If you are seeking a brighter smile, there are many products and techniques available for teeth-whitening. We would be happy to talk with you about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
During an appointment, your dental professional will apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. The entire office visit generally takes about 90 minutes, and the results are immediate.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
There are basically four methods of at-home whitening:
1) Tray Whitening (Recommended by Marion Dental Associates)
Tray bleaching uses a combination of a custom-made tray that fits perfectly over your teeth and whitening gel only available through your dentist. The gel is placed in the tray, and then over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth. This process generally takes ten to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days. This method will not harm or weaken tooth structure.
2) Paint-On Teeth Whiteners
There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options, and one type of readily accessible whitening products is commonly referred to as a “paint-on” teeth whitener. They are generally less expensive and less effective than whitening strips or professional options. Paint-on teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. The gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth, and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth-whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use.
3) Teeth-Whitening Strips
Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits generally come with strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. Place the strips across your teeth and gently press the strips to ensure contact with all your teeth. Strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.
4) Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash
The least expensive options are whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, these over-the-counter products work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will mildly lighten your teeth.
If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact us to schedule an appointment.