Having a bright, dazzling smile is a common desire amongst patients. In the age of social media, your smile is constantly on display. A white smile can give you the confidence you long for. For this reason, teeth whitening has become increasingly popular. Unfortunately, many things can dim your smile. Diet and genetics can play a part. Your favorite morning coffee to mom’s spaghetti can leave your teeth looking less than perfect.
Most patients would like a whiter smile. As a result, the demand for pearly whites has created many whitening options. A trip down the dental hygiene aisle will reveal a variety of at-home treatments. Additionally, you can call your dentist to schedule a professional whitening treatment. Whatever method you choose, you should know the process and what to expect from each. No matter what, you should contact your dentist to ensure you are using the best treatment for you.
How Does Whitening Work?
Most whitening processes are the same. At least, they generally use the same ingredients: carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These bleaching agents will break down the stains on your teeth. They do this by attacking the bond between your teeth and the stains. This allows the stains to lift from your teeth. However, keep in mind that whitening treatments may not reduce all of the discolorations. This is why it is essential to talk to your dentist to figure out what is best for you.
Some coloration issues will not lift from whitening treatments alone. In addition, certain dental appliances will not whiten, such as dental fillings, crowns, or veneers. Depending on the cause of your teeth stains, you may have to look into other ways of lifting your smile. If whitening treatments don’t give you the smile you are looking for, there are other cosmetic options for you to choose. For example, your dentist may recommend dental veneers or crowns for significantly discolored teeth.
What Are My Whitening Options?
If you elect to get a professional treatment, you will go to your dentist’s office for the procedure. Getting a professional whitening will be much faster and more efficient than at-home treatments. You may be able to leave the dental office with teeth several shades lighter. Comparatively, it may take several weeks for an at-home treatment to lift a few shades. Additionally, your dentist will usually cover your gums to reduce sensitivity.
Using whitening toothpaste is a simple way to brighten your teeth. Toothpaste is more gentle on your teeth as it works over time. They reduce surface stains by polishing your teeth. However, it may take several weeks or months for you to see any significant changes in the color of your teeth. To ensure quality toothpaste, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
Whitening Trays, Gels, Strips, and Lights
There are a variety of other at-home whitening treatments that you can get over the counter. These methods will usually work faster than whitening toothpaste. However, they are typically not quicker or stronger than professional whitening. Therefore, it is essential to follow the directions listed to minimize tooth pain.