Over time, with consuming certain foods and beverages, your bright white smile can become dingy and yellowed. To help bring back some of that brilliance, there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve your smile.
Some people try whitening at home, using a number of the many available products sold in stores – while others opt for a professional whitening at their dentist’s office. Let’s compare the two options, so you can choose what’s best for you and your lifestyle.
Ways to Whiten Teeth
Whether you do it yourself or have it done by your dentist, you want to ensure that you’re using proper methods for whitening your teeth. There are two main ways to whiten your teeth.
The first option is a bleaching agent. Using a bleaching agent brightens the color of your teeth by removing stains on the surface as well as discoloration that is deeper into the tooth.
The second option comprises non-bleaching products that only remove surface stains.
While both options provide results, your decision will likely come down to two things: time and budget.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Teeth-whitening products that are sold over the counter contain abrasives or low doses of bleaching agents. While they can reduce the appearance of surface stains and provide a brighter tone to your teeth, they take longer to deliver noticeable results.
It’s also important to be consistent with at-home treatments. The most popular types of at-home teeth-whitening products are the following:
These contain abrasive materials or polishing agents to buff small stains from the teeth.
Strips use a low dose of hydrogen peroxide to brighten teeth. Whitening strips usually take about a week to deliver results, and they can cost anywhere from $30 to $100.
These are similar to whitening strips and also contain low amounts of hydrogen peroxide. When using a gel, you brush it directly onto your teeth.
These over-the-counter options provide relatively short-term results. They may also be offered by your dentist in a slightly higher concentration for longer-lasting results.
Professional Teeth Whitening
If you’re looking for quick and lasting teeth-whitening results, professional bleaching is the way to go. Your dentist can use higher doses of hydrogen peroxide than those offered by over-the-counter varieties, thereby delivering a faster and more effective treatment – with more noticeable results.
However, in-office treatments are more expensive than at-home whitening kits. Your dentist will perform an exam and cleaning first, then apply a protective liquid to the gums to prevent irritation. You will need to come in for several whitening sessions in order to see dramatic results.
Experienced Dentist in the Twin Cities
Dr. Steven Hagerman of Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Minneapolis/St. Paul has extensive experience and expertise to help you achieve optimal oral and dental health, as well as helping you achieve a bright, beautiful smile.
Schedule an appointment or consultation to receive the utmost in advanced, personalized dental care. Call our office today at (651) 646-2392 or request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you get a great smile.