Tooth Whitening Options for Long-Lasting Dental Health
Over the past several years,the world of teeth whitening has advanced. You can now buy at-home treatments, and there are many teeth whitening systems and products including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays, and whitening products you can pick up from your dentist. With so many options, you may not know which would work best for your needs. Here’s a glance at a few options and their features.
One of the cheaper and most popular methods of teeth whitening is the box of whitening strips you can buy at the drugstore. The strips are really thin plastic that’s coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. You typically apply them twice daily for 14 days. You can start to see results after a few days, and their effects last about four months.
Tray-based whitening systems can be bought at the drugstore or through your dentist. Essentially, you fill a tray that looks like a mouth guard with the same kind of peroxide-based bleach used in the strips. You wear the tray for a couple hours a day for up to four weeks.
This is one of the newer tooth-whitening options available. Like other mouth rinses, they help reduce dental plaque and fight gum disease, but they also contain ingredients, like peroxide, that whiten teeth. Essentially, you replace your regular rinse with the whitening rinse and swish it around for 60 seconds. The makers of these rinses say that it may take up to 12 weeks to see results, and they may not be as effective as other whitening products, because the whitening agents are only in contact with your teeth for a brief period of time.
When you go to the dentist to brighten your smile, you’ll realize that you can sometimes see dramatic results with just one 30- to 60-minute session. This is the quickest method, because the whitening product is applied directly to your teeth and the dentist often uses heat, light or a laser to aid the process.
Talk to your dentist about which whitening options are best for you and what you can expect from the different methods. Also, teeth whitening is ideal for people who have healthy teeth and gums. If you have other oral health issues, those may need to be dealt with first. Also, if you’re pregnant or lactating, it’s best to postpone cosmetic dental procedures until afterwards.
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