There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve a brighter smile. 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 the options.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel available only through a dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the carbamide peroxide gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth.
Unlike strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and contains a combination of Potassium Nitrate and Fluoride intended to reduce sensitivity. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes between 5-14 days depending on how white your teeth originally are.
Opalescence PF Custom Tray Whitening
Opalescence PF is an at-home whitening system used with custom fabricated trays. Depending on the current shade of your teeth and the results you are looking for, treatment will vary from 5-14 days. Different strengths of product dictate how long the trays are to be worn, varying from 30 minutes to overnight. Your dentist will discuss the strength you should use.
Opalescence "Go" Preloaded Whitening Trays
Opalescence "Go" is best suited for patients who lead active lifestyles. With its UltraFit tray, "Go" offers a real custom fit. Extending molar to molar, the snug fit of the trays ensures that the gel comes into contact with more teeth. The active ingredient for the "Go" whitening is hydrogen peroxide. Trays should be worn 15-60 minutes a day depending upon the strength of the solution. Your dentist will determine which strength is given depending upon your teeth's sensitivity. This technique will take between 7-10 days.
Paint-On Teeth Whiteners
There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options. One type of readily accessible whitening products is commonly referred to as a “paint-on” teeth whitener. Paint-on whiteners can be purchased over the counter and generally are less expensive and less effective than whitening strips or professional options.
Paint-on teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. Paint-on whitening gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth, and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth-whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use.
Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a 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 them 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.
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 or 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.