The popularity of teeth whitening has increased to the point where it appears that everyone is doing it. If you desire a radiant, white smile, bleaching your teeth may be a wonderful consideration. Not only is it effective, but it may also significantly alter your smile and boost your self-esteem. Only your dentist can determine whether or not your teeth and gums are healthy enough to undergo whitening dental services. Though teeth whitening is safe, it is safest when supervised. If you’re thinking of getting your teeth whitened, speak with your dentist to see which options are best for you, especially if you have sensitive teeth, dental restorations, dark stains, or lots of fillings and/or crowns.
Popular Methods for Teeth Whitening
- Whitening Toothpaste – To eliminate surface stains, teeth whitening toothpaste contain moderate abrasives. Although some whitening toothpaste contains extra polishing agents and specific chemicals that are more successful at removing stains than regular toothpaste, they are not designed to “bleach” your teeth. Whitening toothpaste can lighten your teeth’ color by a shade or two. On the other hand, prescription whitening at your dentist’s office can brighten your teeth by three to eight shades.
- Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips and Gels– Whitening gels are translucent, peroxide-based gels that are applied to the surface of your teeth with a tiny brush. Depending on the strength of the peroxide, different instructions are required and must be carefully followed. The duration of a full course is between 10 and 14 days. It’s possible that you’ll need to use them twice a day.
Whitening strips are very thin, almost undetectable, and have a peroxide-based whitening cream on them. These over-the-counter whitening strips are relatively inexpensive, and simple to use, and most of them actually work. Depending on the concentration of peroxide in the strips, it may take longer to achieve the desired results than in-house whitening. For both gels and strips, the first results appear after a few days, and the final results last for roughly four months.
- Tray-Based Teeth Whiteners – Tray-based tooth whitening systems involve filling a mouth guard-like tray with a gel whitening solution that contains a peroxide-bleaching agent – this can be acquired over-the-counter or via a dentist. While both will whiten your teeth, there are some differences between them.
Teeth whitening kits from the dentist provide faster and more effective results than over-the-counter whitening kits because they contain a stronger peroxide bleaching ingredient. Another advantage of dentist-provided trays and gels is that they are custom-made to suit your teeth perfectly. The tray is worn for a period of time, ranging from a few hours each day to every night depending on the degree of discoloration. The results of this method are usually very pleasing, and patients save the trays for future “touch-ups.”
- In-Office Whitening – Teeth whitening at the dentist is significantly faster than at-home whitening. Heat, light, or both can be utilized to speed up and improve the whitening results of professional therapy, in addition to the stronger peroxide solution used in dental clinics. The major advantage of in-office teeth whitening is the dentist’s care throughout your procedure. They will monitor to ensure nothing goes wrong or doesn’t work. Professional teeth whitening is more expensive, but the results show that you get what you pay for.
It’s Worth Getting Your Teeth Whitened at the Dentist
Because there is such easy access to teeth-bleaching products, long-term overuse has become an issue. Excessive bleaching has a variety of effects on your teeth, ranging from mild discomfort to outright pain. Hypersensitivity, gum inflammation, darker teeth, and erosion are all risks for patients who use at-home therapies. The intensity of over-whitening discomfort depends on the substance you’re using, how often you’re using it, and the state of your teeth before you start.
For your best results, schedule an appointment with My First Dental for a “whitening evaluation” to find out what system is best for you. If cost is the issue, our Dentists in Somerville and Medford can recommend the best low-cost or over-the-counter whitening system based on your circumstances.