There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve a brighter smile.The best way to begin any teeth-whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to your dentist about the differences between in-office whitening and at-home professional whitening.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The first professional option is commonly referred to as in-office whitening. This procedure is performed in the dental office. During an appointment, your dental professional will apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. The entire office visit generally takes about 90 minutes and you will be able to see results immediately. This is a great option for people who think they will have a hard time doing the trays on their own at home.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and may contain ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes ten to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days. This is a very efficient option to whiten teeth and can be redone at any time in the future with new bleach that can be purchased at the dental office.
Paint-On Teeth Whiteners
There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options, and 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 thin 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 the strips 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.
If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment.