Sorting out Tooth Whitening Options

Bright, white teethWhat are my options for tooth whitening?

Did you know that having a bright, white smile has become the number one cosmetic concern of most dental patients? And with so many options available to help you achieve that pearly white smile, it’s hard to know which one is best. First, let’s cover the options.

Whitening toothpastes:
All toothpastes contain mild abrasives and gentle polishing agents that help remove surface stains, but some also contain hydrogen peroxide for additional whitening. These whitening toothpastes may provide some surface level whitening to the degree of about one shade lighter. Some people may experience sensitivity to the peroxide and will not be able to use whitening toothpaste on a daily basis.

Over the counter whitening kits:
There are a variety of whitening gels and kits available for home use. Whitening gels are clear, peroxide based gels that you paint on your teeth with a little brush. Typically two times a day for two weeks. Results may be seen within a few days and last a few months.

Whitening strips are little strips that are molded over the tooth surfaces and contain a peroxide based gel designed to whiten the teeth. Treatment is typically two times a day, for thirty minutes for about two weeks. Results may be seen within a few days and last about four months. It may be difficult to fit the strips properly to the teeth to cover all the curves and contours, this may lead to uneven whitening results.

In office treatment:

In office treatments are typically the most effective and longest lasting treatment available. At Dentistry by Design we use Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems. The first step in this treatment is a limited dental exam to ensure the overall health of your teeth and gums. You will then be fitted for custom trays that fit firmly over the teeth. These trays will be worn at home with a special whitening solution as directed by our Dentist. Trays are typically worn for about two weeks for 30 minutes to an hour and results are noticeable within the first few treatments.  Results last up to six months or more.

Sorting it all out:

Now that you know your options, how do you determine which is best for you? We recommend talking to your dentist first. There are many factors to take into consideration that you may not even be aware of.  Depending on the color and type of stains on your teeth some treatments may be more effective than others. Another consideration is whether or not you have bonding or composite fillings on your front teeth, these will not be affected by the bleach which may lead to uneven whitening results. After examination of your teeth, your dentist will be able to help determine the best solution for you.

Achieving that bright, white, healthy smile is within your reach, and at Dentistry by Design it is our mission to help you achieve it. You can read more about our professional tooth whitening process here.  We invite you to call today to set up your appointment, (920) 743-6976 in Sturgeon Bay and (920 854-5200 in Sister Bay.