As we age we may start to notice signs of discoloration around our teeth. Many Americans try teeth whitening procedures, treatments, and products to help combat yellow or stained teeth. In this article we will cover the different methods for teeth whitening, how they work, how effective they are, and other information you should know about teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening is a purely cosmetic dental treatment. It is often not necessary for the health of your teeth. In fact, you can have stained teeth that are perfectly healthy. So if you are looking to whiten your teeth, we highly recommend only choosing products that are recommended by dentists. Some dentists provide treatments or products at their practices while others can be bought over the counter. Regardless you should always make sure to follow your dentists’ instructions.
One of the most common claims on any tube of toothpaste is that it can help whiten teeth. Whitening toothpastes are a great way to get a slightly whiter smile while also taking care of your teeth. However, teeth whitening toothpastes only help the surface of the teeth. Special abrasives can help polish the surface while peroxide is use to dissolve surface stains. You may notice some whitening but if you have stains below the tooth surface, you will likely need a stronger solution.
You can buy teeth whitening kits over the counter, or even from your dentist. The core difference between OTC teeth whitening and a brand your dentist provides is usually the strength of the product. Dentists usually have access to greater strength products that make whiten teeth quicker and more dramatically. Plus, your dentist is only going to recommend ADA approved options. If you are planning to buy a teeth whitening kit, we recommend asking a dentist for either a recommendation or to see if they sell them.
Beyond teeth whitening kits there are a few whitening procedures you can have done. The most famous is Zoom teeth whitening. In these procedures your teeth are coated in a special whitening material and then special lamps are used to bleach your teeth. It is generally considered the most dramatic effect and the results are instant. Many people get Zoom teeth whitening right before an important event like a wedding.
If you have questions about general dentistry or other dental procedures, we would be more than happy to answer them. Our team of dental specialists is happy to answer your questions and help you pursue good oral hygiene.