There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve a brighter smile, and with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the method that is right for you. The best way to begin any teeth-whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to your doctor about whitening products and what your goals are so we can find the best solution for you.
Custom Teeth Whitening
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process lightens the color of all your natural teeth, not just bleaches the stain and may contain ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes ten to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.
Once you have invested in the custom-made trays, you can purchase more whitening gel as needed and whiten your teeth again and again at your desired time interval.
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.
The strips can be awkward to place especially if teeth are even mildly crooked. They may not cover the entire front surface of the teeth and they are made to be used only one time. Whitening strips can bleach stain from teeth but will not lighten the color of natural teeth.
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.