Teeth Whitening: Which to Choose?
There are many options out there for people to get a whiter, more beautiful smile- although some are better than others. Teeth whitening has become a common and effective cosmetic feature among young and old people alike. Your options may seem abundant and overwhelming, ranging from whitening toothpastes, to whitening rinses, over-the-counter strips and gels, bleach trays, or even in-office whitening treatment. Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each whitening variety:
1. Whitening Toothpaste: As you are probably already aware of, numerous teeth whitening toothpastes are on the market today. Whitening toothpastes can help in eliminating surface stains but will not help lighten the color deep inside the tooth. This is because it doesn’t contain bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or carbamide peroxide (most of which are used in over-the-counter and in-office whitening). Toothpastes will have the ability to whiten your teeth to about 1 shade lighter but won’t do much more than that. If you’re looking for something that will more drastically whiten teeth, you may want to go with a different option.
2. Whitening Rinses: Many teeth whitening rinses will contain hydrogen peroxide, which will help in making your smile look brighter. Again, just like whitening toothpaste, rinses will only eliminate surface stains. Along with brushing, whitening rinses can help whiten your smile up to 2 shades. Some things to note: Make sure you always brush before rinsing. Since the rinses contain hydrogen peroxide, it may scrub the enamel off if brushing occurs immediately after rinsing. It is also advised to use the rinsing products for a few weeks (2-3) then take a week off.
3. Whitening Strips: These are very thin, almost undetectable peroxide-lined strips. The makers of these products state to use their strips twice a day for 30 minutes. Crest also states that your teeth will brighten anywhere between 1 and 3 shades, depending on initial oral hygiene and care. Here’s a pretty entertaining video to see for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGz9BqLjicw
4. Bleach Trays: Most commonly purchased at your dentist’s office, bleach trays will be molded and fitted to your mouth. You’ll see a jump in price from strips to trays, but the results speak for themselves. Gel is applied to the inside of the tray and contains a higher concentration of peroxide (meaning faster results). The gel also includes desensitizing agents to ensure more comfort and Calcium-Phosphate to provide stronger enamel. Bleach trays have been seen to whiten teeth between 3-5 shades.
5. In-Office Whitening: In-office whitening is the fastest and most effective method of them all. There are many types of in-office whitening products on the market but here at Aspen Dental we opt to use ZOOM!- a leader in in-office bleaching. During your appointment, your hygienist will apply a teeth whitening gel to your teeth, containing hydrogen peroxide. Your teeth will then be exposed to a “ZOOM! Lamp,” which activates the hydrogen peroxide in the gel. As the hydrogen peroxide starts to break down, oxygen will permeate into the tooth enamel and dentin, bleaching away any stains. As advertised by ZOOM!, this procedure can whiten teeth up to 8 shades.
If you have any questions or would like to come in for a free whitening consultation, please feel free to call us anytime at (303) 399-0400. We offer late and weekend hours for the convenience of our busy patients. Or if you’d like to see some more teeth whitening information, please stop by our website at http://www.cherry-creekdentist.com/advanced-technology/zoom-whitening.html.