Teeth whitening is one of the most commonly requested cosmetic dentistry treatments. By removing years of stains to reveal a brighter, whiter smile, teeth whitening can substantially lighten your teeth and make you proud to show off your grin. But are all teeth whitening options equally effective? Not necessarily. Read on to learn about three options for whitening your teeth.
Teeth Whitening at Your Dentist’s Office
In-office teeth whitening can be completed in a single visit lasting about an hour. This makes it the fastest way to get the results of your efforts. During a teeth whitening appointment at your dentist, your gums will first be protected with a shield or gel.
Next, the whitening agent will be applied to your teeth. A special light will then be used to maximize the bleaching power contained in the whitening agent. Once you’ve completed treatment, you’ll leave the office with a brighter, whiter smile.
Benefits of in-office teeth whitening provided by your dentist include a stronger whitening agent, and immediate results, after a single visit. You’ll be in and out with whiter teeth after one appointment. Professional teeth whitening also lasts a long time.
Professional-Grade At-Home Whitening Kits
Dentists also offer professional-grade at-home whitening kits to eligible patients. You’ll need to have dental impressions taken so that a custom tray can be made for you. Each night you’ll put the whitening gel in the tray and wear them for as long as your dentist recommends. You’ll need to wear the trays each night for several weeks. Your dentist will custom design your treatment plan based on your goals and likely outcomes.
The benefits of professional-grade at-home whitening kits include the freedom to whiten your teeth at home. At-home kits are also typically less expensive than in-office bleaching.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Toothpaste, Rinses, Strips
You can also buy whitening toothpaste, whitening rinses, and whitening strips at the pharmacy or your grocery store. These contain less powerful whitening agents than either the in-office treatment or at-home kit you get from your dentist. Over-the-counter whitening treatments are not as effective as professional whitening, but if your teeth aren’t significantly discolored these may be all that you need.
Benefits of over-the-counter pastes and strips include affordability, and no dental appointment required.
Does Teeth Whitening Work for Everyone?
Professional teeth whitening works best for people with yellowed teeth, resulting from stain formation over time. Teeth that are gray or brown may not whiten. In addition, tooth restorations such as crowns and fillings will not whiten. So if you have visible restorations, teeth whitening is not recommended as the natural teeth will whiten but your restorations will not.
Likewise, individuals who have suffered tooth staining from dental trauma or medication are not good candidates for teeth whitening. If you’re unsure whether whitening will work for you, talk with your dentist.
Schedule an Appointment for Teeth Whitening
If your smile has become less than sparkling over the years, contact Dental Associates in Farmington, CT today. Our dentists will be happy to discuss results you may get from either in-office whitening, or fit you for custom trays for at-home whitening. Call 860-677-8666 or request an appointment online.