Every day we speak with patients that are interested in learning how they can brighten their smiles. Today, there are a variety of techniques and products on the market to make achieving a picture-perfect smile easier than ever before. But, with so many products available, choosing the right method for you can be rather overwhelming. If you’re considering implementing a teeth whitening routine into your regular oral health regimen, give us a call and let one our whitening specialists discuss the different techniques available. We can help you decide between in-office whitening methods and at-home whitening products.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
This professional whitening option is completed in the office using a whitening laser or whitening lamp. These light sources increase the success of the procedure, making the whitening gel work harder for you. In-office teeth whitening procedures are ideal for individuals that desire immediate results. At Progressive Dental Arts, we help patients every day brighten their smiles for weddings, high school reunions, and other events where first impressions matter.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
At-home whitening is the preferred bleaching method for many of our patients because of the convenience and affordability. Let’s take a moment to review the various types of at-home methods, starting from the cheapest to the most effective.
Whitening Toothpastes and Mouthwashes
These products are the least expensive way to achieve a brighter smile. Whitening mouthwash and toothpaste use mild abrasives to buff the surface of the tooth, eliminating or reducing the appearance of surface stains. When using a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash product, it is important that you understand that these products do not have the ability to bleach your teeth by several shades. They are intended to slightly lighten your teeth, and the results may not be as noticeable as you hoped.
Paint-On Teeth Whiteners
You’ve probably heard of over-the-counter, paint-on teeth whiteners. This particular product is available on the shelves of your local drugstore and is quite inexpensive. You apply paint-on whiteners to the surface of your tooth using a tiny brush coated with whitening gel. After a small amount of time, the gel will change into a film that coats the entire surface of the tooth. You don’t have to wipe off the substance. Instead, the saliva in your mouth will help it dissolve.
Paint-on teeth whitening products are inexpensive and convenient, but they are rather ineffective at a dramatically whitening your teeth. And, they don’t always taste the greatest either.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are marketed on television and in magazines and promise spectacular results. Made from thin, polyethylene (plastic) strips with a coating of hydrogen peroxide on one side, whitening strips are a very popular choice for individuals who want to whiten their teeth with spending a fortune. These kits come with strips for both the upper and lower teeth.
Whitening strips can be worn while you are working, watching television, cooking dinner, or doing any other sort of activity. They are worn for 30 minutes at a time, ideally twice a day. Leaving the strips on longer will not produce better results. The results you can expect from these strips depend on the severity of the stains, the strength of the bleaching agent, and whether or not the strips were properly applied.
Tray bleaching can be done by purchasing drugstore kits, but it is best to contact us for custom-fitted trays. Opting for professional whitening trays has many benefits. The tray is customized to match your bite and fits perfectly over your teeth, giving you a custom whitening experience that you simply cannot get from drugstore products.
How does tray bleaching work? Great question! With the help of hydroxadicals, the peroxide in the gel breaks down, bleaching the teeth. Two reasons many people prefer tray bleaching is that the peroxide reaches all the teeth and offers a comfortable fit.
Most people will use the trays up to two weeks, but for maximum results, use the trays for as long as your dentist recommends. Most people will see noticeable results in as little as three days.
Regardless of which whitening product you choose, make sure to talk with us before beginning a teeth whitening treatment. Ideally, whitening should be done under the direct supervision of a dental professional. To learn more about the teeth whitening procedures used at Progressive Dental Arts, give us a call and schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.