Teeth Whitening 101: The Basics

If you’ve ever considered teeth whitening or bleaching, you may have felt overwhelmed when researching the different methods and options available. It is important to understand which is the best option for you. In honor of Summer being here, when many people will be smiling from ear-to-ear, the Smilist will help explain the different options available.

The main difference in teeth whitening methods are where you decide to do them, either at the dentist or at home. Both options use peroxide-based bleaching agents. At home systems contain less peroxide between 3% to 20% and in office systems contain more peroxide from 15% to 43%.

In-Office Whitening
In office whitening is the most effective and fastest method available. Zoom is a very well-known in office bleaching process used to lighten discoloration of enamel and dentin. The complete procedure takes about an hour, but a regular dental cleaning is recommended prior to the actual Zoom teeth whitening session. A hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied onto the teeth and then works with the Zoom light to penetrate the teeth and break up the stains and discoloration. The gel remains in place for 20 minutes while the light is activated and this is repeated 4 times. After the procedure you will be given a Zoom home-use touch-up kit that includes custom-fitted whitening trays.

At-home Whitening Methods
At home teeth whitening treatment can include a variety of methods and applications. For instance, custom trays can be purchased from your dentist with a professional-strength peroxide bleaching agent. Custom trays produce faster and more effective results than the trays that are purchased over-the-counter. Additionally, since the over-the-counter trays are not customized to your mouth this could result in irritation from the bleaching agent coming into contact with your gums.

Another option is whitening strips. Whitening strips can be purchased from your dentist or over-the-counter. These are generally applied directly onto your teeth as a thin strip, twice a day for up to 10 to 14 days. Some gum irritation may occur with this method as well.

Whitening toothpastes are a great option for everyday maintenance. These toothpastes are mildly abrasive and contain polishing agents that help scrub stains from teeth without the aid of a bleaching agent.

Talk It Over With Your Dentist
Make sure you discuss with your dentist which method is right for you. Certain methods of teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity and damage to the roots of teeth. Your dentist will be able to help you decide what is right for you. Make an appointment at your local Smilist and take advantage of great specials on all teeth whitening products and services.

Perks of a Brighter Smile!
Most people agree that when you look better, you feel better! Whether you’re going on a job interview, first date, to a wedding, you’ll feel good having your teeth shine bright. This summer you should feel confident knowing that your smile is bright and beautiful.


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