Everyone want that bright, white, Hollywood smile, but for most adults our pearly whites are anything but white. With coffee, wine, soda, tea, citrus and tomato sauce being a part of the average American’s diet, it can be hard to have a perfectly bright smile. Fortunately, there are multiple teeth whitening systems out there that promise to deliver. Each system has its own pros and cons, so it is important to have a solid idea of the kind of whitening you need.
At Home Teeth Whitening Kits
At home teeth whitening kits are the most popular of the teeth whitening systems. The most basic at home whitening remedy is the use of toothpaste specifically formulated for extra teeth whitening. The two most popular types of the at home teeth whitening systems: strips or trays. In a strip system, you apply a clear, sticky film over your top and bottom teeth and were them, on average, for a couple hours. These strips are coated with hydrogen peroxide, which is the same bleaching agent used by dentists for professional whitening. Trays use the same hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent, but instead of strip you place on and around your teeth, it comes in the form of a gel that goes inside the trays which are then applies to your teeth.
These at home teeth whitening systems are the least expensive option and you can whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, on your schedule. Some people like this option because they whiten their teeth themselves, which can bring a sense of empowerment and comfort.
The concentration and strength of the hydrogen peroxide bleaching agents used in at home whitening kits are not nearly as strong as that which is used in a professional cleaning at a dentist office. As the level of bleaching agent used in at home kits is low, the whitening effect doesn’t last as long as a professional whitening.
Some people report gum irritation due to trays and strips from the carbon peroxide as both the strips and the trays are not uniquely fitted to the wearer. The often ill-fitting trays or strips will get the bleaching agent onto the soft gum tissue, causing a burning or tingling sensation.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is where a patient has his or her teeth whitened inside a dentist office. Usually called “chair-side” whitening, a dentist will us a super concentrated amount of hydrogen peroxide and an ultraviolet light or wand to activate the bleaching agent. This procedure, which once took a long time can easily be done in a one-hour setting.
With a professional teeth whitening, patients can have immediate whiter teeth. This is a great option for those in certain professions, like those who work on camera, or those are attending a wedding or large formal event. The whitening done at the dental office lasts significantly longer than the whitening done at home. Professional whitening can also achieve whiter teeth. Patients who have their teeth whitened in the office experience less gum irritation as extra care and protection are applied to gums when the bleaching agent is applied.
The major downside of a professional teeth whitening done by a dentist is the cost. For many people, the cost does not seem worth it.
When deciding on whether to whiten your teeth yourself or have a dentist do it, the most important factors to consider is the cost, how soon you want to see whitening results and how long you need the whitening to last.