A Brighter Smile: The Different Types Tooth Whitening Procedures

November 11, 2021
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80% of Americans want a brighter smile. This is linked to self-confidence, dental health, and more.

Tooth discoloration can cause lots of discomfort. People may find themselves refusing to eat in public, covering their mouth when laughing, or refusing to smile in photos.

That’s why investigating different types of tooth whitening is so important. It can help you feel more comfortable in your skin, improve oral health, and increase self-confidence.

We’ve assembled a guide to the different types of tooth whitening procedures. That way, you can pick the one that works best for you!

It Starts At Home

Tooth whitening starts at home. Your dentist can whiten your teeth with a gentle, pain-free procedure that’s safe for everyone. But your dentist’s efforts will be more effective if you take care of your teeth at home, too.

This may mean altering your habits or lifestyle. Do you drink a lot of red wine, smoke, or use tobacco? These habits stain your teeth easily.

Drinking soda, eating red sauces, or dark fruits also stain your teeth. Of course, dentists don’t recommend that you remove dark fruits from your diet. Instead, make sure to brush your teeth well as soon as you’re done eating.

Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Use dental floss, rinse with mouthwash, and follow any other directives your dentist has provided. This will help with the brightness of your smile, as well as prevent gingivitis, plaque buildup, and more.

Good Hygiene

To achieve tooth whitening, don’t rely on your dentist. Of course, their procedures can remove tooth discoloration, improve your oral health, and improve your smile. But since you’re responsible for daily maintenance and upkeep, what does your current routine look like?

If you brush and floss religiously, consider upgrading to a whitening toothbrush. With special condensed bristles, these brushes help achieve a shiny polish without damage through excessive abrasion.

You should also use mouthwash regularly too. If it includes hydrogen peroxide as an ingredient, it will help whiten your smile. Using this type of mouthwash is especially important after eating dark fruits, drinking coffee/soda, or smoking.

Keep whitening toothpaste on hand, too. Regular use of whitening products can make a big difference after only a few days.

Gum and dental strips are little-known tools in your arsenal, too. Don’t go for sugary gum options. Instead, look for sugar-free whitening gum.

If you don’t have immediate access to a sink and toothbrush after eating, try popping a stick of sugar-free whitening gum. This will stimulate saliva production, which helps remove food residue and keep your mouth healthy.

The whitening agents in this type of gum provide a temporary coat over the teeth. This helps prevent stains from settling onto the teeth.

Use Whitening Strips

It’s important that you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer or your dentist when using these.

Typically, these strips are easy to use and are quite effective. These plastic strips have a gel-peroxide side that is applied to your teeth. After thirty minutes, you remove the strips and enjoy your new smile!

You may need to use these strips consecutively for a few days to see the effect.

Use Tray-Based Whiteners

This is a great option to ask your dentist about. You can find them over-the-counter, or you can get a custom one from your dentist.

These kits provide a mouthguard-style solution to teeth whitening—these ‘mouthguards’ pair gel solutions with peroxide-based agents for a maximum whitening effect.

If you go to your dentist, they’ll provide a custom kit for you. This involves taking a mold of your teeth so that it fits perfectly. To make it safe for at-home use, the peroxide levels in this solution are less than you’ll get from a whitening session at the dentist’s office.

This solution is usually cheaper than typical whitening appointments at the dentist. And, it can mostly be done from the comfort of your own home, which is a definite perk during COVID and flu season.

You can use tray-based whiteners for up to two weeks. Usually, you’ll apply once a day for up to an hour.

Professional Treatments

Of course, the most effective form of tooth whitening is professional treatment. In under an hour, you can achieve what takes multiple sessions over weeks at home.

Here’s how it works. Your dental professional will apply a protective coating to your lips and gum tissue to protect you from any damage. Then, the whitening gel will be applied to your teeth.

To activate the whitening agents in the gel solution, an ultraviolet lamp will shine on your teeth. Since it’s an in-office treatment, it’s safe for them to use gel with a higher concentration of whitening agents.

This means after the hour-long appointment; results will be immediately visible. Of course, it’s important to know that these results won’t last forever. If you spend money on a whitening treatment and don’t take care of your teeth afterward, you’ll soon be right back where you started.

Proper oral care is so much more than a white smile. It’s staying pain-free, being able to use your teeth as they were intended, good breath, and so much more. If you’re taking care of your teeth properly, tooth discoloration will often take care of itself.

Types of Tooth Whitening

Combining all types of tooth whitening, from proper hygiene to professional treatments, is the best way to achieve the smile of your dreams.

However, it’s important to note that our approach to all procedures, including tooth whitening, is gentle and pain-free. There’s no reason to be worried about coming in for an appointment here!

As common as dental anxiety is, there’s no pain associated with this process. We make sure to thoroughly explain everything and ease your anxieties before we even start!

If you’re interested in a brighter smile, contact us today. We’re happy to help.

About Us

When we opened in 1997, it was our mission to serve our community with friendly, comfortable, convenient care. Now, we are continually committed to providing our families the very best dental services. With a small-town feel and the very best in technology, we combine personalized service and the most effective treatment possible.