Teeth Whitening Options
Over time our teeth can become stained or appear darker. Many foods and beverages can contribute to this. There are multiple ways to improve the color appearance of your teeth. Whitening is ideal for people who have healthy, unrestored front teeth (no fillings or crowns). Most supervised forms of whitening are considered safe and non-destructive. Whitening treatments are usually peroxide based. Carbamide peroxide is more shelf-stable and is used in many take-home whitening products while Hydrogen peroxide is more rapidly acting and commonly found in the in-office whitening treatments. Methods vary from over the counter products, take-home kits purchased from a dental professional, and in-office whitening procedures. Results vary per each individual person. Things such as diet, habits, and hygiene play a role in the results and how long they last. Whitening procedures normally require periodic maintenance or touch-ups. When deciding which method to use, consider the following things. How much whiter do you want your teeth to be? How much time and effort and you willing to commit? How much are you willing to invest financially? Bleaching is not recommended in children under the age16 or pregnant or lactating women.
All toothpaste help remove surface stains because they contain mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpaste contains polishing or chemical agents to help with stain removal. Whitening toothpaste can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach. Whitening toothpaste can lighten the tooth's color by about one shade. In contrast, prescription-strength whitening conducted in your dentist's office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter. Whitening toothpaste can be used daily.
Among the newest whitening products available are whitening rinses. Like most mouthwashes, they freshen breath and help reduce dental plaque and gum disease. But these products also include ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide, which whiten teeth. Manufacturers say it may take 12 weeks to see results. You just swish them around in your mouth for 60 seconds twice a day. Rinses may not be as effective as other over-the-counter whitening products. Whitening rinse is only in contact with the teeth for a short time.
Over the counter Whitening Strips and gels
Whitening strips are very thin, virtually invisible strips that are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. The strips should be applied according to the instructions on the label. Whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based gels applied with a small brush directly to the surface of your teeth. Instructions vary depending on the strength of the peroxide. Follow the directions on the product carefully.
Tray-Based Tooth Whiteners
Tray-based tooth whitening systems involve filling a mouth guard-like tray with a gel whitening solution. The gel typically contains a peroxide-bleaching agent. The tray is worn according to directions. Some are worn for a couple of hours a day to all night while sleeping. Trays may be used for up to four weeks and even longer (depending on the degree of discoloration and desired level of whitening). Some tray systems are prefabricated and available over the counter while other systems require a custom try made by your dental office.
In-office bleaching provides the quickest way to whiten teeth. With in-office bleaching, the whitening product is applied directly to the teeth by a dental professional. These products may be used in combination with heat, a special light, or a laser. Results are seen in only one treatment. This approach may require more than one office visit. This option is usually more expensive but will give you the best results.
Options available at Morgantown Dental Group
During your regular check-up, we encourage you to discuss your whitening questions and concerns with your hygienist. Your hygienist can use a shade guide to determine the color of your teeth and help you decide which method to try. We offer professional take-home kits as well as an in-office procedure.
We have two different types of take-home kits. These kits are efficient for someone who doesn’t want to commit to more office visits and would like to do something at home.
Opalescence GO --This kit consists of twenty (10 upper and 10 lower) preformed trays that are already filled with a whitening gel (15% Hydrogen Peroxide). These trays are worn for 15-20 minutes a day for 10 days.
Crest Supreme Professional Whitestrips – This kit consists of 42 pouches containing one upper and one lower strip. Strips are worn for 30 minutes twice a day for 21 days. Strips contain a 14% Hydrogen Peroxide gel.
We also offer in-office whitening. We use a System called KoR. This system combines take-home whitening with an in-office procedure. This system is more of a commitment as far as time and expense but will offer you the most elaborate results. The process consists of three appointments. The first two are very quick office visits. During the first appointment, you will have upper and lower impressions taken of your teeth. These impressions will be used to make custom bleaching trays. These trays will be used for the at-home portion and can be used after for maintenance. At the second appointment, you will receive your custom trays and take-home bleaching gel. You will use these trays every night (while sleeping) for two weeks. The last appointment you will be in the office for approximately one hour and thirty minutes. During this appointment, a gel will be applied to your teeth three times for twenty minutes each time. Results vary per person and things such as hygiene and diet may affect how long the results last. There is a separate maintenance kit that can be purchased for touch up. This kit would be used with the custom trays that were used in the take-home portion of the procedure.