These days, brightening and whitening our teeth have become a popular cosmetic goal for many of us. Whitening treatments with your dentist and over-the-counter teeth whitening products are easy to use and can have a noticeable effect on your smile. But there are so many to choose from! In this article, we’ll discuss the four most popular teeth whitening options, so you understand a little more about them.
4 Types Of Teeth Whitening Products
Causes of extrinsic tooth discolouration
Some eating, drinking and lifestyle habits can affect the shade of your teeth over time. This type of external staining is called ‘extrinsic staining’ or discolouration. But it’s important to remember that our teeth simply get yellower as we get older. According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA), even a healthy diet will contribute to some teeth staining. However, coffee, tea and red wine are among the most common culprits. As the ADA states, smoking also causes staining and discolouration of teeth – due to nicotine and tar in cigarettes.
Thankfully, teeth whitening products can lift surface stains, and teeth whitening treatments with your dentist can have a noticeable result in very little time. Let’s take a closer look at the four different types of teeth whitening below.
1. Whitening toothpaste and rinses
You can easily swap your regular toothpaste and mouthwash for whitening toothpaste and mouth rinse. Whitening toothpaste can contain mild abrasives to gently remove stains on the surfaces of the teeth while brushing. There are now even whitening toothbrushes available to polish teeth without abrasion using special condensed bristles.
2. Whitening strips
Whitening strips are small plastic strips with a peroxide gel that you apply to your teeth. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, whitening strips can be used up to 30 minutes a day for up to two weeks for a noticeable whitening result.
3. Teeth whitening trays
Teeth whitening trays include one or more mouthguard-like trays with a gel-based whitening solution. You can buy teeth whitening trays or kits over the counter, or your dentist can create special trays for you to use with a professionally dispensed whitening product. If you choose the latter, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth, so the tray is custom-fitted for your mouth. Take-home trays have a lower concentration of peroxide than what is available from an in-clinic procedure. Just like whitening strips, teeth whitening trays may have to be used several days a week for up to two weeks for the best results.
4. In-clinic dental whitening treatment
In-clinic whitening treatments at your dentist’s surgery can have excellent results. First, your dentist will place a protective coating on the gum tissue and lips to protect them from the harsh whitening ingredients. Next, your dentist will apply the whitening gel and may shine an ultraviolet lamp onto the teeth to activate the treatment. This process uses a higher concentration of whitening ingredients than you’ll find in products at the shops or pharmacies. While in-clinic treatments cost more than over-the-counter products, the results are typically better and last longer.
Considerations before choosing whitening treatments
Teeth whitening results are not permanent and typically require touchups and further treatment to maintain whitening. As we continue to eat and drink acidic or dark-coloured foods and beverages, our teeth will accumulate surface stains.
Remember, it’s essential to have proper oral hygiene habits before any teeth whitening treatment. Take care of any cavities or gingivitis. Otherwise, you may experience unwanted side-effects from your whitening treatment. Speak with your dental professional before using any teeth whitening treatment to ensure you are using the safest product to achieve a whiter smile with the best possible results.
Although achieving a sparkling white smile is a great goal, keeping a healthy smile is of utmost importance. Besides, maintaining good oral hygiene will keep your smile looking brighter, longer. You could take advantage of over-the-counter whitening products which are cost-effective and easy to use. If you want greater longer-lasting results, a whitening treatment at your dentist’s surgery may be for you. There are many options, but as always, your dental professional can advise you on the best whitening treatment for you.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.