Keeping your teeth looking healthy means keeping that smile bright. Over time teeth can be stained by food and drink. They can also be dulled and darkened by fluorosis – the excessive intake of fluorine compounds – or simply as part of the aging process. Whitening teeth has become a big part of dental care but not all whitening products are equivalent.
Your drugstore will likely have an entire row dedicated to teeth whitening. The most common are whitening toothpastes which are just regular toothpastes with additional ingredients to lighten the teeth. While whitening toothpaste can be useful for removing stains its power to lighten teeth is limited – generally only lightening by about one shade – in contrast to other methods.
Gels & Strips
Whitening gels are peroxide-based and applied directly on the surface of the teeth. Strips, which are becoming quite popular are transparent adhesive bands coated with similar gels and folded around the teeth. Based on instructions each application needs to be left on for 30 minutes to overnight on a daily or twice daily basis. For many people this can be annoying.
Mouthwash with whitening has become available more recently. It has all the benefits of regular mouthwash – better breath and reduction of plaque and gum disease – with ingredients to lighten teeth. This presents obvious benefits but with such a limited time for the whitening compound to interact with your teeth the capacity to whiten may be limited. In fact most manufacturers state that it may take 12 weeks before any results can be seen.
Your dentist can offer a wide range of whitening options. The most popular of which is bleaching. With a dentist-administered in-office whitening your teeth can get – in a single 30-60 minute treatment – three to eight shades lighter. Of all the options it is the shortest in duration with the biggest immediate impact. With a few more treatments you’ll be able to reach a beautiful white shine with limited effort.
Keeping your teeth white is an important part, not just of dental care, but of maintaining an overall great look. If you have questions on the wide variety of whitening options available contact us at Pickering Square Dental today.