Improving Your Dental Care

Three Levels Of Teeth Whitening Treatments

Without teeth whitening treatments, having white teeth would be practically impossible to achieve. So many things can stain teeth, including coffee, tomato-based sauces, berries, and red wine, to name just a few. With so many nutritious and delicious foods and drinks causing staining, the diet modifications needed to prevent staining wouldn't even be healthy. Luckily, teeth whitening treatments can undo the stains these foods create. If you are new to the world of teeth whitening, this article covers the three levels of teeth whitening treatments on the market right now.

Over-The-Counter Treatments

You can find over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments in almost every supermarket and pharmacy. These treatments include mouthwash, toothpaste, whitening strips, and whitening trays. Generally speaking, mouthwash and toothpaste treatments work more gradually than whitening strips and whitening trays because their whitening agents don't sit on the teeth for as long. Whitening strips take longer to work than whitening trays, and with both strips and trays, following the directions on the packages is essential. Almost all of these products use hydrogen peroxide as a whitening agent, which is known for causing gum irritation, especially if the products are used incorrectly.  

Dentist-Supported Treatments

The next step up in teeth whitening treatments is to get a custom-made whitening tray from your dentist. Unlike over-the-counter teeth whitening trays, these trays are custom-fit to your teeth. This greatly reduces the risk of gum irritation during intensive teeth whitening treatments. Your dentist may recommend an over-the-counter whitening product to use with your tray, or they may prescribe a higher-strength teeth whitening product. Either way, this option is relatively inexpensive and convenient, and it makes at-home whitening less risky for patients with gum sensitivity concerns.

In-Office Treatments

If you want almost instantaneous results from your teeth whitening treatment, then an in-office treatment may be your best option. In-office teeth whitening treatments are generally faster than at-home treatments because dentists have access to higher-quality whitening products than the average person does. These products include high-potency whitening gels, UV lighting systems, and desensitizing rinses that protect against tooth and gum sensitivity post-treatment. The high-potency gels available to dentists are typically thicker than over-the-counter versions, allowing them to remain perfectly in place throughout the treatment to protect the gums. The UV lights speed up the whitening treatment for quick results. Overall, getting an in-office teeth whitening treatment is safe, effective, and fast. Typical treatments only take an hour.

To learn more about teeth whitening treatments, contact a dentist in your area.