Your goal: A white, bright smile. But what is the best teeth whitening option for you? Our Collingwood dentists explain some popular teeth whitening options and the results they can provide.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure aimed at lightening the colour of your teeth using peroxide-based bleaching agents. As the active ingredient breaks down, oxygen acts on the tooth enamel, creating the whitening effect.
What are my options for teeth whitening?
There are a number of teeth whitening options available today. It can be difficult to choose the right one. Each method of whitening teeth has its advantages and can offer positive results, nonetheless there are also some disadvantages to each method.
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.
In-office whitening typically takes about an hour. Your dentist will use a concentrated whitening solution to remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour. This whitening method yields somewhat more efficient results than at-home whitening solutions, which take days or weeks to work.
At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening Trays
Take-home whitening treatments require two trips to your dentist. During an initial visit to your dentist, a dental impression will be created to make your whitening trays. Once your whitening trays arrive, you will return to the dental office to pickup your trays, whitening solution, and detailed instructions for use.
You’ll take the whitening trays home and manage the teeth whitening application yourself, in the comfort of your own home. You’ll wear the whitening gel for between 30 minutes to a few hours a day, for 1 to 3 weeks depending on what your dentist prescribes.
The whitening solution will gradually remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour.
Whitening toothpastes work to remove surface stains and slightly whiten your teeth. However, it's important to note that whitening toothpastes will not affect the natural colour of your teeth, and they will be unable to lighten stains that have penetrated below the tooth’s surface.
Enamel strengthening toothpastes can help to protect your teeth against cavities and help to prevent further damage to the enamel of your teeth, which can prevent stains from developing in the first place.
Whitening strips are small plastic strips are coated with peroxide-based gel. When you apply the strip to the fronts of your teeth, the peroxide coating removes surface stains, lightening the colour of your teeth.
Generally, you apply whitening strips daily for a 2- to 3-week period, and keep them on for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Results from whitening strips tend to be more subtle since these products contain less peroxide than treatments from your dentist's office.
Porcelain Veneers & Lumineers
Porcelain veneers & Lumineers 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 way to even out the colour of your smile.
How do I know which are the best teeth whitening products?
Deciding which teeth whitening products are best for you will depend on a number of factors, including your personal preference and the amount time you have available in your schedule, to your budget. Checking out some teeth whitening reviews online for tips and ideas from other people may help you to decide which whitening treatment is best for your smile.