There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve a brighter smile, and with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the method that is right for you. The best way to begin any teeth whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to your doctor about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening. At Windmill Family Dental, we offer three main methods of whitening: in-office treatment, custom trays with bleach to take home, and pre-fabricated trays with bleach inside. Each option works great, so if you are interested in bleaching, feel free to come by and chat with us to find which method is best for you!
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The first professional option is commonly referred to as in-office whitening. This procedure is performed in a dental office. During an appointment, your dental professional will apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. The entire office visit generally takes about 90 minutes and you will be able to see results immediately.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Custom Tray Whitening
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth from impressions that we take in office. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes 10 to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.
Prefabricated Tray Whitening
Tray whitening can also be accomplished by prefabricated, prefilled trays. These trays are easy to use, and already have a pleasant-flavored whitening gel inside of them for ease of use. They are one size fits all, and will quickly form to your teeth after placed. After use, the trays can be disposed and a fresh tray used for the next round! We generally offer a ten day supply, with results normally seen sooner.
Paint-On Teeth Whiteners
There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options, and one type of readily-accessible whitening products is commonly referred to as a “paint-on” teeth whitener. Paint-on whiteners can be purchased over-the-counter and generally are less expensive and less effective than whitening strips or professional options. Paint-on teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. Paint-on whitening gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth, and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips, designated for the upper and lower teeth. We recommend brushing and flossing teeth first, and then placing the strips across your teeth, gently pressing the strips into place to ensure contact with all of your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary. These can be purchased in stores.
Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash
The least expensive options are whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, toothpastes and mouthwashes work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives. However, unlike the materials used in professional whitening procedures, these products do not lighten the actual color shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will mildly lighten your teeth.
If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment.