Whitening your teeth is one of the easiest ways to brighten your smile and, luckily, there is no shortage of methods for you to choose from. You can whiten your teeth using at-home or in-office methods, but you should contact us regarding the best option for you. Contrary to some popular reports, proper bleaching does not harm the teeth, but may actually help make your gums healthier.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is the preferred whitening method – even though stronger whitening agents are used in a professional office, we are able to protect your gums and mouth from the products. During the appointment, we simply apply a whitening agent to the surface of your teeth. The average appointment lasts about 90 minutes and immediately afterward you should notice your brighter smile!
At-Home Teeth Whitening
There are a variety of at-home whitening methods that you can choose from, but be sure to consult before picking any of these options.
- Tray Whitening: Tray whitening is an at-home teeth whitening method that is custom made and prescribed to you by your dentist. With this method, your dentist takes impressions of your teeth and builds a custom fitting tray for you. You then fill the tray with a whitening agent and place it over your teeth. Your dentist will customize the strength of the bleach to match your needs. As the gel reacts with the stains on your teeth, it works to eliminate these stains or discoloration on your teeth’s surfaces. The duration of this treatment is generally 2-4 weeks, though you may begin to see a difference in just a few days.
- Paint-On Whitening: Paint-on teeth whitening gels are a common over-the-counter whitening product. They may be cheaper and easier to purchase than other whitening methods, but they also tend to be less effective. Paint-on methods typically come in the form of a pen-like device with a brush at the end. The whitening gel is simply painted onto your teeth with the brush and hardens into a film that coats your teeth and naturally dissolves into your mouth.
- Whitening Strips: Whitening strips are thin plastic strips that are easy to apply. One side of the strip is covered with whitening peroxide – when placing the strips on your top and bottom teeth, make sure that you gently press the whitening side to your teeth’s surfaces. Most whitening strips are formulated to be worn for 30 minutes, twice a day. Be careful of wearing the strips for too long because it can result in increased sensitivity. Also, strips do not evenly cover all the teeth’s surfaces. This may result in uneven whitening.
- Whitening Toothpaste & Mouthwash: Much milder versions of whitening are whitening mouthwashes and toothpaste. These products have whitening capabilities but are not nearly as strong as other methods. Though this option is the cheapest, it does not actually brighten the color of your teeth; they just mildly lighten stains. These are usually good options to maintain your results from another bleaching procedure.