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Everything You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening

Are your teeth not as pearly white as they once were? Do you have an important event coming up where you’d like to show-off a beautiful white smile instead of a dull, stained one?

Maybe you’re just tired of the aged, worn-out look of a yellow smile. You’re considering teeth whitening, but you aren’t sure which teeth whitening treatment will work best and give you the results you’re looking for.

Well, there are two major categories of teeth whitening: At-home and In-office. Each of these classes of teeth whitening has a selection of different methods and procedures.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

The teeth whitening you’ll get at the dentist office uses a high concentration of bleaching gel which produces immediate results. The in-office teeth whitening procedures are controlled, safe and relatively pain-free.

In-office whitening has reduced the teeth and gum sensitivity of the past by using thicker peroxide gels and desensitizers such as fluoride and potassium nitrate. The dentist can remove tough stains from teeth that at-home systems can’t such as stains due to aging, tobacco use, and from certain foods and drinks such as oranges, coffee, soda, and tea. Certain stains, namely inorganic ones such as the dark staining caused by ingesting medication with tetracycline and the overuse of fluoride.

Patients with trauma to their teeth that causes tooth discoloration also may not see the results they are looking for from an in-office teeth cleaning. The teeth whitening done at the dental office is not permanent and will need to either be re-done later or be followed up with regular use of at-home teeth whitening systems.

In-office teeth whitening is the best option for patients who need their teeth looking their best in a hurry such as for a wedding, job interview or major business meeting. Patients who have tooth or gum sensitivity, deep stains, intractable stains and who have teeth that have become transparent due to age.

What to Expect During an In-Office Teeth Whitening

The in-office teeth whitening procedure is routine and involves little or no patient discomfort. Teeth can be whitened by as little as two shades to as much as eight shades. The teeth may appear whiter than expected, but the teeth’s new white color will appear in a few days. During the procedure, the patient’s teeth will be checked in between bleaching gel applications. Some in-office teeth whitening use an intense light that activates the gel, which is believed to enhance the teeth whitening process.

Types of In-Office Whitening Procedures

There are multiple in-office procedures available. These procedures vary in costs and duration with most being 1-2 hours. Talk to your dentist to determine what teeth whitening options are available to you. 

At-Home Teeth Whitening

At-home teeth whitening is more affordable and is preferred by some patients because they can apply the teeth whitening in the privacy of their own home. At-home teeth whitening systems, however, can’t achieve the same level of whitening as in-office teeth whitening and the whitening results take longer to be noticed.

Results of at-home teeth whitening can often be noticed in one to two weeks. This is because at-home teeth whitening uses a less concentrated bleaching gel. At-home teeth whitening is a great option for patients who have minor tooth discoloration and who can wait to have a whiter smile.

Types of At-Home Teeth Whitening Options

There are many at-home teeth whitening options available. It is recommended to choose the one that fits your price range and is the easiest, most convenient one for you.

  • Whitening toothpastes and rinses
  • Whitening strips
  • Paint-on or brush-on formulas
  • At-home trays

Both in-office and at-home teeth whitening options are safe and typically cause minor irritation. Both options, however are temporary and will need to be reapplied.

Celebrity Endorsements

There have been some teeth whitening craze among celebrities who swear by this light-activated pod that is inserted into the mouth. This UV light activates whitening gel agents such as ferrous gluconate, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide. These teeth whitening kit has been used by the likes of Khloe Kardashian and Ciara.

These fancy at-home teeth whitening kits are promised to provide immediate whitening while having little to no discomfort. These celebrity-endorsed teeth whitening will, of course, set you back some.

At Family Dental Health, we offer professional in-office teeth whitening to patients who want immediate, significantly whiter teeth. To learn whether an in-office teeth whitening procedure is the ideal solution for your stained smile, contact us today to schedule an appointment.