In our selfie-crazed, photo-sharing world, it’s not a surprise the Indian Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports that teeth whitening is the most commonly requested cosmetic dental procedure.
Types of Teeth Whitening
Trends making their way in and out of social media and commercials show us just how easy a variety of over-the-counter products can be. But there are there are many other options as well. We will briefly outline several options here to help you know what to discuss with your dentist at your next visit.
(Please note that overuse of any of these over-the-counter products can result in tooth sensitivity, pain, and/or discolouration.
1. Teeth Whitening at Home - Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpastes use a variety of techniques to lighten your teeth. Baking soda, abrasives or chemicals are used to polish the teeth and/or give effective appearance that removes surface stains from teeth.
Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when considering teeth whitening toothpaste.
Timeline: They can take several weeks of use to see results.
2. Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits
Teeth whitening kits can include strips, trays and/or brushes that allow you to put a substance on your teeth for a more extended period of time than toothpaste.
These kits usually contain peroxide which bleaches your teeth to reach stains deeper than surface stains. Again, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when considering over the counter teeth whitening solutions.
Timeline: They take about one to two weeks to see results when used daily for a few hours.
3. Natural Remedies
Natural remedies for teeth whitening include everything from eating healthier, jumping on board a current trend, avoiding teeth staining foods and/or sugar acidic drinks. If you smoke or use tobacco, those are your biggest culprits, so give those up for brighter teeth.
Abrasives such as baking soda or charcoal, or rinsing agents like coconut oilcan have benefits, but they are really simply creating a habit of brushing and rinsing your mouth on a daily basis.
The habits of brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash daily, chewing sugar-free gum and seeing your dentist twice a year results in overall good oral care.
Timeline: your life time Cost: varies greatly
4. Teeth Whitening At The Dentist
There are lots of teeth whitening options available only at a dentist's office. Depending on your specific goals and needs, your dentist can recommend the options best for you. Options can include take home kits as well as in-office professional teeth whitening treatments, which can be done over a series of visits, or in one.Having teeth whitening done professionally means there won’t be gaps in the coverage area (typical of whitening strips), nor will they be over bleached or cause damage to your gums (which can happen with in-home self-treatments).
a) Take Home Kits
Many dentists provide take home teeth whitening options.
Options may include a ready-made kit or custom made trays with bleach. While some of these resemble the over-the-counter whitening kits, they typically contain a more concentrated level of bleach.
Timeline: Varies depending upon strength of bleaching agent, but generally one to two weeks.
b) Zoom Teeth Whitening
This procedure is only available at dental offices and uses a 25% hydrogen peroxide gel in conjunction with a special lamp to whiten your teeth.Timeline: The procedure takes about 45 minutes and results are immediate
Another option only available at dental offices, Boost uses a hydrogen peroxide based power bleaching gel for removing stains with no special light required.Timeline: Expect to spend one to two hours in the chair; results will be immediate
Some stains will not respond to the traditional bleaching methods; in these cases, veneers could be an option to beautify your smile.
Timeline: Multiple visits will be required with final product delivered within two to three weeks Clearly the options are numerous if you’re interested in teeth whitening.