One of the most frequently question I get is “How do I get my teeth to become whiter?” There are many products at the supermarkets and drug stores that promote the idea of have having white teeth as a top priority. While having whiter teeth doesn’t mean your teeth are healthy, the color of your teeth is one of the first things most people notice. Also, if you have cavities or exposed root surfaces using the whitening products can lead to teeth sensitivity or pain.
It is important to have a dental examination to see if you have any cavities and gum disease before you start your teeth whitening. Furthermore, your teeth whitening results will be greatly improved if you start your whitening process after you’ve had a professional teeth cleaning. Your dental hygienist will remove plaque, tartar build-up, and tough stains that would normally prevents the whitening chemical (active ingredient) from interacting with the tooth surface. By removing that barrier, your whitening chemical can perform the function that it is designed to do.
Let’s look at some common methods of Teeth Whitening:
- Usually won’t whiten teeth
- Can help to maintain the whiteness / shade of your teeth
- Generally contain more abrasives, not recommended if you have gum recession (as it can cause permanent scratches on your roots)
- difficult to use properly (when improperly placed can lead to uneven whitening with poor results)
- low concentration of active ingredients (you have to be persistent and continue treatment for a more extended period of time)
- can get your teeth whiter
Paint on Whitening gels
- not usually effective as active ingredients will be wash out and dissolve by saliva
Do It Yourself Whitening Trays
- Not a custom fit (might get active ingredients on your gums for extended periods which can damage your gums)
- Can be effective in whitening your teeth
Custom Whitening Trays
- Custom Made by a dentist, need for an impression of your teeth
- Allow precise fit to prevent active ingredient to escape for a better result and avoid damaging your gums
- Can apply different concentrations and type of active ingredient to obtain the best result
- Can be used during sleep (usually more effective as the production of saliva is reduced)
Laser Whitening (Zoom Whitening and BriteSmile)
- Whitening in combination with Light or “Laser”, there has been research that indicates there is no significant difference in the results with or without this “Light”
- Will whiten your teeth in a short amount of chair time, but repeated treatment might be necessary
- Good for faster result if time is a factor
- Combination of in-office beaching (1hr) and take home custom tray teeth whitening
- Most predictable and usually has the best results
After your teeth are whiten, you can use the custom tray whitening method to keep and touch up staining that might develop through eating/ drinking food that cause staining.
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