How Do You Whiten Teeth?

Even patients who follow best practices for oral health maintenance may struggle to maintain a bright white smile. Due to a variety of factors, including medications, aging, or certain foods and beverages, it is not uncommon for patients to develop teeth staining. Patients who are experiencing yellowing or discoloration of their teeth may be good candidates for teeth whitening dayton oh. If you are considering teeth whitening, there are a variety of whitening methods available, ranging from simple at-home solutions, like whitening toothpastes or whitening gels or whitening procedures performed in the office, such as light-activated whitening.

Whitening Techniques

There are two different types of whitening techniques: bleaching or non-bleaching. Bleaching procedures are designed to remove surface and deep stains, and will change the natural color of your teeth, resulting in a smile that is significantly brighter. The average concentration level of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (the active ingredient) is around 10-22%. While there are several different bleach whitening techniques, the most effective (and expensive) approach is a chairside bleaching that is performed by your dentist or periodontist. Although the cost may be prohibitive (chairside bleaching’s typically cost around $500+) the results are much more noticeable.

Another option is to have a custom mouthpiece designed for in-home bleaching. This process typically costs around $300 and requires wearing mouthpieces while sleeping (or for several hours) for approximately two weeks. If after you have completed this treatment you notice staining forming again, you can simply wear the trays until the stains have disappeared.

There are also several over-the-counter options, such as whitening strips, whitening gels, and boil and bite trays. Although not as effective as the other methods, these products are significantly more affordable, averaging a cost of between $10-$45.

Non-bleaching teeth whitening procedures remove surface stains through chemical and/or physical action. For example, whitening toothpastes have special polishing agents or chemicals that assist with the removal of stains. As you consider teeth whitening options, it is important to remember that every patient will respond differently to different types of treatments. Some patients may have tremendous success with whitening gels or toothpastes, whereas patients whose discoloration is more serious may require bonding or porcelain veneers to achieve the look they desire.

Is Teeth Whitening Right for Me?

As you are determining which teeth whitening treatment option is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has your dentist suggested or confirmed that you are a good candidate for teeth whitening? Not every patient is a good candidate for teeth whitening procedures, and some patients may be better suited to other treatment methods. Talk to your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate, and if so, what treatment they recommend based on your dental history and treatment goals.
  • Is the cost of having treatment prohibitive?Because this is a cosmetic procedure, teeth whitening will generally not be covered by insurance. Make sure you are aware of the costs involved and that the procedure is not cost prohibitive.
  • Given your personal goals, is at-home bleaching or professional in-office bleaching the best choice for you? As detailed previously, there are a range of benefits and drawbacks to different teeth whitening treatment options. Make sure you do research and talk to your dentist or periodontist about which treatment option they feel is right for you.

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