Your teeth can become stained or discolored due to various factors with time. Teeth whitening or bleaching is a popular solution for eliminating teeth stains and brightening your smile.
While teeth whitening is effective and safe, it can be dangerous if performed using the wrong whitening technique or products. Consequences of using improper teeth whitening include:
Some of these side effects are permanent. If your tooth’s enamel is damaged, you can’t restore it. It can even worsen your risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss, causing complex treatments. You should consult with your dentist about safe teeth whitening treatments.
Professional Teeth Whitening
The dentist offers professional teeth whitening. In this case, you have options: in-office teeth whitening and at-home whitening kits.
The dentist performs in-office whitening in their office. This option is typically the safest, quickest, long-lasting, and most effective way to whiten your smile. The dentist begins by cleaning and polishing the teeth to remove tartar and plaque deposits. Next, a bleaching agent with hydrogen or carbamide peroxide applies to the stained teeth.
A special light or laser activates the treatment. Once the bleaching part is complete, the dentist will clean and rinse your mouth thoroughly, and you will be ready to go home. With in-office teeth whitening, the results are instant. You may need to go for a second whitening procedure in rare cases.
Your dentist will create customized whitening trays with at-home whitening kits and give you a whitening gel. The trays with the gel should be worn every day for a few hours. While effective, the results aren’t as immediate as with in-office whitening. Contact our dentist for professional teeth whitening in South Hadley, MA.
Teeth Whitening at Home
If, for any reason, you don’t want to go with professional teeth whitening, you can still whiten your teeth safely at home using over-the-counter whitening products. The key factor here is strictly using approved whitening products and following the manufacturer’s instructions. Your options include:
Whitening toothpaste contains mild abrasives and can help remove teeth stains. Unfortunately, toothpaste only removes surface stains and is recommended for minor teeth stains. For best results, you should ask your dentist for a prescription for whitening toothpaste.
Whitening strips are thin and virtually invisible strips coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. Whitening gels are clear peroxide-based whitening gels applied directly to the teeth’ surfaces using a small brush. You should see results in a few days to four months.
Whitening mouth rinses contain a low concentration of bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide and can help whiten teeth. You swish them in your mouth for about 60 seconds twice daily before brushing your teeth (follow the manufacturer’s instructions). Unlike other whitening products, mouth rinses aren’t as effective and may take longer to show results.
Tray-based whitening systems involve filling a mouth guard-like tray with a whitening gel with bleaching effects. The tray should be worn daily for a few hours for several weeks.
Some people whiten their teeth with home remedies such as baking soda and oil pulling. However, while the procedure entails using natural remedies that seem safe, these remedies aren’t scientifically proven to be safe or effective in removing teeth stains. If possible, stay away from natural whitening products or techniques such as:
You’ll notice that most of these products are highly acidic, corrosive, and abrasive, which can cause side effects such as enamel erosion and gum irritation.
After whitening your teeth, maintaining good oral hygiene and habits is essential to keep your teeth looking as white as possible. Contact South Hadley Dental Group today for more information about teeth whitening procedures and aftercare.