Taking steps to ensure your oral health and smile are always at their best takes effort. So many factors can play a role in how your teeth appear, including the type of food and beverages you consume, certain medications you may need to take, or whether or not you smoke. All of these can negatively affect your smile, creating minor or excessive tooth discoloration or staining.
When this happens, you may want to consider undergoing teeth whitening treatments to bring back a confident smile. Read on to find out the different types available and which one is the most effective.
What are the Different Types of Tooth Whitening Methods?
Searching for the tooth whitening method that will work best for you and achieve the results you seek, whether for an upcoming event or for a year-round smile, can be a challenge if you don’t know what is available. Essentially, there are two distinct categories of tooth whitening methods – over-the-counter and professional.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Methods
Today you can find a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products at your local drug store or retail chain store. The advantages to going with these methods include convenience and accessibility any time you desire to try them out.
The goal of many of these OTC products available today is to minimize the staining on your teeth with the use of safe, low-dosage ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or a carbamide peroxide. You can expect to find products in various forms, including whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes, whitening strips, and kits.
- Whitening Toothpastes and Mouthwashes: Common ingredients in whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes, in addition to the hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, are charcoal or baking soda, which serve as a mild abrasive to gently scrub surface stains away.
- Whitening Strips: Whitening strips are an easy-to-use option, potentially providing satisfactory results to users. You simply apply the strip to the surface of teeth, leave for a set amount of time, then remove.
- Whitening Kits: Whitening kits usually come with one-size-fits-all mouth trays, a whitening gel or paste, and maybe even a special brush and whitening strips. With this variety method, you will need to follow the directions that come with the kit exactly to see any results and keep teeth and gums safe.
Professional Teeth Whitening Methods
Undergoing professional teeth whitening supervised by your dentist is the second category. These treatment methods can be either in-office or take-home, depending on your needs and personal preferences.
- In-Office Method: Achieve fast results with in-office professional teeth whitening, often providing you with a noticeable difference in just one visit. A higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide is applied to your teeth and stays there for up to 30 minutes. Your dentist may use a specialized light to help speed up the process. It is possible that you will need to return for additional visits to achieve the level of whitening you desire, however.
- Take-Home Method: If you prefer a method you can use at home at your convenience, the professional take-home method is a good option. With this method, you will receive customized mouth trays, refrigerated gels, and directions for how and when to use them. You can expect to start seeing results within approximately 10-15 days.
In some instances, you may benefit from a combination of these two professional methods, so speak to your dentist about what will work best for you.
What is the Most Effective Teeth Whitening Method?
When looking for the most effective teeth whitening method, much will depend on the results you wish to achieve and the timeline you have available. Yet, one does rise above the others for quicker and more effective results.
Over-the-counter methods, including toothpastes and mouthwashes, can take several weeks before you notice any change at all, and then it will only be a slight change. As a result, the most effective and reliable teeth whitening methods today are ones provided by your dentist.
The various reasons for this include:
- Involves individualized treatments, catered to each patient’s specific needs and desired outcome
- Uses professional-strength, high-quality whitening gels
- Requires less time to achieve the results you are seeking
- Creates more even results across teeth
- Provides less risk and higher safety for your teeth and gums
- Achieves long-lasting results
Contact Lifetime Dental Health for All of Your Teeth Whitening Needs
The team at Lifetime Dental Health understands that our patients have different priorities and preferences when it comes to their teeth whitening needs. By providing patients with either in-office or take home methods, we strive to help you achieve the results you desire in the least amount of time possible. Find out more about our effective, professional teeth whitening methods and start brightening your smile today by contacting our dental office and scheduling a consultation