Are you unhappy with the appearance of discolored teeth? Teeth naturally become discolored with age, and enjoying richly-colored foods and drinks speeds this process. This can make you feel self conscious about your smile and make you appear older than you are. Fortunately, teeth whitening can eliminate staining to help your smile look more attractive and more youthful. And there are several approaches to whitening, so you can get it in the way that’s best for you. We also offer options for people whose teeth don’t respond to whitening.
Teeth Whitening Options
If your teeth are discolored and you want to whiten them, you have many options you can choose. Among the most common are:
- Over-the-counter whiteners
- In-office teeth professional whitening
- At-home professional whitening
Each technique has its own benefits and limitations. You may want to try several to find the one that’s best for you.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whiteners
These days, teeth whitening kits are available at every grocery store, drug store, convenience store, and more. They all promise to make your teeth beautiful and white. For many people, this seems like a great place to start trying to whiten their teeth.
The good news is, these kits can and do work for many people. They’re inexpensive, and, as we said, you can pick them up practically anywhere, so it’s convenient to get started.
But these kits also have many limitations. The whiteners are not as strong as professional whiteners, so you won’t see results as quickly as with professional whiteners, nor will your teeth get as white. The kits can often be hard to use, and may be poorly designed. This can lead to uneven whitening, which can make your teeth look worse. There’s also no way to deal with the sensitivity that can sometimes come from whitening.
It’s also recommended that you talk to a dentist before you begin whitening with an over-the-counter kit: you want to make sure that your teeth are healthy and that they will respond to whitening before you risk your oral health or waste money on ineffective treatments.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
If you are looking for the fastest results from your teeth whitening, then in-office teeth whitening is the right choice for you. With in-office teeth whitening, your teeth will be dramatically whitened in less than an hour.
In addition, the professional application of strong whiteners means that you will get maximum, even whitening, but without risk of irritation or discomfort in the gums. If you experience tooth sensitivity, we can alter the formula or offer treatments afterwards to reduce sensitivity.
The biggest limitation of in-office whitening is that, although it dramatically whitens your teeth over a short period of time, it isn’t likely to achieve the maximum whiteness your teeth are capable of. Also, the results are temporary, and the procedure has to be repeated periodically to maintain the whiteness you desire.
At-Home Professional Whitening
At-home professional whitening uses high-strength whiteners and professionally fitted whitening trays to achieve the best whitening results. Because the procedure is overseen by a dentist, you can use the strongest whiteners available with confidence. You know the procedure is safe for your enamel and your teeth.
The custom trays provide the best fit, which keeps the whitener on your teeth, not on your gums. This protects the whitener from dilution, so it works longer than with over-the-counter kits. And the formula can be adjusted to help combat sensitivity.
With this type of whitening, your teeth will become their whitest, and the results can be maintained forever with periodic use of the trays.
What If Whitening Is Not Enough?
For some people, teeth whitening doesn’t achieve the desired results. In some cases, the cause of discoloration is not one that will respond to whitening. In other cases, the tooth enamel itself is not as white as you want. And in some situations, whitening reveals that there are other cosmetic concerns that may have gone unnoticed in the past.
In these situations, dental veneers are often recommended. They can address deep causes of discoloration, achieve any color of whiteness desired, and reshape teeth as well as whiten. With dental veneers, you can choose whatever smile design you desire.
Do you want to learn what type of teeth whitening is right for you? Please call (907) 274-7691 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Denali Dental Care.