In a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the majority of respondents said that if they could change anything about their smiles, they would make their teeth whiter. Bright, natural-looking teeth can make you appear younger, healthier, and more attractive, but how do you choose the right teeth whitening product for your needs? If you’re thinking about whitening your teeth, take a look at our helpful guide.
Professional Teeth Whitening
In a comprehensive review of the safety and efficacy of common teeth whitening treatments, the American Dental Association reported that professional teeth whitening administered by a licensed dentist provide safer, more predictable results than other techniques. First, your dentist can address oral health issues prior to administering a whitening treatment, so that your smile is as healthy as it looks. Second, only dentists can dispense whitening treatments that utilize the higher concentrations of peroxide based bleaching agents needed to address serious enamel stains. Most dentists offer two general types of teeth whitening:
- In-office treatments. Think Zoom! and other similar treatments. Using a highly concentrated whitening gel and special desensitizing compounds, in-office whitening produces dramatic results with little discomfort in about an hour.
- Take-home trays. These lightweight appliances look like clear mouth guards and are custom-fitted to your teeth. Your dentist sends you home with the trays and tubes of whitening gel. You can expect to wear your trays for 30 minutes to an hour every day, for about two weeks. Closely following your dentist’s instructions regarding proper use is essential to keeping your teeth healthy and your gums safe.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening
In the last ten years, OTC teeth whitening products have gone from a couple of specialty brands of toothpaste to thousands of pastes, rinses, strips, and pens, some offered by mainstream oral care companies like Colgate and Crest. In their favor, most of these products are cheaper than dentist-administered whitening. However, the peroxide concentration in these products is far less than that found in professional formulations, meaning that results take longer to show and may not achieve the same degree of whitening. In addition, the ADA warns, using these products can mask discolorations that indicate the presence of an oral health issue, creating the potential for serious problems in the future.
About Mansfield Dental Associates:
At Mansfield Dental Associates, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris share the same vision and philosophy when it comes to patient care. We provide thorough, compassionate preventive dental services in addition to a full menu of restorative, cosmetic, and prosthetic dentistry. Contact our Mansfield, TX dentist office at 817-473-6227 to schedule your next appointment.