It is normal for teeth to yellow or become stained over time, but teeth whitening can return a smile to its original brightness. The American Association of Orthodontics reports that more than 30% of Americans are unhappy with their smile. Getting teeth whitened is a simple, easy process that can help anyone regain confidence in…
Types of Teeth Whitening
Showing off your pearly whites is less appealing when your teeth are a few shades darker than you prefer. Many people turn to teeth whitening products because, with time, teeth begin to turn yellow due to thinning of the enamel and the consumption of acidic foods and beverages. Smoking or using tobacco products can also lead to stained or discolored teeth, as well as a lifetime of drinking coffee, wine or other dark-colored liquids. Since the smile is the first thing people tend to notice about appearance, you do not have to live with embarrassment over how yours looks. Here are several tooth whitening options for those of you who would like to see a brighter smile when you check your reflection.
Tooth whitening options
Several tooth-whitening products use peroxide to bleach the tooth enamel. The strength of the whitener depends on the percentage of peroxide utilized in the product. Before initiating a tooth whitening process, speak with your dentist to discuss whether your teeth and gums are healthy enough to withstand the whitening procedure. Your oral health care provider can help you determine which teeth whitening alternative is suited for you.
Teeth whitening procedures at a dental office can provide patients with exemplary results. The procedure takes approximately one hour and is costly. Unlike over-the-counter teeth whitening products, in-office bleaching delivers rapid results. If you need a bright smile quickly, this may be the right teeth whitening method for you.
Trays and gels
Teeth whitening gels and trays yield impressive results but take longer to achieve them than in-office bleaching. While exact instructions vary, many trays are worn overnight or for several hours daily. The impact of the gel could take between three days and several weeks, depending upon the strength of the peroxide formula used.
You can purchase the tray and gel teeth whitening products over-the-counter, or procure them from your dentist. Typically those from a dental office deliver better results more quickly than those purchased from a drugstore. Trays from an oral health care professional are also more comfortable to wear for long periods of time as they are custom-made to fit each individual's mouth. Over-the-counter whitening trays are one-size-fits-all and could therefore allow the gel to touch your gums, causing soreness or discomfort.
Teeth-whitening strips are available in drugstores everywhere. They are strips coated in a tooth-whitening solution that adhere to your teeth. This is a relatively cheap alternative that provides favorable outcomes. The drawback to whitening strips is that they can take longer to provide the preferred results if they have a lower-strength peroxide formula.
Special teeth whitening kinds of toothpaste have been created to provide a simple solution to tooth staining. These products provide some whitening effects without requiring any additional effort from the individual desiring a brighter smile. Many kinds of whitening toothpaste contain gentle abrasives in addition to chemicals that work to remove surface stains from teeth. However, they are not designed to bleach teeth like some of the more potent teeth whitening products on the market.
How long does it take until you see results from a whitening procedure?
When handled by a dental professional, you will see results before leaving the appointment. Over-the-counter products do not have the same clinical strength as professional formulas, ofter requiring multiple applications to achieve the desired coloring. Using a whitening toothpaste often takes the longest to see remarkable results.
How long do bleaching results last?
The longevity of the whitening depends on your oral hygiene and lifestyle. A professional treatment could last between one to three years with good brushing and flossing habits, as well as being conscious of things like smoking or continually drinking wine or coffee.
Is it safe to eat or drink after having a whitening treatment done?
The whitening process leaves the teeth porous, which makes them susceptible to staining more easily. It is best to avoid acid foods or liquids or anything with strong, deep colors for at least 48 hours after whitening is done.
There are numerous teeth whitening products available to anyone who feels that their smile could benefit from them. Whether you choose to try a whitening product in the privacy of your home or you look for a customized solution from a dental provider, there is a solution for stained or discolored teeth. It is always wise to speak with your dentist before deciding which will work well for you, as some options have more reliable, lasting results.
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