At-Home Teeth Whitening
If you are looking for more of a DIY option to brightening your smile, there are some good alternatives for at-home whitening. The results will not be as immediate or effective as an in-office procedure, but some options are quite good and efficient.
Unlike treatments we offer in the office, the at-home treatments have less of the active ingredients concentrated in whatever “system” you choose. Because it takes longer to see results, people sometimes go a little over-board, ignoring the directions. So, although you can get any number of over-the-counter whiteners, it is still important to talk to your dentist first. He or she will give you a good recommendation based on your dental health (e.g., gum sensitivity, natural color of your teeth, etc.).
Armed with as much information as possible, together you can both make the best choice.
The best time to begin any at-home whitening is soon after a dental cleaning. Just like an in-office bleaching, the cleaning will remove any surface layer of plaque and debris on and in between the teeth, which can interfere with bleaching.
Some of the benefits of at-home bleaching:
- At-home treatments may provide long-term results. Because they are less expensive and accessible, it is easy to repeat regularly (every four-to-six months). Some of the newer strips on the market are intended for daily use – just another step in your everyday oral care routine after brushing and flossing.
- Variety: With so many options – tooth whitening strips, gels and paint-on/brush off options – applied directly to choose from, you can find the best one for you and for your lifestyle. Tooth whitening toothpaste is mildly abrasive and can also be helpful to remove surface stains. But, they usually also contain some chemicals or polishing agents that help scrub stains without the aid of a bleaching agent. This can lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Convenience: Since you don’t have to schedule an hour at our office, you can whiten any time of the day or night, for short or longer period of times. Some people even do it at their office!
It is essential to follow the instructions on the package; if you over-use or use the procedure incorrectly, you can harm your tooth enamel and irritate your gum tissue. Also, over bleaching can have an adverse result – a blueish hue, chalky whiteness or uneven results. For best results, don’t consume food or beverages (other than water) for a few hours after treatment.
Still want to know more? Give us a call. We can answer any questions, set you up with an appointment and get you on your way to a brighter smile. Or, you can leave us a note in the comments below or reach us on Facebook.
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