- In-Office Bleaching– In-office teeth whitening offers excellent results.This procedure is performed in the dental office and can be done quickly, usually in a little over an hour. In-office bleaching costs a little bit more, but the time that you save by having immediate results makes this option appealing for many.
- Teeth Whitening Trays and Gels-- Teeth whitening trays and gels are effective, but the desired results take longer to achieve than with in-office bleaching. Depending on the strength of peroxide in the gel, these clear trays are usually worn thirty minutes to a couple of hours a day (some are even worn overnight) and could take anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks before significant results are noticed. There are basically two types of teeth whitening trays and gels: Those purchased from our office and those purchased over-the-counter. They both whiten your teeth, but there are some differences.
- Teeth whitening kits from our office produce faster and more effective results because they contain a stronger peroxide-bleaching agent than whitening kits purchased over the counter. Another benefit of trays and gels from our office is that the trays are custom made and fit your teeth exactly. Over-the-counter trays are generic sized and could allow the bleaching agent to come into contact with your gums, causing irritation. Also, the over-the-counter materials may contain preservatives that can harm your teeth.
- Teeth Whitening Strips – Teeth whitening strips are popping up in every drug store across the nation. These whitening strips sold over-the-counter are fairly inexpensive, easy to use and most of them really work. Teeth whitening strips may take longer to produce the desired results depending on the strength of peroxide that they contain. They also may not whiten the teeth evenly because of the size of the strips.
- Teeth Whitening Toothpastes – Teeth whitening toothpastes contain mild abrasives to remove surface stains. Some whitening toothpastes may have additional polishing agents and special chemicals that are more effective against stains than regular toothpastes, but whitening toothpastes are not designed to actually "bleach" your teeth. Most people do not see an improvement with the toothpaste alone.
- Other Teeth Whitening Products – New teeth whitening products are always popping up including whitening chewing gum, dental floss and mouthwashes. While these products are relatively new, not much research has been done to prove or disprove the effectiveness of these whitening products. I have actually tried all three and I am sad to say that while they tasted good and made me feel clean, I didn’t see any whitening results.
Allison Watts DDS is a cosmetic and restorative dentist located in the Midland, Texas area. She was inspired to become a dentist because dentistry changed her life. Dr. Watts got into dentistry to change people’s lives by helping to heal their emotional pain and lack of self-confidence.
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