With a wide variety of options for teeth whitening available, it's no wonder that many people are confused about which way is best. From home whitening kits to professional treatments, there are plenty of products and services out there promising to brighten your smile.
However, choosing the wrong one could cause damage to your teeth and gums. A trusted dentist like
Sunshine Dental, Inc can help you achieve great results while keeping your teeth healthy. Let's take a look at the most common tooth whitening methods to help you decide what's best for you.
1. Home Whitening Kits
Almost all pharmacists and supermarkets sell at-home tooth whitening products, and you may also find them for sale in some dental clinics. Most of these are kinds of toothpaste that claim to whiten your teeth or plastic strips that you apply to the surface of your teeth. These products can be tempting for shoppers on a budget because they are affordable and often make big claims about their effectiveness.
However, the only ingredients that have proven tooth whitening abilities are illegal to sell in stores. This means that, although they are most likely harmless, over the counter whitening kits and toothpastes are ineffective. You might see results from tooth whitening strips initially because they cause your teeth to dehydrate while you sit with your mouth open which makes them temporarily look whiter. However, they will return to their usual color in a few hours.
2. Unlicensed kiosks and salons
You may have seen shopping mall kiosks or beauty salons offering cheap tooth whitening treatments. However, unless these treatments are applied by a licensed dentist, they are operating illegally and may well be using unsafe and unregulated products. So, you risk damaging your teeth or gums if you have your teeth whitened by an unlicensed practitioner.
3. Tooth whitening by a licensed dentist
The only way to effectively and safely whiten your teeth is to have the procedure done by a licensed dentist. Dentists are the only practitioners authorized to whiten teeth using carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, which are the only ingredients clinically proven to effectively change the color of your tooth enamel. You can choose between various treatment options depending on how much time and money you have available. These include:
• Custom-made whitening trays
Tooth whitening trays can be custom-made to fit your teeth perfectly and contain a whitening agent. You will need to place them over your teeth for several hours. Your dentist will advise you on the overall time depending on the level of whiteness you want to achieve.
• Standard tooth whitening trays
Generic tooth whitening trays work in a similar way to custom-made ones but are not designed to fit your unique teeth. This means that they may not work quite as well. However, they are somewhat cheaper and you should still see good results.
• Laser tooth whitening
Laser tooth whitening involves a dentist applying whitening chemicals to your teeth and activating them with a UV laser to speed up the process. This usually takes around an hour and you will see instant results. However, the whiteness doesn't usually last as long, so most dentists will use this treatment alongside whitening trays.
The Bottom Line
Although there are many cheap options for whitening your teeth, most are ineffective or could cause damage to your teeth if carried out by an unlicensed practitioner. The only safe and proven way to whiten your teeth is to have them treated by a licensed dentist.