There’s no denying whiter teeth can dramatically improve your appearance and smile. That said, it does not come as a surprise that teeth whitening is considered one of the most popular dental procedures nowadays. Teeth discoloration can be attributed to a lot of things.
One common cause is the build-up of surface stains from consuming certain foods and drinks or using tobacco products. Fortunately, teeth whitening methods can give everyone a chance to achieve a beautiful and enviable smile.
However, not all treatments are suitable so check with your dentist before deciding on the teeth whitening option to go with. Generally, teeth whitening is considered ideal for people with healthy teeth and gums.
It is important to know that not all discolored teeth will respond to bleaching treatments. For instance, bleaching will not work on crowns, fillings, and other restorations. Your dentist can decide if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Different Whitening Methods Available
Your teeth whitening options can include teeth whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter whitening strips and gels, whitening rinses, and in-office whitening.
Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpastes can remove the surface stains on your teeth. Teeth whitening toothpastes contain special abrasives for stain removal. Typically, there are more abrasive ingredients compared to regular toothpastes.
However, since whitening toothpastes do not contain chemical bleaching agents, they can only remove surface stains and not change the colour of the teeth.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Gels and Strips
Over-the-counter whitening products provide more noticeable results because they have ingredients that lighten the color of the tooth. Whitening gels will be applied to the surface of the teeth directly using a small brush twice a day for 2 weeks. Most will notice a dramatic difference in a few days.
The results typically last for at least four months. Whitening strips are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. It is applied twice a day for fourteen days. Results can be evident in just a few days and can last for at least four months as well.
Just like mouthwashes, whitening rinses can help reduce dental plaque, freshen breath, and minimize gum disease. Whitening rinses have hydrogen peroxide that helps whiten the teeth. Whitening rinses should be switched around the mouth for 60 seconds at least twice daily before you brush your teeth.
Whitening rinses are considered less effective compared to other options like over-the-counter whitening products since they are only in contact with the teeth for only a short time. Whitening rinses can take up to 12 weeks (or even longer) before you can see any noticeable results.
One of the quickest ways to brighten your teeth is through in-office whitening. While professional treatment will cost more than the other teeth whitening options, the results are worth the investment. In-office whitening involves applying the whitening product directly to the teeth.
The teeth are then exposed to a heat source—laser or a special light. Professional teeth whitening done by your dentist can make your teeth at least three to eight shades lighter. What’s even more impressive? You can see amazing and dramatic results in just 30 to 60 minutes.
Teeth whitening procedures are considered a great investment nowadays. If this is a procedure you are considering, it is recommended that you have it done by a qualified and experienced dental professional. Your dentist can also provide recommendations when it comes to the whitening methods that suit you best.