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What Are Teeth Whitening Products?

For centuries, people have freshened and cleaned their teeth and breath in a variety of ways and with a variety of tools. More recently, the primary aesthetic concern is whether the teeth are bright and white. Teeth can darken or become stained for a number of reasons, including smoking and other tobacco use and the regular consumption of dark and acidic foods and drinks like tomato sauce, coffee, berries, colas, and red wine. Teeth Whitening products can remove these external stains and brighten your teeth. The results aren’t permanent and must be maintained, as the teeth will continue to stain over time, and whitening treatments are only recommended for people with effective oral hygiene habits and a generally healthy mouth. Your dentist can help you choose the safest and most effective option for you to whiten your teeth and can also talk to you about the best ways to prolong your beautiful smile following a teeth whitening treatment.

Some people choose to use over-the-counter, at-home teeth whitening kits, while others prefer the longer-lasting effects of in-office teeth whitening. There are four main types of teeth whitening products, which vary in terms of cost, efficacy, and convenience. Teeth whitening toothpastes and rinses are the most affordable option for at-home treatment. Whitening toothpaste uses a gentle abrasive to lift stains from the surfaces of the teeth while you brush, while rinses use whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide. For some people, whitening toothpaste may make the teeth increasingly sensitive or irritate the gums, so ask your dentist if a whitening toothpaste will work for you, and learn how to brush gently yet effectively. Chewing gum with teeth-whitening ingredients is another affordable over-the-counter option, and whitening gum has some extra benefits: chewing sugar-free gum after eating helps clean the teeth, rinsing away disease-causing bacteria and debris. Whitening gum is probably not strong enough to whitening your teeth significantly on its own, but it could help prolong your results following a whitening treatment.

Topically applied teeth whitening options that can be used at home include whitening strips and whitening trays. Whitening strips are over-the-the counter kits that include small strips of plastic that are coated with whitening gel; these are applied to the teeth once a day, per product instructions, and can produce noticeable results. Teeth whitening trays are similar to whitening strips in that they hold a whitening agent to the surfaces of the teeth, comfortably and effectively, for a sustained period of time. Whitening trays resemble mouthguards that are filled with a prescribed amount of whitening solution. While whitening trays can be purchased over-the-counter, you can also ask your dentist for custom whitening trays, which are crafted after an impression of your specific dentition and are used with clinical levels of whitening agent; whitening trays available over the counter have lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, by law.

The most effective teeth whitening treatment is the in-office whitening, which often yields excellent results in just one treatment. Dentists take precautionary measures that protect the gums and other soft oral tissue, allowing them to use the highest levels of whitening peroxides. Dentists also use an ultraviolet light to activate the whitening agent once it has been applied to the teeth. These in-office treatments are more expensive than their over-the-counter counterparts, but they often produce long-lasting, bright smiles. You and your dentist can determine which teeth whitening treatment is the ideal option for your new, shiny smile.

Can You Professional Teeth Whiten at Home?