Everyone loves white teeth. That’s because a sparkling white smile seems clean, attractive, and even friendlier to some people. If you’re like most adults, you like the idea of whiter teeth. In fact, according to one survey, 67% of American adults have used some method to whiten (or attempt to whiten) their teeth. Problem is, our teeth rarely stay as white as we’d like them to all on their own.
There are many methods out there when it comes to whitening your teeth, from at-home whitening strips to professional, in-office whitening treatments. No two methods produce the same results, but it’s nice to have a range of options because you can find a whitening solution for every budget.
Read on to learn more about professional teeth whitening, at-home teeth whitening, and other tips to keep your pearly whites sparkling.
Option #1: Professional Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening performed in a professional dental setting is the safest, most effective way to brighten your smile. This involves the use of high concentration bleaching gels that you can’t get over the counter. This means that depending on the whitening method you choose, results can be dramatic.
Professional in-office whitening is the way to go if you want whiter teeth as soon as possible, yielding results much faster than over-the-counter whitening products. Take in-office whitening, for example, which can lighten your teeth three to eight shades in just one hour. It also offers better protection for sensitive gums and tooth-root surfaces. When you have your teeth professionally whitened, your dentist will perform an oral exam before beginning the whitening process. This will ensure that any tooth discoloration is not the result of a dental condition in need of treatment.
If your dentist finds a dental condition during an oral exam, they will treat that issue before progressing with whitening methods. You may be discouraged if this happens because it delays your preferred timeline, but when underlying dental conditions are treated, whitening results last longer.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
If you want the quickest results, try this whitening technique. First, your dentist will cover your gums and tooth-root surfaces with a protective barrier, then use a thin plastic device called a retractor to hold your lips and cheeks away from your teeth. They can then apply a professional-strength hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth without touching your lips or cheeks. You will leave the gel on for about an hour. When removed, your teeth will be noticeably whiter.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
Take-home whitening, another effective way to whiten your teeth, involves more effort on your part. On top of that, results aren’t as quick as in-office whitening procedures. In fact, it may take several weeks to achieve your desired level of whiteness. The first part of this process involves taking a mold of your teeth. Then, two thin, flexible plastic mouth trays will be custom-made for you—one for the top teeth and one for the bottom teeth. At home, you will fill the trays with whitening gel, placing them over your teeth. You will leave the trays in for about an hour at a time. Your dentist will send you home with specific instructions and best practices for achieving the best results.
Professional take-home whitening trays are not the same as over-the-counter whitening trays (we’ll talk about those in the next section). Yes, it’s an at-home method, but your dentist still oversees the process and uses professional-grade whitening gels.
At Piedmont Oaks Dental, we use GLO Science for whitening treatments, which can leave your teeth whiter than ever in just 30 minutes!
Option #2: Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Methods
If you scan the oral hygiene aisle of any drug store, you will see a myriad of products for whitening teeth. They all have varying levels of effectiveness, but they are convenient if you are looking for a quick, affordable whitening method.
Teeth Whitening Strips
While OTC whitening strips don’t typically yield lasting results, they can be a great solution for when you want whiter teeth for a specific event, like a wedding. They are easy to apply in the comfort of your home.
Teeth Whitening Pens
Becoming more popular in recent years, this pen-shaped applicator applies gel to whiten teeth. Some brands are designed to leave on your teeth overnight, while others are designed to work on the go.
Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
While not a quick-fix whitening method, toothpaste can be a helpful product to use on a daily basis. Using a good whitening toothpaste is a great step toward whiter teeth if you’re not in the market for professional whitening or at-home strips.
Teeth Whitening Mouthwash
Similar to whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash isn’t going to give you pearly whites overnight. But when used consistently, it can improve the whiteness of your teeth. When paired with whitening toothpaste, it will be even more effective.
Call Us For Teeth Whitening in Piedmont, California
At Piedmont Oaks Dental, we’re always here to take great care of you—and your smile. We are proud to serve families in Piedmont, California, Oakland, and the surrounding areas with comprehensive and affordable dental services, including professional teeth whitening. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your whitening consultation.