For most people, looking your best means having teeth that are healthy, attractive and white. Stained or discolored teeth are often associated with being unhealthy or old. If you have already taken care of the health of your teeth by regularly brushing and flossing, and staying current with your dental exam and cleaning appointments, you might want to consider a professional teeth whitening treatment to add some sparkle to your teeth and smile.
Before looking at professional teeth whitening, let’s examine at-home whitening treatments. Many drugstores and department stores carry whitening treatments that may come in the form of:
- Whitening trays
- Whitening toothpaste
- Whitening strips
What you need to know about at-home whitening treatments is that they tend to provide results that are disappointing. Many of them are completely ineffective, while others cause extreme tooth sensitivity that can last for days.
Over-the-counter whitening products normally contain a very low concentration of whitening agents. Unlike professionals-strength products, this usually leads to poor results.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Your dentist provides professional teeth whitening services that utilize products containing a high concentration of a whitening agent, typically some form of peroxide.
An in-office treatment would involve the application of a whitening gel to the teeth, which is left on for a specific amount of time, depending upon the shade that the patient desires.
Professional whitening treatments also often involve the use of a special lamp that makes the process even more effective.
Many dentists also offer another type of teeth whitening that involves the creation of custom-made trays for the patient. The patient will take the trays home and fill them with a whitening gel, leaving them on for a specific amount of time to reach their desired level of whiteness.
Although custom trays are available, most dentists recommend that patients receive an in-office professional teeth whitening treatment. One reason is that your dental team can provide professional supervision while your teeth are being whitened. This ensures that your sensitive gum tissue does not come into contact with the harsh whitening agent. As a result, you are less likely to experience post-treatment tooth sensitivity.
Your Teeth Whitening Treatment