Benefits of Professional Whitening
Professionally whitening your teeth is one of the easiest and quickest ways to enhance your appearance. Many people desire to whiten their teeth but they don’t want to spend the money to do it professionally. As your family dentist, we would like to provide you with information about the professional teeth whitening options that are available to you so that you can make the best decision for yourself about whitening your teeth.
Whitening toothpastes typically have a certain amount of baking soda in them, which does have the capability to whiten your teeth. The problem with toothpastes, however, is that they do not stay on your teeth long enough to do anything dramatic. Seeing noticeable results with whitening toothpaste may take months and even then the results will be minor.
Over-The-Counter Whitening Strips and Gels
Over-the-counter whitening strips can be good alternative if you are only seeking to whiten your front 6 teeth and are willing to wait several weeks for them to produce noticeable results. The problem with whitening strips is that they can be cumbersome to apply/remove. Additionally, you may need to use several boxes in order to achieve your desired results. If your teeth are crooked or crowded you may have trouble with generic strips and trays as well. The strength of the gel that is used on the whitening strips is a stronger concentration than you will find in whitening toothpastes but not as strong as what your dentist can give you. Store bought strips and gels can increase the risk of gum irritation and damage to your dental work as well. If you choose to whiten your teeth with an over-the-counter product then we advise that you speak with your dentist first in order to make sure you do it safely.
Over-the-counter strips may be a good option for those who only need a minor degree of whitening and aren’t in a rush to see results. They may also work well for people who have crowns and fillings in their back teeth and don’t have to worry about whitening those.
Professional Whitening By Your Dentist
Most dentists offer two main types of professional teeth whitening, in-office and take-home. In-office whitening involves the application of a very strong whitening agent that is controlled by the dentist. Your gums are protected so that they are not harmed during the whitening process. This procedure typically takes about a hour from start to finish and can whiten your teeth dramatically. These results will last for quite some time and can be touched up with a take-home whitening kit provided to you by your dentist as well.
Take-home whitening works by filling custom made whitening trays with prescription-strength whitening gel and wearing them at home. This is a great professional whitening option for many people. The trays cover all of your teeth, both top and bottom, and since they are made especially for you they fit to the contours of your teeth and bite. The gel that is loaded into the trays is very strong. You can expect to see results after only 1 application but can use the trays for up to 14 consecutive days, depending on your desired level of whitening. Again, a benefit of whitening this way is that your dentist has control over the strength of gel and the production of the whitening trays.
There are many benefits of professional whitening but we encourage you to educate yourself about the whitening options available to you in order to make the best decision for your smile. Regardless of the professional whitening option you choose, please discuss your plans with your dentist at your next dental visit in order to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for whitening.