Are you looking for a whiter smile? You’ve got two options – professional teeth bleaching done by a dentist, or at-home solutions. Nashville Aesthetic Dentistry – Dennis J. Wells, DDS – Dr. Dennis Wells in Brentwood, TN can answer your questions. Each option has its pros and cons, but at-home tooth-bleaching kits can be a bit tricky, so be sure to speak with your dentist before going this route. Good results are not guaranteed, and bleaching will not whiten porcelain crowns or composite tooth-colored bondings, so results can be patchy. Professional Tooth Whitening Whitening performed by your dentist can usually make your teeth brighter more quickly. The bleaching solution used by dentists is usually much stronger than at-home kits. Also, your dentist may use heat or light to speed up and intensify the whitening process.
The most dramatic results — teeth generally get three to eight shades brighter — usually take several 30- to 60-minute in-office visits. Some dentists use procedures that can even be done in a single 2-hour appointment. The cost of professional tooth whitening can range from $500 to $1,000.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
While there are many choices for whitening your teeth at home, the most common include:
Teeth whitening gels. Gels are applied onto your teeth with a brush or can be attached with a thin strip. These are peroxide bleaching solutions that need to be applied once or twice a day for 10 to 14 days. Your tooth results can last four or more months, and these products may cost between $10 to $55.
Teeth bleaching systems. These solutions use a mouthguard-like tray that is filled with a peroxide-based bleaching gel. It is then placed over the teeth and held for one to several hours a day for up to four weeks. You can buy these tray-based teeth whitening products over the counter or have one custom-fitted by your dentist. The cost can range from $150 to $600.
Teeth whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste contains chemicals or polishing agents that help scrub stains from teeth, without the addition of a bleaching agent. Tooth-whitening toothpaste is relatively inexpensive and brightens teeth by about one shade.
Keeping Your Teeth White
Whether you end up choosing an at-home teeth-whitening system or you decide to get them bleached by your dentist, make sure to maintain the results through brushing and flossing daily. Also, avoid foods and beverages such as:
Black tea, coffee
Teeth Whitening: Why You Should Talk to Your Dentist
Teeth bleaching can make teeth sensitive — or be painful for people with sensitive teeth. When used incorrectly, home kits can also lead to burned — even temporarily bleached — gums.
It works best for people with yellow teeth and is less effective for people with brown or gray teeth. Overall, teeth whitening is worth the time and money, but talk to your dentist before you use an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit and review all options before purchasing.
Contact Nashville Aesthetic Dentistry – Dennis J. Wells, DDS – Dr. Dennis Wells to help you decide.