Teeth whitening has become a natural part of dental procedures and maintenance in the last several years and, for some, just as much a part of the morning routine as brushing your teeth. The idea behind teeth whitening is not just to recapture the brightness your pearly whites have lost over time, but also to give your whole outlook on your smile and appearance a major boost.
It’s not always a cheap procedure unless you decide to go au natural brushing with baking soda and gargling with peroxide, so before shelling out all your hard-earned money, it’s best to go over all your whitening options and see which seems to be the most effective and budget-friendly method for you.
One of the simplest and least costly ways to start your teeth whitening process is with a whitening toothpaste. These won’t actually bleach your teeth but do contain abrasives that polish and chemicals that remove surface stains typically after a two to six week period. Some of this toothpaste also have the added chemical blue covering that affixes to a tooth’s surface and has the immediate effect of diminishing the appearance of yellow coloring.
Teeth-whitening strips are a popular method for many people and easily obtained from any drug store. Each strip is coated with a treatment of the peroxide ingredient that works to break down stains and bleach the tooth enamel. The length of time it takes to get your desired result depends on the peroxide strength in the strips and how consistent you are with the recommended usage of twice daily for two weeks.
Whitening gels are applied directly to the surface of your teeth with a small brush or in a tray that fits over the teeth and is worn like a mouthguard. Trays are generally worn for a couple of hours at a time or overnight and can be purchased either over the counter or from your dentist, which are custom made and usually have a stronger bleaching chemical.
In-office bleaching is the most effective and immediate way to achieve your teeth whitening. This method is the most expensive but is performed in a controlled environment and allows the whitening agent to be applied directly with a laser and heat.
The patient is able to see results in just one treatment, which lasts 30-60 minutes, but home maintenance is always recommended as a follow up to receiving the full advantage of your in-office treatment.
The outcome of all teeth whitening methods are dependent upon several things, including heredity, type of staining, tobacco use, and age, but most people are candidates for some kind of whitening procedure.
Consulting with a dentist before beginning any of these options is suggested in order to ensure the best concentration of peroxide for your specific case, to determine any tooth or gum hypersensitivity, and to establish the long-term effects on your teeth in particular.