Teeth Whitening Options

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Teeth whitening is one of the most simple options available for boosting the look and feel of your teeth.  There are quite a few whitening systems out there including everything from various whitening toothpastes, whitening strips, trays and other store bought options.  There are also some stronger ways of whitening that can only be done in the dentists office.

Whitening teeth is a great solution for people with mostly healthy teeth that are stained from smoking, drinking coffee or any other teeth staining foods.  However, if your teeth are not healthy or you have extensive dental issues then this option may not be right for you.  If you are unsure, it is best to ask your dentist so that you get the best advice and can make the best decision for your specific case.

The first and most basic form of whitening products that can be bought are whitening toothpastes.  These are regular toothpaste with added ingredients that help provide stain removal.  These toothpastes usually help remove only surface stains and can only lighten teeth by about one shade.  There are also whitening strips and other over the counter solutions that are peroxide based that can lighten the shade of your teeth and the effects can last for several months after treatment.  A peroxide based option is also typically available to be used in a tray if you prefer this over using the strips.

In-Office Treatment

By far the quickest and most effective way to whiten teeth is by utilizing your dentist office and going for a whitening appointment.  This is because the whitening solution can be put on your teeth directly and the dentist can utilize one or many additional methods.  These include using a special light or laser or even heat to increase the effects of the treatment.  Most patients can see a difference in only one appointment.

Of course if eating and drinking foods and beverages that cause staining is something patients will not give up then whitening will be required more often that if they avoided consuming these.  Either way, eventually the effects of a whitening treatment will eventually wear off.  It usually takes anywhere from 1 to 4 months before most patients will start seeing a difference in shades again.

Home Treatment

For those who opt for at home treatment instead of going to a dentist, there are a few things to think about when it comes to which whitening system that you invest in.  First, typically you may want to check the strength of the ingredients and compare this to the cost of the treatment.  Over the counter options will range from 10% to 22% carbamide peroxide.  Also, the better kits will either be in form fitting strips, or better yet, trays or mouthpieces that can be molded and customized to your teeth.

Always be sure to be safe when utilizing whitening.  You can do this by checking if the ADA seal of acceptance is on the product.  This is only one indicator though since the lack of the ADA seal does not always mean a product is unsafe.  Above all else, be sure to only use as directed by the manufacturer of the product that you choose to use.

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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