth are cream to pale yellow while what I want is gorgeous white teeth. I’ve tried peroxide bleaching with a custom fitted dental tray + solution from my dentist’s office, but the process still left my gums irritated and my teeth sensitive for weeks with little result. When I asked about laser whitening as an alternative, my dentist said that it doesn’t work and it is painful…but I’m still curious. I mean, it couldn’t be any worse than the pain I had from her whitening process, could it? She also said that many celebrities have super white teeth because they’ve gotten white veneers, but I’m doubtful about this because I’ve noticed that many celebrities have natural/imperfect &/or mildly crooked teeth and yet they’ve managed to whiten their smile drastically. How did they do it?

A: Thank you for your questions. This is actually the most frequently asked dental question in my office. I would be willing to bet you a free teeth whitening for a pair of Yankee tickets that more “A listers” in Hollywood have veneers than don’t! So to paraphrase, if you want what the Romans have, do as the Romans do! Porcelain veneers are amazingly beautiful, and allow the dentist to create the perfect smile for the patient in terms of shape, position, and (you guessed it) color. Here is a little trade secret; many times I will incorporate slight imperfections into veneers in order to make them look like perfect natural smiles.

You are on the right track though: peroxide whitening agents, whether in the form of rinses, like Listerine Whitening Rinse (which I highly recommend) or in custom trays, are a good way to maintain a white smile if you have had a professional whitening. They won’t do miracles in terms of getting your teeth to be white, but it will do miracles in terms of keeping them white.

In our office we use the Zoom system, which I use for myself and family members. It is awesome! It is predictable, consistent, and not painful. And YES, It absolutely does work!

So to answer your questions:
Zoom in-office whitening is how I recommend you whiten your teeth. Rinses and take home trays are good to help maintain a whitened smile.
Porcelain veneers will get your teeth the absolute whitest so if you are shooting for the movie star look, do what the movie stars do.

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  • If I live and earn like the stars then I would do what they are doing but I’m not though I wish that cosmetic dentists could find a way to have the same quality as porcelain veneers but more affordable.

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