A beautiful smile starts with whiter teeth. Teeth whitening is a long-term investment that can take anywhere from one hour to one week or more to achieve the desired result. The time required depends on the strength of the solution used, your teeth’ sensitivity, and how often you drink coffee, wine, or smoke cigarettes. Even if you eventually stop using the treatments, you will still have whiter teeth for months afterward.
There are many ways to go about getting your teeth whitened and one is not better than another. Typically it is up to the dentist to determine what type of system should be used based on factors from the patient. There are at-home treatments as well as in-the-office treatments.
Home Teeth Whitening Treatments
Teeth whitening is a process that can be done at home or in the dentist’s office. It removes the stains from coffee, tea, and smoking to make teeth whiter. There are many products available for teeth whitening from over-the-counter to things that the dentist can prescribe from the office.
Some of the different methods use whitening strips. These are strips that you adhere to your teeth to improve their colouring. Usually, they are left on for a few minutes while you are getting ready in the morning.
Peroxide is the main ingredient in-home solutions. Which is typically carbamide peroxide to be exact. This is the active ingredient that is used to help whiten your teeth and comes in a 10%-20% solution.
There are some people that shouldn’t whiten their teeth at home. While most people are okay to do so, everyone really should take a minute to ask their dentist. If you have certain types of dental issues, you really need to take a minute to speak with your dentist before trying to whiten your teeth at home. These issues consist of:
- Lots of crowns or fillings
- A single dark tooth or very dark stains
- Dental Restorations
- Sensitive Teeth
It is recommended that you choose a product that has a middle range of peroxide to see how your teeth react. If you are doing well, you can move to a stronger solution, if you have some issues and are becoming too sensitive you can reduce the strength of the solution by using a different product.
Teeth whitening at home can be something as simple as toothpaste. Toothpaste today comes with a variety of different options but many will have peroxide included in the ingredients. There are over-the-counter whitening strips and gels. You can also get tray systems from the dentist that you can do at home as well.
It is important to note that if you do attempt to whiten your teeth at home that you do it according to the directions. While many people think leaving it on just a little bit longer will improve the results, instead, you could harm your teeth.
In Dental Office Whitening
In the dental office, whitening is the fastest and most safe way to whiten your teeth but it isn’t the best for everyone. It will depend on your sensitivity as people tend to have more sensitivity issues with office treatments because they can be a bit stronger. In-office treatments can take as little as an hour to whiten. Once done with treatment the teeth will whiten over the course of a few days.
After you have whitened your teeth you should avoid certain drinks and coloured foods to ensure that you don’t re-stain them. Give it a few hours at least to allow the pores of your teeth to close back up from the whitening ingredients.
Understanding your options is important, while sometimes an at-home whitening kit will work for you, it’s best to consult one of our dental professionals to provide you with the best solution for your teeth. After all, your smile is the first thing people see and we want yours to be stunning!