Many people want a perfect smile, and that typically involves straight, white teeth. Dentists can help not only correct alignment and crowding with orthodontics (braces) and cosmetic dentistry techniques such as veneers and bonding, but can also provide professional whitening.
Virtually all tooth whitening procedures involve a mild abrasive to remove surface stains, and/or some type of whitening agent such as hydrogen peroxide. Together, the mild abrasive can help remove stains such as coffee or wine, and the whitening agent can help lighten the shade of the rest of the tooth.
There are a number of over the counter options:
– Whitening rinses use hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth, and it may take 8-12 weeks to see any results.
– Whitening toothpastes use both a mild abrasive and a peroxide-like whitening agent, and can lighten one shade in 4-12 weeks, depending on the brand.
– Over the counter whitening gels and strips use a stronger dose of peroxide, and are typically worn for less than an hour per day. Results can be seen within a few days, and when used properly, can lighten a few shades over the course of a typical two week treatment.
– Tray based tooth whitening – typically provided by a dentist for home use – use stronger agents than over the counter whitening gels, and provide better results in similar time periods.
While all of these over-the-counter options typically work, their level of effectiveness will depend on how regularly they are used, and how stained the patient’s teeth are to start. In-office whitening tends to be far stronger – the dentist can apply the bleaching agent in very strong doses, and use laser/light/heat for increased effectiveness. In as little as 30 minutes, in office treatments can provide significant whitening, though your dentist can provide multiple procedures for even better results.
If you’re interested in tooth whitening, ask your dentist about services they provide, or over the counter recommendations they may have. Depending on how many shades of lightening you expect, your dentist may recommend certain products or procedures over others, and may recommend professional cleaning or other permanent work before whitening to ensure it’s as effective as possible.
For more information on your teeth whitening, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.
Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.