Are you looking to make your smile lighter? Today, our Prince Albert dentists discuss different teeth whitening options as well as the possible effects they may have, to help you determine which option may be best for you.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to lighten the colour of your teeth using peroxide-based bleaching agents. As the active ingredient breaks down, oxygen acts on the tooth enamel, creating the whitening effect.
What teeth whitening options are there?
Today, there are a handful of teeth whitening options available to you. It can be hard to select the one that will work best for you, and each method has its own advantages and may offer positive results. However, as with all procedures, each also has a few disadvantages.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The most effective teeth whitening procedures are performed by your dentist in a dental office. This is because the whitening agents in your dentist’s gel are much stronger and produce much more effective results than over-the-counter products.
The procedure usually takes about an hour. Your dentist will use a concentrated whitening solution to remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour. This yields somewhat more efficient results than at-home whitening solutions, which take days or weeks to work.
Professional At-Home Teeth Whitening Trays
This is a take-home option that is supervised by your dentist. At an initial visit to your dentist, a dental impression is taken in order to make your whitening trays.
You’ll take the whitening trays home and manage the teeth whitening application yourself. You’ll wear the whitening gel for between 30 minutes to a few hours a day, for 1 to 3 weeks depending on what your dentist prescribes.
The whitening solution will gradually remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour.
Whitening toothpaste works to remove surface stains and make your teeth slightly lighter. But, you need to remember that whitening toothpaste doesn't affect the natural colour of your teeth, and it won't be able to lighten stains that have penetrated beneath the surface of your teeth.
Enamel strengthening toothpaste could help protect your teeth from cavities and guard your enamel against additional damage, which may prevent staining in the first place.
These small plastic strips are coated with peroxide-based gel. When you apply the strip to your teeth, the peroxide coating removes surface stains, lightening the colour of your teeth.
Typically, you should apply whitening strips every day for about 2- to 3-weeks, and have them on for no more than 30 minutes each use. Since these products only contain a small amount of peroxide, you will generally only see subtle results.
Porcelain veneers are razor-thin strips of porcelain that are affixed to the fronts of your teeth to improve their colour, shape and symmetry.
If only one or a few of your teeth are discoloured, porcelain veneers may be a practical solution to even out the colour of your teeth.
How can I tell which teeth whitening products are the best?
The right teeth whitening products for you depends on a variety of elements such as personal preference, your budget, and the amount of time you have available in your schedule. You might wish to consider searching for teeth whitening reviews online to get tips and recommendations from other people that have decided to take the professional and/or at-home route.