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Do Your Pearly Whites Look Pearly White?

Posted on December 8th, 2015 by

Noticing stains on your teeth when you look in the mirror? There are numerous products and systems available to patients to whiten teeth. These include over-the-counter gels, toothpastes, whitening strips and trays, as well as teeth whitening treatments from your dentist.

While whitening is a relatively common and simple procedure for essentially any patient, it is ideal for those that the patient has healthy gums and teeth. Let’s look at the various approaches that are available:

Whitening toothpastes do not contain a bleaching agent and are mildly abrasive, only attacking surface stains. Deeper dentin stains will not be affected by whitening toothpastes. The best you can expect is to lighten the teeth by one shade, while in-house treatments provided by your dentist can lighten your teeth up to eight shades (more on that later!).

Strips and gels are available over the counter in most drug and convenience stores, and are applied to the surface of teeth for 15 to 20 minutes. Strips also contain hydrogen peroxide, but the results are limited to one or two shades and the results last around three to four months.

Tray-based teeth whitening systems are one of the more effective methods, especially when the procedure is carried out by a dentist. This approach uses a tray filled with a whitening solution. Over-the-counter tray whitening requires wearing the gel loaded tray for a couple of hours every day for at least a month or longer. The main issue with trays is that over-the-counter products are “one size fits all,” so patients will not get the most out of the treatment.

In-office teeth whitening is by far the best and the fastest. When the process is carried out by a dentist, a strong whitening compound is applied directly to the surface of the teeth. Once the teeth are coated they are exposed to a special light or a laser with almost instant results; within 30 minutes the teeth are noticeably whiter. It may require several appointments but when the dentist is finished the results are dramatic — teeth can be lightened by eight shades and the results last considerably longer.

When you have your teeth whitened professionally you can expect whiter, brighter teeth that will stay that way much longer.

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