What are my options for teeth whitening?

Sometimes you may look at your teeth and think about how they could use some brightening, but what method is right for you? Our Quesnel dentists discuss the different teeth whitening options and the things you should consider with each of them.

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to lighten the colour of your teeth using peroxide-based bleaching agents. As the active ingredient breaks down, oxygen acts on the tooth enamel, creating the whitening effect.

What are the different options for teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening has become a popular procedure in recent years which has allowed for many methods to be readily available. It can be difficult to choose the right one, and each has its advantages and can offer positive results. Although there are advantages, just as with all other procedures there are also disadvantages. Below is some information on each of the methods.

Professional In-Office Teeth Whitening

This teeth whitening method is performed professionally at your dental office. This is the most effective method and will typically produce the most noticeable results. This is because the whitening agents in your dentist’s gel are much stronger and produce much more effective results than over-the-counter products.

You will be at your dental office for approximately an hour for this teeth whitening procedure. Your dentist will use a concentrated whitening solution to remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour. This yields somewhat more efficient results than at-home whitening solutions, which take days or weeks to work.

At-Home Teeth Whitening Trays

This is a teeth whitening option that is managed by your dentist but you perform the procedure itself at your own home. During an initial visit to your dentist, a dental impression will be created to make your whitening trays.

You’ll take the whitening trays home and will perform the teeth whitening application on your own. You’ll wear the whitening gel for between 30 minutes to a few hours a day, for 1 to 3 weeks depending on what your dentist prescribes.

The whitening solution will gradually remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour.

Toothpaste With Whitening Agents

Toothpaste that is formulated for whitening works by gradually lifting light stains from your teeth. However, keep in mind that whitening toothpaste will not affect the natural colour of your teeth, and they will be unable to lighten stains that have penetrated below the tooth’s surface.

Enamel-strengthening toothpaste can help to defend your teeth from cavities and protect your enamel from further damage, which can prevent stains from developing in the first place.

Disposable Whitening Strips

These small plastic strips are coated with peroxide-based gel. When you apply the strip to your teeth, the peroxide coating lightens the colour of your teeth only working on the surface stains.

You would typically apply whitening strips daily for a 2- to 3-week period, and keep them on for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Because these products contain only a small amount of peroxide, you will usually see only subtle results.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are razor-thin strips of porcelain that are affixed to the fronts of your teeth to improve their colour, shape and symmetry.

If only one or a few of your teeth are discoloured, porcelain veneers may be a practical solution to even out the colour of your teeth.

How To Decide What Option Is Right For You?

There are various factors that you should take into consideration when determining which teeth whitening option is right for you, from personal preference to the time you have available in your schedule, and your budget. You may want to consider looking up teeth whitening reviews online for tips and ideas from other people who have opted to take the professional and/or at-home route.

Are you considering teeth whitening and wondering which option to choose? Our Quesnel dentists can examine your smile and offer recommendations.

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