You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t want bright, radiant, white teeth. With modern dentistry, patients with discolored teeth can achieve a whiter smile safely and conveniently. With so many teeth whitening options, though, it might be hard to know which is best for you. Below, we discuss the ins and outs of each popular whitening option.
Teeth Whitening Options
Whether you’re preparing for a wedding or a big photo shoot, you may wish to consider whitening your teeth. There are three main options for whitening your teeth:
- In-office whitening,
- Take-home tray whitening, and
- Other at-home options.
In-office whitening is the safest, quickest, and most effective option for whitening. Your dentist will apply a bleaching method to your teeth in his or her office. Depending on your teeth’s discoloration, this can take one or more appointments. This method is pricier than the others, but you will see results almost immediately.
It’s important to remember that teeth whitening is not for everyone. Individuals with sensitive teeth, gum disease, cavities, worn enamel, or exposed roots should not undergo whitening treatments. Whitening could cause pain or damage to these patients. If you’re allergic to peroxide, you should not consider teeth whitening, as this is a popular ingredient used in bleaching methods. Additionally, if you have darkly stained teeth (teeth that are brown or gray), your teeth will not respond to bleaching, and you might want to consider a different cosmetic solution like crowns or veneers. Your dentist will evaluate you beforehand to see if teeth whitening is a good option for you.
With this method, your dentist will give you a tray (similar to a mouth guard) that you fill with gel and wear at home for a period of time each day—your dentist will tell you how long and when to wear your tray. You’ll wear your tray for up to a few weeks, depending on how discolored your teeth are, and will see results within a few days—maybe even overnight!
Other at-home options
These are the teeth whitening options you can get at your drugstore, like toothpastes, mouthwashes, or whitening strips/gels. They are not as effective as methods administered by your dentist, but they are cheaper and more convenient.
- Toothpastes will remove surface stains caused by coffee, red wine, tobacco, or other staining agents. They do not contain bleach, but some contain gentle polishing agents that remove stains more effectively than other toothpastes. Results usually take two to six weeks, and you will only see a slight change in color.
- Whitening mouthwashes also contain gentle polishing agents. With this option, results generally appear in around twelve weeks. One perk this method has is that it will freshen your breath very well!
- Whitening strips or gels are options you apply to your teeth for a given amount of time, anywhere from just a few to thirty minutes depending on the strength of the particular product. The time it takes to see results also varies with the product’s strength, but most see whiter teeth in a few days or a week. Prices range from from $10 to $55.
Again, teeth whitening is not for everyone. Even with at-home methods, you should speak with your dentist before regularly using an at-home whitening method, otherwise you could damage your teeth or gums.
Looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist to whiten your teeth? If you live in or near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!