Celebrities always seem to have an impossibly white smile. How do they avoid getting stains from coffee, tea, and wine on their teeth? The answer is found in getting professional teeth whitening treatments.
The hectic lifestyles of ordinary people can make it difficult to have regular, professional cleanings. The alternative for many time-strapped individuals is to use an at-home tooth whitening kit. These can be found at the local supermarket.
The packaging comes full of promises to make your teeth “visibly whiter” after just a few applications…but can this be true? Can it give you a celebrity’s smile?
Can these teeth whitening kits really do the trick?
Wouldn’t it be great if a simple $30 kit could take away all those pesky coffee, tea, and red wine stains that accumulate on our teeth over time? The answer is that these kits will give you some results. However, they are better for maintenance between professional tooth whitening sessions. These treatments should never be a substitute for daily care, nor will they be as effective as a professional bleaching treatment.
Only professional whitening treatments by your dentist can give you a long-lasting, pearly white look that you see on celebrities. Even if you can get just one treatment a year, it will help make your teeth whitening strips more effective.
Teeth whitening strips, on the other hand, need to be applied frequently as their effects can wear off quickly. On top of that, there are risks with overusing these at-home whitening strips.
Be aware of the risks before using these kits.
Before you use an at-home tooth whitening kit, you should talk to your dentist. This is especially true if you just had a professional whitening treatment. Too much usage of whitening kits or whitening toothpaste can lead to tooth sensitivity.
Your dentist can take a look at your teeth and see if they can handle the intensity of at-home whitening regimens or if you are better off using a periodic professional whitening treatment.
Before bleaching your teeth you should also see the dentist to make sure your teeth are free of cavities or decay. Bleaching, whether it is done professionally or at home, should only be done on teeth that are in good condition.
If you have cavities, you will need to get fillings before you are allowed to use whitening treatments.
In addition, if you have dental bonding or tooth-colored fillings in your mouth, these parts of your teeth will not respond to whitening treatments.
If you bleach your teeth with these in your mouth, the results will look uneven. You may be interested in porcelain veneers to improve the look of your teeth instead of a whitening treatment.
Sometimes your teeth are too stained to respond well to the drugstore teeth whitening strips. Seeing your dentist to get a professional whitening treatment is a good way to start your teeth on a clean slate if they have been seriously discolored and stained.
Your dentist will use a highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution and apply it to your teeth.
Then, an intense light will be applied to your teeth to activate the bleach and get rid of those stains. There are also other methods that do not use light that are equally effective. This procedure lasts about 90 minutes.
No time for an in-office treatment? Use a take-home tray!
Life can get in the way of being able to sit in the dentist’s chair for 90 minutes. In this case, your dentist can give you a tray-based system that you can take home. You will be given full instructions on how to use them and will have to keep the whitening trays in your mouth for at least an hour.
The tray system is about as effective as whitening strips, however, in-office bleaching is recommended for the best results.
Use caution with at-home whiteners.
Here are a few other factors to consider before using at-home whitening strips:
- Over the counter whitening strips contain only up to 10% peroxide, while prescription strength whitening systems from your dentist will have 20-40%. This means if the whitening kits at home aren’t helping much, you should schedule a professional whitening session. The prescription strength peroxide can give you the desired results.
- Be careful to not overuse whitening kits or whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste is abrasive and in combination with too frequent applications of whitening strips, you can develop sensitive teeth.
- Be sure to check for the CDA seal of acceptance on any whitening kit you purchase.
Are you ready to make your teeth beautiful?
Using at-home whitening strips are an excellent way to keep your teeth white between thorough, professional whitening treatments. Be sure to get a complete check-up with your dentist before you begin any whitening treatment to rule out cavities or any other dental needs.
If you have any questions about teeth whitening strips or any other dental procedure, contact us anytime.