If you'd like to have a whiter smile, you're probably wondering what the options are. Our Surrey Straight Smile dentists explain teeth whitening options and the effects they can have.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to lighten the colour of your teeth with the help of peroxide-based bleaching agents. As the active ingredient breaks down, oxygen acts on the tooth enamel, creating the whitening effect.
Are there options for teeth whitening?
There are a number of options for whitening your teeth. It can be difficult to choose one that is right for you; each has its advantages and can offer positive results. As with any other procedure, there are also some disadvantages to each.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
This option is typically the most effective teeth whitening procedure and is 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 can take up to 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.
At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening Trays
This take-home option would be supervised by your dentist. During an initial visit to your dentist, a dental impression will be created 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 toothpastes work by removing surface stains and slightly whiten your teeth. However, keep in mind that whitening toothpastes will not affect the natural colour of your teeth, and they will be unable to lighten stains that have penetrated below the tooth’s surface.
Enamel-strengthening toothpastes can help to defend your teeth from cavities and protect your enamel from further damage, which can prevent stains from developing 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.
You would typically apply whitening strips daily for a 2- to 3-week period, and keep them on for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Because these products contain only a small amount of peroxide, you will usually see only 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 do I know which are the best teeth-whitening products?
The best teeth whitening products for you will depend on a number of factors, from personal preference to the time you have available in your schedule, and your budget. You may want to consider looking up teeth whitening reviews online for tips and ideas from other people who have opted to take the professional and/or at-home route.