If you're looking to whiten your smile, there are several options you may consider. Today, our Lloydminster dentists explain different teeth whitening options and the effects they can have.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that is designed to lighten the colour of your teeth. Most teeth whitening options use peroxide-based bleaching agents. As the active ingredient breaks down, oxygen acts on the tooth enamel, creating the whitening effect.
What are my options for teeth whitening?
Today, you have a number of options for whitening your teeth. It can be difficult to choose the right one, 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
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 than the ones available in take-home kits as they are used under the supervision of a dental professional.
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 more efficient results than at-home whitening solutions, which take days or weeks to work.
At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening Trays
If you'd prefer to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your home, your dentist can set you up with professional at-home whitening trays.
Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and have your custom trays made and then you will 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 recommends.
The whitening solution will gradually remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour.
Whitening toothpaste works to remove surface stains and slightly whiten your teeth. However, keep in mind that whitening toothpaste will not affect the natural colour of your teeth, and it is unable to lighten or remove stains that have penetrated below the tooth’s surface.
Enamel strengthening toothpaste 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.