There are many products and techniques available for patients who desire a brighter smile, and with so many options available, it can be dizzying 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.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The first professional option is commonly referred to as in-office whitening that 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 even before leaving the office.
At-Home Teeth Whitening-Tray Bleaching
- 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. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxyradicals help whiten stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and may contain ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes ten to fourteen days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.
- 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 are limited in their capabilities to create a dazzling smile as they do not lighten the actual color shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will only mildly lighten your teeth.