One of the most common smile makeover treatments is professional teeth whitening. Teeth whitening, also called teeth bleaching, is a cosmetic dental treatment used to lighten the shade of your teeth.

Teeth whitening is used to reverse tooth discolourations from aging, smoking, foods and acids that cause teeth to become discoloured over time. Teeth whitening focuses on brightening the exterior surface of teeth. It’s important to note that tooth discolouration, caused by internal staining, will require other cosmetic treatment options, such as dental veneers or dental crowns, because the discolouration is located internally or are a part of the tooth structure, where most teeth whitening options are not very effective. 

Trying to figure out which whitening option is best for your smile can be overwhelming and confusing. Here’s what you should know about various whitening treatment options. 

Over The Counter Teeth Whitening Options

While scanning the shelves of your local drugstore, you will find many products that advertise that they offer a whitening benefit. These products may be whitening kinds of toothpaste, mouthwash with whitening agents, and even chewing gum.

If you read through the ingredient list to find out the method in which they whiten your teeth, some will offer a very mild form of a whitening agent such as hydrogen peroxide, while others will contain slightly abrasive particles to cleanse off surface stains. It is vital to only choose whitening or oral care products which contain a seal of approval from the Canadian Dental Association. Some teeth whitening products may use harsh abrasives, permanently damaging or thin tooth enamel with continued use.

These products are typically inexpensive, require multiple applications and offer more modest whitening results.

A step up from whitening toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum is the drugstore teeth whitening strip option. While these teeth whitening strips can be applied at home, they typically contain a higher concentration of whitening agents, such as hydrogen peroxide.

These products may contain whitening strips or whitening gel that will be applied for a certain amount of time to your teeth. Be sure to follow the directions for the specific product you purchase closely. You may achieve better results from whitening strips than other teeth-whitening drugstore products. Teeth whitening strips are a moderately priced product that will offer moderate results over other whitening products. However, they will not work as fast, and the results may not be as long-lasting as professional teeth whitening products offered by your dental office. 

Professional Teeth Whitening 

The best results will always come from professional, in-office teeth whitening options. Because these treatments are administered by a trained dental professional, they are evenly applied to all tooth surfaces, which is not possible with whitening strips. Generic whitening strips cannot properly make contact with all surfaces of your teeth because they are a one size fits all option.

Before your professional teeth whitening treatment, your gums will have a protective barrier applied by your dental professional, and a high-strength whitening gel will be applied to your tooth surfaces. Depending on your dentist’s brand of teeth whitening, a UV light may also be used to accelerate the procedure. The whitening gel will enter into microscopic tubules in your enamel, brightening your teeth from the inside. Professional teeth whitening offers the quickest, best, and most long-lasting results of all options. 

Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity that goes away in a few days after professional teeth whitening. Your dentist may recommend temporarily switching to a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth a couple of weeks before and after your whitening treatment to minimize tooth sensitivity.

Please contact us today if you are interested in professional teeth whitening or have any questions about teeth whitening.

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