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There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve or restore a brighter and whiter smile. Over time, teeth can become more absorbent of food and drink stains. Aging also can result in duller and darker teeth coloration. Today, many people seek to reverse these effects of staining by using modern teeth whitening products. The best way to begin any teeth-whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to our doctors.
Advantages of Professional Whitening
While there are whitening kits and toothpastes available at the store that can provide some whitening, none can match the level of results you can achieve with professional whitening. With professional whitening:
- Professional strength that removes deep stains
- Custom trays made to fit your teeth to ensure even whitening
- Results that are achieved more quickly
Teeth whitening can lessen or eliminate the discolorations from common sources:
- Eating and drinking stain-causing foods
- Stains caused by prescription drug treatment
- Spots caused by fluorosis, the effect from excessive fluoride intake during tooth development
Types of Whitening Treatments
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening system that is only available through a dental office. We create custom-made trays and send you home with whitening gel that is only available through our dental office. The whitening gel is placed in your custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. You will be advised on a recommended length of time to wear the gel-filled trays. This process whitens all of your natural teeth. The gel contains ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes 10 to 14 days to see maximum results, although you may notice results in as little as 3 to 5 days. Periodic treatments will help maintain your beautiful bright smile.
Professional and Home Paint-On Teeth Whiteners
Of the many readily accessible teeth whitening options, one type of product is commonly referred to as a “paint-on” teeth whitener. A professional version can be applied in our office, or home versions of these whiteners can be purchased over-the-counter. The home versions are generally less expensive but also less effective than whitening strips or professional options. Both professional and home versions of paint-on teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. Paint-on whitening gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth-whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use.
Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The whitening agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth-whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.
Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash
The least expensive options are whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, toothpastes and mouthwashes work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives. However, unlike the materials used in professional whitening procedures, these products do not lighten the actual color shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will mildly lighten your teeth.
Our practice in Leander, TX offers many options for you to achieve the smile of your dreams. If you'd like to discuss which teeth whitening options are right for you, schedule your appointment with Leander Dental Care today.