Few of us are lucky enough to have pearly white teeth into adulthood. Exposure to beverages like coffee and tea, as well as cigarette smoking, can eventually stain teeth and have a detrimental effect on your appearance. The fact is that a large majority of adults would prefer to have whiter teeth.
Teeth whitening has become a very popular cosmetic treatment because it is minimally invasive and relatively inexpensive. Even though tooth discoloration can return, most patients are gratified by quick results that can last for several months after treatment.
Even though your team at Image Dental & Orthodontics offers teeth whitening treatments, some patients wonder if they can achieve the same results at home with do-it-yourself whitening kits. So let's take a look at each option so that you can decide which one makes the most sense for you.
Our trained dental professionals provide safe and reliable whitening results at our office. The results that you can achieve here are almost always superior to commercially available whitening kits that have a similar mode of application. In addition to the advantage of our formal training, we use higher concentrations of active ingredients to achieve better results.
Before beginning to whiten your teeth, we will carefully clean any plaque or debris from your teeth. You may also need a complete dental exam to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy prior to treatment. Photos may be taken as a basis of comparison for the time after your teeth have been whitened.
Next, we use a cheek retractor to expose your teeth. Special materials will be applied to protect your gums during the whitening process. We then apply a special hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth. After the gel has been in contact with your teeth for up to 30 minutes, we will remove it and may apply more gel for a similar time period.
Other than reduced cost, the main advantage to at-home whitening is the convenience of performing the treatment on yourself without the requirement for a dentist appointment. Where at-home treatments are lacking is their lower hydrogen peroxide concentrations. This means that they cannot match professional whiteners in their ability to whiten teeth.
Besides the popular trays, other methods like brush-on applicators and strips can be used for teeth whitening at home. Other products like mouthwash, toothpaste, and chewing gum are also available. These treatments should be taken with a grain of salt. Although they can provide some noticeable whitening, it is usually short-lived and noticeably inferior when compared to the results achieved by professional teeth whitening performed at the dentist's office.
The bottom line is that you can save some money by whitening your teeth at home using various commercial methods. However, you will likely be disappointed in your results. Professional teeth whitening leads to superior results and a pearly white smile that simply lasts longer.