Learn Which Teeth Whitening Option Is Best For You

April 24, 2018

Dental professionals are often asked by their patients about teeth whitening options. Patients want to know how they can achieve a beautiful, white smile. While having whiter teeth is not necessary for oral health, it increases self-confidence for some. Teeth whitening is done safely with no lasting damage to the teeth when under the supervision of a dental professional.

Methods of teeth whitening:

Whitening toothpaste

These tend to be more abrasive than regular toothpaste and may be successful at removing surface stains but do not drastically whiten teeth. Due to their abrasiveness, they are not recommended for long-term use.

Whitening mouthrinses

Rinses are not in contact with the teeth long enough to have much of a whitening impact, but may lighten some surface stains and decrease the formation of stains on the teeth.

OTC whitening strips

Available at the drugstore, these strips deliver good whitening results at home. Typically they use hydrogen peroxide as the whitening agent, in varying concentrations depending on the type or brand. One downside is that the peroxide can come in contact with the gum tissue, causing gum irritation.

Professional Take-home whitening trays

This is a professional take-home solution that is more economical than an professional in-office whitening but still delivers excellent results. Since the custom trays perfectly fit your teeth, there is a lesser chance of the solution coming into contact with your gums and causing irritation. The whitening solutions available at dental offices are usually formulated with carbamide peroxide at a higher concentration than what is available in stores.

Professional In-office whitening

This type of whitening is best for those who want more drastic and immediate results. An in-office treatment is done in about an hour to an hour and half. Great results are achieved in just one appointment. Patients with heavy discolouration may require more than one visit, however.

Reasons whitening may not be for you:

Sensitive teeth

Some people find that they cannot whiten their teeth due to the increase in dental pain and sensitivity. This is helped with the use of a sensitivity toothpaste before and during whitening. Taking alternate days off during your whitening treatment also helps to manage sensitivity.

Crowns and dental fillings will not whiten

If you have a lot of restorative work, especially in your front teeth, whitening will not improve the look of dental restorations. Your natural teeth will whiten while the restoration’s colour remains unchanged. Replacing the dental restorations with a brighter shade is the only option in this case.

Dental recession/exposed roots of teeth

Exposed roots are naturally a darker shade than the upper, enamel-covered portion of the teeth. While the upper part of the teeth will whiten, the roots remain the same shade. Exposed roots increase the risk of having dental pain and sensitivity during whitening.

Results from whitening vary and how long your results last depends on lifestyle factors such as if you smoke or drink beverages that stain such as coffee, tea, and wine. Having good oral hygiene helps prevent surface stains from re-forming on your teeth. If you have any questions about teeth whitening, contact us today!

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