How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Whitening your teeth is an easy way to refresh your smile! There are a number of products on the market to allow you to whiten at home or at your dental office. Not everyone is a candidate for teeth whitening so it is important to speak with your dentist before you try anything.

Before You Whiten

Having your teeth cleaned a few days before you plan to whiten your teeth is the best way to make sure you achieve optimal results. During your cleaning, you can discuss your whitening needs with your hygienist and dentist who will help you decide which treatment will be best for you. Whitening removes deep stain as well as surface stains but having your teeth professionally cleaned will reduce the surface staining, allowing you to get better whitening results.

Options for Whitening

There are several ways to whiten your teeth in office or at home. Over the counter products include strips, trays, and pens. Strips and trays are literally plastic receptacles that have the whitening solution on them which you press onto your teeth. Pens have a solution in a tube with a brush on the tip so you can paint the whitening solution onto your teeth. These at home whitenings take a little longer because you will wear the solution for 30 minutes to an hour each day for one to two weeks, depending on the desired result. The fees associated with over the counter products ranges from $10 to $60.

Whitening at your dental office may be the better choice if you have deep staining or Tetracycline teeth. At your dental office, you can expect to spend an hour to an hour and a half and spend up to $1000, depending on the specific treatment you receive. In office, you will have the whitening solution painted onto your teeth and an ultraviolet light will be directed to your teeth for the duration of treatment. Results are immediate and only get brighter over the next day or so. Your dentist can also make trays for you to take home with a whitening gel. Some dentists offer the trays with in office whitening for touch ups once you have completed treatment, though there may be an added fee for the touch up gel.

All use either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient that whitens your teeth. In professional grade products, the concentration is between 10 and 22 percent and the over the counter products range between 6 and 14 percent.

After Whitening

Immediately following your whitening treatment, keep away from foods and beverages known to stain teeth for 48 to 72 hours. Red wine and coffee, tomato sauce and berries are all major tooth stainers!

Maintaining your fresh, white smile is as easy as switching your oral care products. If you are not already, begin using toothpaste with baking soda. This will help remove daily staining from the foods and beverages you consume. Keep to your regularly scheduled hygiene appointments to clear away plaque build-up and hard to reach staining.

More Information on Teeth Whitening : Teeth Whitening at Home

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Our office is conveniently located in Valparaiso, IN. Many of our patients are from the surrounding Northwest Indiana areas: Valparaiso, Chesterton, Portage, Hobart, Merrillville, Schererville, Kouts, Highland, Munster, La Porte, Michigan City, South Bend, and Crown Point. Patients also travel from Chicago, Ohio and Southwest Michigan.