Patients often ask about teeth whitening options and how they can get white smile. While having whiter teeth does not mean better oral health, it does increase confidence levels for some. Here are some common teeth whitening options to consider.
Teeth whitening methods:
Whitening toothpaste: Whitening toothpaste is usually more abrasive than regular toothpaste. The abrasive quality helps with removing surface stains. However, it does not produce the drastic teeth whitening results some patients want. As well, they are not recommended for long term use due to their abrasive quality.
Whitening mouthwash: Mouthwashes are swished in the mouth for a short amount of time. As a result, the mouthwash does not make contact with the teeth for a long enough of a time to make a big impact when whitening teeth. Mouthwash may be able to lighten surface stains and lower the chance of new stains forming.
Over the counter whitening strips: These whitening strips are available at most drugstores. These whitening strips produce decent whitening results for most patients.
Professional take-home whitening trays: Professional take-home solutions are more economical than in-office whitening options. However, they also produce excellent results. Custom trays are made to properly fit the teeth, unlike over the counter options.
In-office teeth whitening: This whitening option produces immediate results in a short time. Treatment usually lasts an hour to an hour and a half. A special light along with whitening agent may be used.
Reasons why whitening may not be for you:
Sensitive teeth: Some patients may find it difficult to whiten their teeth due to tooth sensitivity. Using a toothpaste designed to help with sensitivity a few weeks before your whitening appointment can help to reduce the effects of sensitive teeth. Avoiding acidic foods will also help prior to, and after whitening your teeth.
Dental restorations do not whiten: Unlike your natural teeth which can be whitened, dental restorations will not change colour by using whitening options.
Dental recession: When the gum recedes or shrinks away from the tooth, it leaves exposed tooth roots. These roots are naturally darker than the enamel-covered part of the teeth. The roots remain unchanged when whitening the rest of the tooth.
Whitening results vary with each patient. As well, how long your whitening results last are dependent on your habits. Habits such as smoking or drinking beverages that stain teeth easily will leave stains quickly. If you are interested in whitening your teeth, contact us now to schedule your visit or ask us any questions.
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