Whiter Teeth: What Are Your Options?

25 March 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Whiter teeth are an aspiration for many people, and their motivations are similarly diverse. There are several ways that a person can go about enhancing the whiteness of their teeth, though results will vary depending on the active whitening agent, the individual and the duration of the treatment. In order to effectively choose, make sure you know what you're getting into and what kind of results you can expect from the whitening systems available to you.

Over the Counter Whitening Systems

They come in all shapes and sizes, from toothpastes with whitening agents to trays with whitening gels, but most of the teeth whitening systems sold in your local drug store are relatively similar. Of these, the most effective are gels or strips, which are intended to be used thirty minutes a day, for two weeks. Manufacturers suggest that results will become apparent in just a few days, and the final result will last for up to four months.

The problem cited with many other over the counter whitening agents is the short duration they're in contact with your teeth. Rinses and pastes have contact with your teeth for just a few minutes each day, but their convenience makes them seem like a better choice. Bear in mind that the results will be limited in both effect, duration, and the time it takes to achieve said results.

Professional In-Office Whitening

There is a great deal that sets professional whitening procedures apart from those available over the counter. The most telling difference is the active agents, which are up to fourteen times more effective than a commercially available product. This means that results will be visible immediately after just one treatment, but final results will require multiple appointments to achieve.

The other major benefit of professional whitening has to do with the initial evaluation, which allows your dentist to determine just how much of a change can be achieved without compromising your teeth. Hydrogen peroxide, the active whitening agent in most systems, can be damaging to tooth enamel, which is reason enough for your dentist to use caution when performing the procedure on anyone. If your dentist at a place like Willowdaile Family Dentistry decides that whitening procedures aren't a good idea they can provide you with alternative options for restoring your smile.

While over the counter whitening systems are often less expensive, the best results can only be achieved with professional grade procedures. Remember though, what you eat and drink will directly affect how long your teeth stay that way, regardless of which approach you choose.