There are a number of different teeth whitening systems available to our patients. They include In-Office treatments, whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, and trays, and professional strength whitening agents obtained from our office.
Most people experience yellowing or darkening of teeth, and teeth whitening is ideal for people who have healthy teeth and gums. If you have yellow tones to your teeth you may find you have a better response than if you have other types of stains. But this cosmetic procedure is not recommended for everyone.
Bleached teeth that have fillings may be come lighter than the fillings. You can replace darker fillings with new lighter ones if needed. You cannot bleach crowns or bridges to make them lighter.
Most toothpastes help remove surface stains because they contain mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Whitening toothpastes help remove stains that are found on the surface of the teeth. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth’s color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in our office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips and Gels
Many people feel that they can purchase whitening strips in the supermarket and get similar results to those in the dentists office. There are significant differences. Whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based products applied with a small brush directly to the surface of your teeth. Instructions generally call for twice a day application for 14 days. Whitening strips are very thin, virtually invisible strips that are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. The strips are applied twice daily for 30 minutes for 14 days.
Tray Tooth Whitening Systems
Tray tooth whitening systems work when you fill a mouth guard-like tray with a gel whitening solution. This gel solution usually contains peroxide bleaching solution. These trays are placed in your mouth for a couple hours a day to every day during the night for up to four weeks and sometimes longer, depending on the degree of discoloration and your desired level of whitening. In general, over the counter bleaching products are much weaker than those in our office, and make take significantly longer and be much less effective..
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
Teeth whitening is not permanent. People who eat or drink foods and beverages that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month. However, if you avoid foods and beverages that stain you may be able to wait one year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed.