Getting your teeth whitened is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to make an improvement in your appearance without spending exorbitant amounts of money. Brightening yellowed, dingy teeth can make you look years younger. There are several ways you can have you have the procedure done. You can do it yourself with an over-the-counter teeth whitening kit, you can get a professional kit from your dentist, or you can have it done by your dentist.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits
There are several types of kits. Some are strips that you put on your teeth to whiten them and others come with plastic trays in which you put a gel. Next, you cover your teeth with the plastic trays and wait for the gel to do its work. There are also kits that have bleaching agents that you paint on your teeth. All these teeth whitening methods use a type of bleach and they work over a period of time. Sometimes they can cause your teeth to be sensitive. When using the OTC kits, be sure to protect your gums from the bleaching agent.
Some types of toothpaste also whiten teeth. These methods basically remove surface stains on the teeth. They do not bleach teeth or affect stains deeper than the surface
Professional Teeth Whitening
When your dentist whitens your teeth, results can be seen by the end of your visit. A high-quality bleaching agent is used to bleach out stains on the surface of the teeth and deeper within the tooth as well. This gives your teeth a brilliant translucent glow. The gums are protected using a product formulated to keep them from being irritated during the bleaching process.
The Secret Sauce of Teeth Whitening
Most teeth whitening agents use carbamide or hydrogen peroxide for the whitening process. Over the counter kits will stay within the dosage range recommended by the ADA which is no more than 10%. Most teeth whitening strips contain about 6% peroxide while some professional gels for at-home use will contain about 22% peroxide.
When you get your teeth professionally whitened, the peroxide level may be as high as 35%. This can only be left on your teeth for a certain amount of time, usually less than an hour. Be advised that sometimes teeth whitening does not give the expected or desired results no matter what method is used.
If you are thinking about teeth whitening, contact us at Porter Dental. Make an appointment for a consultation and we can discuss your options. Call us today for all your dental needs.