Luckily for us, teeth whitening technology is faster, safer, and more effective than ever. Better still, there’s a wide variety of whitening options available in stores. If you have a special occasion coming up, an instant teeth-whitening treatment at the dentist could be your best solution. But if you have a little time, an over-the-counter option might be more suitable. Let’s take a look at what’s available in the world of whitening.
Instant Teeth Whitening Treatments With Your Dental Professional
Professional whitening treatments are the real deal. Your dental professional can recommend a whitening treatment specific to your teeth, including creating an imprint of your teeth for a custom whitening tray or providing an in-surgery whitening treatment. The Australian Dental Association says your dentist may use ultraviolet light or laser-activated teeth bleaching to enhance your in-chair treatment, which gives immediate results. After this treatment, dental professionals will often recommend follow-up whitening trays, to use at home.
As you can see, there are various options with in-surgery whitening, but here’s how a professional treatment typically works:
- Your dentist applies a gel to your gums to protect them from the bleaching agent.
- They use a bleaching agent – concentrated hydrogen peroxide – on your eight front teeth.
- Your dentist shines a special light on your teeth to enhance the whitening effect.
- Within one hour, your teeth can appear several shades brighter.
After your professional whitening treatment, you’ll probably be feeling a lot happier about the colour of your smile. Although, you may want to continue with a professional-strength whitening tray at home or try an over-the-counter product to maintain your new-found sparkling smile.
At-Home Whitening Kits
You can also ask your dental professional for a professional at-home treatment. At-home treatments may take longer than the immediate in-surgery treatments, but you can’t beat the convenience and comfort. Your dental professional will send you home with trays accompanied by a whitening gel at the appropriate strength for you. You’ll need to wear these trays for a set time in the evenings, for example, while watching TV or reading. You may have to wear these trays for two to four weeks, depending on your dental professional’s recommendations. These whitening kits can give fantastic results, though, so they are worth the effort.
There are over-the-counter whitening gel trays available in stores, too but the assistance of a dental professional through this process is very valuable.
How Teeth Whitening Toothpaste Works
Whitening toothpaste is an excellent option to safely whiten your teeth while maintaining your regular oral care routine. Whitening toothpaste is formulated with up to three per cent hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth. These over-the-counter toothpastes typically take four weeks of daily use to see a noticeable difference in shade. Whitening toothpaste is a win-win! Not only does it protect against cavities, like other toothpaste types, but it also helps maintain in-surgery whitening treatments.
How to Use Portable Toothbrushes for Surface Stains
Today, there are even teeth-whitening products you can carry with you on-the-go! Portable toothbrushes are small and don’t require water or rinsing - so you can use them anywhere. These handy little brushes can take care of surface stains before they set in, such as after eating or drinking berries, red wine or coffee.
Portable Whitening Pens
Whitening pens are a new, accessible, portable method for teeth whitening. Just like toothbrushes, whitening pens are easy travellers. These clever pens contain hydrogen peroxide gel/film you paint on after brushing. The gel/film dries quickly and can be applied anywhere – no need to wait for a free evening at home, as you do with the gel trays.
Other Teeth Whitening Tips
According to the Australian Dental Association, teeth whitening will be more successful if you follow these tips:
- Keep up with dentist appointments for regular professional dental plans and to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy
- Remember that teeth whitening solutions will not whiten crowns or fillings
- Avoid staining foods and drinks like berries, coffee, red wine, and tea during and after the whitening treatment
- Avoid tobacco products
If you feel that an affordable, over-the-counter option is more suitable for you, have a chat with your dental professional. There are loads of options available, but a professional can help advise you of the best whitening options for your smile.