Tooth discoloration is normal. Everyone’s teeth fade a bit from wear and tear over the years, and most of us have habits to contribute to this. Drinking a cup of coffee every morning or having a glass of red wine with dinner, for instance, aren’t exactly conducive to maintaining your whitest, brightest smile.
Luckily, there are many ways to whiten your teeth, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. To help you decide which method is best for you, we’re going to explore several different products and procedures that fall under three general categories: over the counter treatments, in-office whitening, and professional take-home options.
Over the Counter Treatments
These days, you can find whitening treatments and products while you’re shopping for groceries, and you have a lot of options.
Even without doing a more thorough treatment, you can find many whitening toothpastes. These are a gentle way to help you maintain your bright smile through polishing and cleansing every time you brush. Even better, over the counter treatments are usually the cheapest options.
Look out for one word: “bleaching.” Bleaching products contain hydrogen peroxide, which will help to effectively fight stains from the inside out. These treatments often come in a gel form, which you put on a tray for your teeth. Bleaching whitening strips are also common.
Over the counter treatments do have limitations, though. For teeth that have sustained a lot of deeper discoloration or if you are looking for more dramatic results, over the counter treatments may be underwhelming. Additionally, mishandling over the counter treatments at home can be dangerous.
Cosmetic dentists also offer in-office whitening with a higher concentration of peroxide to effectively brighten your teeth. During this procedure, dentists apply gels or shields to protect your gums, and then bleach the teeth. Many dentists also use lasers or special lights that will help the bleach work more effectively.
Most whitening treatments only require one appointment, but to get your teeth as white and bright as possible, many dentists suggest a second or even a third appointment. This can be more time than some people are willing to sacrifice to make their teeth whiter. Moreover, in-office whitening tends to be the most expensive option, which can also be a deterrent.
Professional Take-Home Options
This third category is an alternative to the risks of over-the-counter treatments and the costs of in-office whitening. Take home treatments allow you to brighten your smile at home by using safe, effective products recommended by dental expert.
South Florida Dental has two options for our patients:
Nite White – Nite White’s Excel 3 surfactant technology and controlled, effective activation work together to quickly and effectively brighten your teeth. The fact that it contains potassium nitrate even makes Nite White a viable option for individuals who are concerned with sensitivity.
Opalescence – If you have already bleached your teeth, Opalescence may be the best option for you as it helps to remove internal tooth discoloration. Retouch your teeth with Opalescence every 2-4 months to keep your teeth as white as they were after your initial bleaching treatment.
For more details on the whitening treatments we offer and other options for getting your best and brightest smile, contact South Florida Dental Care today.