A Comparison of Teeth Whitening Methods

Many people want whiter teeth for a whole range of reasons. The first thing to understand is why teeth are not as white as you would like them to be. They can be discolored for two reasons. Some people have thin enamel, which means that the dentin underneath might be visible. This dentin is grayish. Alternately, your enamel might just be stained. If you have thin enamel, you won’t be able to whiten the teeth with typical whitening measures. Only a dentist can tell you if you have this issue. If your teeth are discolored because of stains on the surface, whitening could be helpful.

First, a dentist will clean your teeth. Then, they’ll recommend one of three different whitening methods.

Over The Counter Methods

You can go to a convenience store and buy a teeth whitening kit. Typically, you will put a whitening solution in a tray that you then put on your teeth. You’ll likely need to leave the tray on your teeth for a few hours each night. After a few weeks your teeth might be a shade or two lighter. If your teeth are only a shade or so away from where you would like them to be, a dentist might recommend this method. If you need something faster or more effective, there are professional solutions as well.

Professional At-Home Teeth Whitening Treatment

A professional at-home treatment for your teeth will be basically the same as the over the counter method. A dentist will give you a solution to put on your teeth at night. Some dentists use adhesive strips. Others use a tray filled with a teeth whitening solution made of hydrogen peroxide. The process is basically the same as the over the counter methods but they are proven to be more effective. You can whiten your teeth several shades in a  few weeks. If you want the most effective whitening, you’ll need to go to the office for an in-office treatment, though.

In-Office Whitening Treatment

An in-office treatment is a two-step process. First, the dentist or dental hygienist will clean your teeth. Then, they will apply a teeth whitening gel derived from hydrogen peroxide. Then, they will shine a light on your teeth. The light activates the whitening solution. The process generally takes an hour or two. After it’s over, you’ll have teeth that are several shades whiter.

These three methods are the most common and most effective methods for whitening teeth.

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