Are you looking for a brighter, whiter smile? You’re not alone! Tooth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments today. But with so many different treatment options available, it can be hard to know which one is best for your teeth.
Each tooth whitening treatment has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the differences between them. In this article, we’ve broken down the different types of teeth whitening treatments to help you decide which option is right for you.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products
Over-the-counter whitening products, such as whitening toothpaste or at-home whitening kits. The kits typically contain a whitening gel, which is applied directly to the teeth using trays or strips.
The main benefit of at-home tooth whitening is that it is relatively inexpensive and it can be done in the privacy of your own home.
However, the results of at-home tooth whitening may not be as dramatic as professional treatments, and the process may take longer. Additionally, they may cause tooth sensitivity or gum irritation if used improperly.
Professional, In-Office Whitening
In-office whitening, also known as chairside whitening, involves the dentist applying a whitening solution to your teeth and using a special light to activate the solution.
The main benefit of professional in-office tooth whitening is that it can produce dramatic results in a relatively short amount of time, sometimes in just one session.
However, it is also the most expensive option, may not be covered by insurance, and may cause temporary tooth and/or gum sensitivity.
Make sure to also check out our article on the top FAQs about professional teeth whitening for more info on this treatment option.
Custom, At-Home Whitening Trays
At-home custom trays are a professional-grade whitening option that you can use in the comfort of your own home. These are similar to at-home kits except that your dentist will create custom-fitted trays to take home and provide you a whitening solution to use with them.
This treatment is more affordable than in-office whitening and offers better and more consistent results than over-the-counter products. Additionally, the trays are custom designed to fit your teeth, making them more comfortable to wear.
However, this treatment option is more expensive compared to other DIY types, may also cause tooth sensitivity, and it can take several weeks to see results.
Natural, DIY Whitening Remedies
There are several natural remedies that claim to whiten teeth, such as a baking soda paste, activated charcoal, and hydrogen peroxide.
These remedies are inexpensive, easy-to-use, and may offer some improvement. But they are not as effective as professional treatments and, because they are not supervised by a dental professional, may even damage tooth enamel if used improperly.
Important Tips for At-Home Teeth Whitening Treatments
As you can see, there are a variety of at-home teeth whitening treatments that are available today, offering a more affordable and convenient way to brighten up your smile.
But, there are some important things to keep in mind to help you achieve the best possible results and prevent excessive teeth and gum sensitivity. (Several of these are also effective for after professional teeth whitening as well!)
#1 – Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully: At-home teeth whitening treatments can produce effective results, but only when used correctly. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before use and follow all of the directions closely.
#2 – Use a desensitizing toothpaste: Some people experience sensitivity after teeth whitening treatments. To minimize tooth sensitivity, make sure to use a desensitizing toothpaste regularly.
#3 – Avoid staining foods and drinks. After using at-home whitening treatments (or having in-office whitening done), it is important to avoid staining foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. If you do consume one of these things, make sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible.
#4 – Avoid smoking: Smoking can quickly discolor teeth. So it is important to avoid smoking if you want to maintain your bright, white smile.
#5 – Use a straw: If you choose to have drinks that can stain your teeth, such as coffee or soda, use a straw to help minimize staining.
#6 – Visit your dentist regularly: Regular visits to your dentist are important to maintain good oral health and ensure that your at-home whitening treatments are working correctly.
Partner With Your Dentist for Effective Teeth Whitening
Ultimately, the best tooth whitening treatment for you will depend on your budget, desired results, and personal preferences. While over-the-counter products are an affordable and convenient option, they usually do not offer the same level of results as professional whitening treatments. In-office whitening is the most effective option and one that will usually last the longest.
Either way, your dentist is your #1 resource for the best whitening treatment recommendation for your teeth. They can help you determine which whitening solution is the best option to meet your needs and your budget.
Here at Radomile Family Dental Care in Drexel Hill, we can help you achieve a bright, white smile that you are excited to show off. Contact us today with any questions you may have about teeth whitening or to schedule an appointment!