Your Complete Guide to Teeth Whitening

teeth whitening

More and more people want to get a brighter and whiter smile, and there are now more teeth whitening products on the market than ever before. But which options are worth choosing? Which are the most expensive, and how effective are they? 

It may be difficult to choose which option to go with between the teeth whitening strips or professional bleaching, but this guide on teeth whitening will delve into each treatment and list the pros and cons of each. Using this guide you will be best informed about how cost-effective each treatment is so you can make the right decision for your brighter smile.

How Can I Whiten My Teeth?

There are three basic methods that you can whiten your teeth. These are:

  • Using gels, strips, and trays that contain a bleaching agent.
  • Laser treatment
  • Teeth whitening mouthwashes and toothpaste

Which method works best depends on your budget and how quickly you want to see results. You must also consider how permanent you want the treatment to be and how much discomfort through increased sensitivity you are willing to go through.

These treatments only work on natural teeth. Things like dentures fillings veneers and dental implants will remain the same color after treatment.

Why Are My Teeth Discolored?

Teeth are not naturally a bright white. Being able to cook the teeth is bluish-white color and is translucent. This means that the dentin beneath the enamel will show through. The dentin is a yellow colored material that makes up the majority of a healthy tooth.

The enamel will grow thinner as a person ages, so it’s normal for teeth to look darker or more yellow the older we get. But there are also a number of foods and drinks that can be strongly colored and acidic in nature that can help accelerate discoloration. These include berries, acidic sauces like curries in tomato sauce, coffee, tea, wine, and surgery drinks. This also extends to certain lifestyle choices like smoking, and even braces.

The best way to maintain your smile is to avoid staining them. However, this isn’t always very simple. You can minimize the staining power of these Foods by eating them in combination with foods that can help neutralize the acid and keep the teeth clean through friction. These foods include cheese, lettuce, celery, carrots, apples, and cauliflower. 

In-office Treatments

If you were looking for long-term and quick results you can really only find them in your dentist’s office. Their treatments are very effective and your dentist will be trained to know how to perform them safely and assist in case of any side effects. In-office treatments are divided into two types: laser teeth whitening and professional bleaching.

Laser Teeth Whitening

Laser teeth whitening might sound a little intimidating but it’s actually very simple. Lasers are used to help speed up the process and the bleaching effect of the gel. This makes it one of the more instant teeth whitening methods. But it also can be one of the more expensive ones.

First, a rubber seal is applied around the gums to prevent the bleaching product from reaching the gums. This bleaching product is likely a gel containing hydrogen peroxide. Next, the dentist will shine a laser on your teeth and this will accelerate the teeth whitening process.

This is an intense teeth whitening treatment that can give you results after just one visit. It also has the most potential for sensitivity after treatment. But the sensitivity is temporary. And your dentist will be able to recommend any steps to take in case of greater sensitivity.

Professional Bleaching

This option is the cheapest form of in-office treatment for the dentist to apply professional-grade tooth whitening gel with the use of custom trays. This gel is much stronger than any gels available in in-home treatment kits. This means you can receive greater results than those kits with professional treatment.

The dentist will start by getting an impression of your teeth to create a custom tray. Then you just go home apply the gel and insert the tray overnight. This means it’s very convenient and you don’t have to interrupt your daily routine to whiten your teeth. Check your dentist to see what options they have available for you. 

What At-home Options Are There?

There are also many in-home treatments that can be used after a professional treatment to help maintain the brightness of your teeth. These include LED whitening, bleaching trays, the use of teeth whitening strips, and whitening toothpaste.

LED Whitening

With an LED tooth whitening kit you can emulate the professional level of LED treatment that’s available in an in-office treatment at home. These come with a tray that can be molded to fit your teeth bleaching gel and an LED light to activate the bleaching child. This can offer a good immediate result but the results or it may require multiple applications.

Bleaching Trays

You can get a set of bleaching trays over the counter that works similarly to the LED at-home treatments. They come with a fluid that helps accelerate the bleaching process that’s applied directly to the teeth before the bleaching gel is used. The treatment can take between 5 to 30 minutes a day depending on the strength of the gel.

These treatments will also require about a week or two weeks in order to get the best results some products require that you combine them with bleaching products like pens, polishers, or other kinds of toothpaste. These can be used to create good short-term results.

One risk with this kind of treatment is at the whitening kits are not custom fit your mouth so there’s a greater chance that they will not fully cover your teeth. Also, the bleaching agent May leak out and burn or blister other parts of your mouth. 

Teeth Whitening Strips And Toothpaste

Teeth-whitening strips are small plastic strips that are attached to the teeth and can offer a cleaner and easier way to apply bleach than gels or trays. Most of the brands of teeth whitening strips are required to be placed on the teeth for about 30 minutes and then they are removed and discarded. But some will naturally dissolve after 10 to 15 minutes of wear.

These could do a good job of brightening the front teeth but they’re not very good at getting the teeth in the back of the house. They can be a cost-effective way to get good results fairly quickly. It’s a good solution for those who want a quick and painless option or if you need to just whiten your teeth for a special event.

Teeth whitening toothpaste is good for removing surface stains. They won’t change the natural yellowing that comes from a gradual reduction in the enamel but they will give your smile a little boost. They can also be used to prolong the results of more powerful treatment. 

How Much Does It Cost To Get Your Teeth Whitened?

When it comes down to it the cost of teeth whitening may be the biggest factor people consider. This cost depends greatly on which method has chosen. You can spend as little as $5 or less on a tube of teeth whitening toothpaste or you could spend much more on in-office laser treatment. Either way, you pay for what you get.

Professional in-office teeth whitening is going to be much more than an at-home treatment but you’re going to be getting the experience and expertise of a trained dentist you can work with to create a plan that fits your needs.

Your dentist will also possibly offer financing options to help mitigate the cost of treatment. Check with your dentist’s office to see what options they may have and if your dental insurance might be able to cover some of the expenses. 

If you are interested in getting your teeth whitened and you live in La Verne, California give La Verne Dental and Implant Center a call at 909-586-1155 to arrange your consultation today.