Most of us would love to have a whiter smile but there are so many teeth whitening options it can be hard to sort out the ones that work from the ones that don’t. Removing stains and whitening teeth can be achieved by either using something with a bleaching ingredient or something with an abrasive. Here are some tips to help figure out which approach is right for you.
Tip #1 Whitening strips vs. trays
Whitening strips bleach your teeth with chemicals like peroxide. They can be effective but they also can have the side effect or irritating your teeth and gums. Ask your dentist about custom whitening trays they may be better choice over strips. Trays avoid contact with your gums and can be less irritating.
Tip #2 Don’t Waste Money on Whitening Toothpaste
Brushing your teeth regularly is one of the best ways to avoid stains. However teeth whitening toothpastes are just not effective in removing them. Some have chemicals that can bleach your teeth but they aren’t on your teeth long enough to work. There are other types that are more abrasive that attempt to scrape away stains but they aren’t very effective either and can damage your teeth.
Tip #3 Don’t be tempted by “natural whitening remedies”
You can easily find people raving online about the wonders of natural teeth whitening remedies like hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice. They don’t work and worse the acid in them can corrode your teeth enamel.
Tip #4 Leave it to the professionals
Many stains are underneath the enamel and the only effective method to reach them is having a cosmetic dentist apply a special product. These products are safe and they deliver amazing, long lasting results.
At our office, two systems are used:
ZOOM: This technique is a teeth bleaching accomplished in the dentist’s chair. Lips and gums are protected, and the ZOOM gel is applied to the teeth. An overhead UV light is focused on the gel which activates the whitening agent that enter the enamel and dentin, bleaching the colored substances while leaving the structure of the teeth intact. The procedure involves three applications with a 15-minute wait time between each. Results can be dramatic.
Opalescence: This process is very similar except no light is used. The lips and gums are protected then the gel is applied to each tooth. Wait time is 20 minutes between applications rather than 15 but only two applications are required.
Regardless of the technique you elect, count on about an hour for the treatment. Be sure to ask about these two teeth whitening methods at your next appointment.