Not everyone has a natural “Hollywood smile” where every tooth is pearly white and perfectly aligned. Consequently, people try to achieve their best smile via cosmetic dentistry options, some over-the-counter and some provided professionally. Today, a stroll down the dental health aisle or a search on Amazon reveals an abundance of OTC teeth whitening products. But are they as effective as they may claim to be on the consumer packaging? Let’s explore your options for a whiter smile.
Teeth Whitening Options You May Have Considered
Teeth Whitening with UV or LED Blue Light
Light-curing treatments include an LED light with peroxide. Many of these kits promise to brighten your teeth within 30 minutes. The kits come with the LED light, a whitening gel, and (depending on the kit) the trays or a tooth-whitening pen. Repeat the LED whitening process daily for 10 days to be fully effective (per the product instructions).
Whitening strips often use a non-toxic, peroxide-free formula safe for tooth enamel. They do not contain preservatives, additives, or other unwanted elements, and typically show results within 14 days when applied per the instructions.
The over-the-counter toothpaste approach is available at numerous retail locations and is rather affordable, making it a favorite approach. Used daily, it can be effective, especially to correct mild staining.
Containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, these pens are fast-drying and will break down the surface stains and brighten teeth. They require consistent use to be effective.
In-Office Whitening Procedure
Your dentist applies bleaching gel to your teeth, then lets it set 15-30 minutes. The bleach is then removed, and more gel is applied. Some approaches require focusing an LED or UV light on the teeth. Depending on how much of a change you want, it may be necessary to have subsequent visits.
Bleaching typically requires a minimum of 3 dentist visits of approximately 15 -minutes each. The dentist creates highly detailed dental impressions with custom trays. These bleaching trays are loaded with a gel and pressed onto the teeth. You are sent home with these trays with instructions on how to use them. After 2 weeks, you return to the office for additional bleaching.
Reasons to Get Teeth Whitened by Your Dentist
1. Get results quickly.
2. Protect your teeth, without fear of damage by an OTC product or home remedy.
3. Get the results you want, with even whitening. In fact, your Advanced Dental Partners dentist can customize the level of whitening to match your other teeth.
4. If your teeth are prone to sensitivity, then the whitening process can sometimes be painful. But having your teeth professionally whitened, your dentist can adjust how much of the active ingredients are used and will also have a gel that can be used to relieve sensitivity.
If you are interested in a whiter smile, be sure to talk to one of the dentists at McCracken Family Dentistry. We would love to help you love your smile!