Your objective: a bright, white smile. However, which teeth whitening method is best for you? Our North York dentists discuss teeth whitening options and potential side effects.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses peroxide-based bleaching agents to lighten the colour of your teeth. As the active ingredient degrades, oxygen reacts with the tooth enamel, whitening it.
What are my options for teeth whitening?
Today, you have a variety of teeth whitening options. It can be challenging to choose the best one, as each has distinct advantages and can produce beneficial results. Each procedure, like any other, has some drawbacks.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The most effective teeth whitening procedures are those performed in a dental office by your dentist. This is because the whitening agents in your dentist's gel are significantly stronger and produce significantly better results than those found in over-the-counter whitening products.
Typically, the procedure takes about an hour. Your dentist will use a concentrated whitening solution to lighten the natural colour of your teeth and remove surface stains. This produces slightly more effective results than at-home whitening solutions, which typically take days or weeks to work.
At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening Trays
This take-home option would be supervised by your dentist. During an initial visit to your dentist, a dental impression will be created to make your whitening trays.
You will take the whitening trays home and apply the whitening gel on your own. You'll wear the whitening gel for 30 minutes to several hours per day for 1 to 3 weeks, depending on your dentist's recommendation.
The whitening solution will gradually remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour.
Whitening toothpaste works by removing surface stains and whitening your teeth slightly. Bear in mind, however, that whitening toothpaste will not affect the natural colour of your teeth and will be unable to remove stains that have penetrated beneath the tooth's surface.
Enamel strengthening toothpaste can help to defend your teeth from cavities and protect your enamel from further damage, which can prevent stains from developing in the first place.
These small plastic strips are coated with peroxide-based gel. When you apply the strip to your teeth, the peroxide coating removes surface stains, lightening the colour of your teeth.
Typically, you would apply whitening strips daily for a period of two to three weeks and leave them on for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Because these products contain a trace amount of peroxide, the effects are typically subtle.
Porcelain veneers are razor-thin strips of porcelain that are affixed to the fronts of your teeth to improve their colour, shape and symmetry.
If only one or a few of your teeth are discoloured, porcelain veneers may be a practical solution to even out the colour of your teeth.
How do I know which are the best teeth whitening products?
The best teeth whitening products for you will vary according to a variety of factors, including personal preference, available time in your schedule, and your budget. Consider searching online for teeth whitening reviews to get tips and ideas from others who have gone the professional and/or at-home route.