Your goal: A white, bright smile. But what is the best teeth whitening option for you? Our Montague dentists explain teeth whitening options and the effects they can have.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses peroxide-based bleaching agents to lighten the colour of one's teeth. As the active ingredient decomposes, oxygen interacts with the tooth enamel to produce a whitening effect.
What are my options for teeth whitening?
Today, you have a variety of options for teeth whitening. It can be difficult to choose the best option, as each has its own benefits and potential for success. As with any other procedure, each has its own set of disadvantages.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The most effective teeth whitening procedures are performed by your dentist in a dental office. This is because the whitening agents in your dentist’s gel are much stronger and produce much more effective results than over-the-counter products.
Typically, the procedure takes about an hour. Your dentist will use a concentrated whitening solution to eliminate surface stains and lighten the natural colour of your teeth. This produces results that are somewhat more efficient than at-home whitening solutions, which require days or weeks to be effective.
At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening Trays
This take-home option would be supervised by your dentist. During an initial visit to your dentist, a dental impression will be created to make your whitening trays.
You will take the whitening trays home and apply the whitening solution on your own. Depending on your dentist's instructions, you will wear the whitening gel for 30 minutes to several hours per day for 1 to 3 weeks.
The whitening solution will gradually remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour.
Whitening toothpaste removes surface stains and whitens teeth slightly. Keep in mind, however, that whitening toothpaste will not affect the natural colour of your teeth, nor will it lighten stains that have penetrated beneath the tooth's surface.
Enamel-strengthening toothpaste can help to defend your teeth from cavities and protect your enamel from further damage, which can prevent stains from developing in the first place.
These small plastic strips are coated with peroxide-based gel. When you apply the strip to your teeth, the peroxide coating removes surface stains, lightening the colour of your teeth.
Typically, you would apply whitening strips daily for two to three weeks and leave them on for no longer than 30 minutes. Because these products contain such a small amount of peroxide, the effects are typically subtle.
Porcelain veneers are razor-thin strips of porcelain that are affixed to the fronts of your teeth to improve their colour, shape and symmetry.
If only one or a few of your teeth are discoloured, porcelain veneers may be a practical solution to even out the colour of your teeth.
How do I know which are the best teeth whitening products?
The best teeth whitening products for you will depend on a variety of factors, including your personal preferences, available time, and budget. You may want to read online reviews of teeth whitening to find tips and ideas from those who have gone the professional and/or at-home route.