Teeth Whitening and Bleaching
Teeth whitening or bleaching has become increasingly popular over the years as new procedures have made it cheaper and safer. You can use a variety of methods from whitening toothpastes to over-the-counter gels, strips and trays; or professional whitening products from the dentist.
There is also one-time laser tooth whitening that can be done in a dentist’s office in about an hour, providing similar results to what can be achieved in weeks of using whitening gels.
Over-the-counter whitening strips and gels are usually peroxide based. The strips are self-adhesive, while the gels are typically applied with a small brush directly to the surface of the teeth. Applications are typically necessary once or twice a day for a couple weeks and benefits last up to 4 months.
An alternative are the professional whitening products involving trays. Some of these can be purchased over the counter with a general tray that fits all mouths, while other treatments use a fitted try made from a mould by the dentist.
The fastest way to whiten teeth however is through laser tooth whitening at a dentist’s office. The dentist applies a gel to the teeth and a special light and/or a laser accelerates the whitening process, with results achieved in one 30 minute or 1 hour session.
Some people experience tooth sensitivity during and after the treatment, but this usually subsides a few days after the final treatment. The whitening is not permanent and whatever caused your teeth to stain in the first place will continue to stain them. If you avoid smoking and drinking coffee, your results will last longer.