There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve or restore a brighter and whiter smile. Over time, teeth can become more absorbant of food and drink stains. Aging also can result in duller and darker teeth coloration. Today, many people seek to reverse these effects of staining by using modern teeth whitening products. The best way to begin any teeth-whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to our doctor about at-home whitening systems.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening system that is only available through a dental office. We create custom-made trays and send you home with whitening gel that is only available through our dental office. The whitening gel is placed in your custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. You will be advised on a recommended length of time to wear the gel-filled trays. This process whitens all of your natural teeth. The gel contains ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes 10 to 14 days to see maximum results, although you may notice results in as little as 3 to 5 days. Periodic treatments will help maintain your beautiful bright smile.
Paint-On Teeth Whiteners
Of the many readily accessible teeth whitening options, one type of product is commonly referred to as a “paint-on” teeth whitener. These whiteners can be purchased over-the-counter. They are generally less expensive and less effective than whitening strips or professional options. Paint-on teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. Paint-on whitening gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth-whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use.
Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The whitening agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth-whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.
Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash
The least expensive options are whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, toothpastes and mouthwashes work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives. However, unlike the materials used in professional whitening procedures, these products do not lighten the actual color shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will mildly lighten your teeth.
If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment.