Facts About Teeth Whitening
Achieve a bright smile with any of a variety of tooth whitening methods, including toothpaste, bleaching trays, or lasers.
There are a few misconceptions about teeth whitening, whether going through a dentist or with home treatments. Let us explore the facts when it comes to teeth whitening.
Teeth darken with age. The older you are, the more likely you are to have less than perfect teeth. However, few teeth are actually ever truly white, so take heart. Other causes of darkening teeth are drinking coffee, tea or soda, smoking, tooth erosion due to acid reflux disease, and more.
Whitening toothpaste does work to a point. However, the toothpaste will only lighten the outer layers of the tooth enamel, leaving the undercoating still discolored. This is why people often visit dentists for tooth bleaching.
There are two types of bleaching available. There is the tray method, where the teeth are encased in a specially made tray for a period of time. The dentist will provide a whitening gel to put into the tray. The laser method is slightly different. The dentist will coat your teeth in a hydrogen peroxide solution and speed up the action of the solution by shining a laser on the teeth.
Some dentists claim the laser method is more effective than the tray; however, there is no clinical evidence of this. Both treatments will run around $500. The difference is you get to keep the trays you have made and the whitening gel as well, so a year later you can re-treat yourself without having to go to the dentist again--whereas with new stains that occur after the laser treatment you'll need to visit the dentist again.
Store-bought cleaners have notoriously weaker cleaning agents than the ones dentists use. However, they also cost a lot less, and you can use them a lot more often. The recommended treatment is one to 14 days, and if you simply continue using the at-home techniques you could see an improvement. Combine this with a whitening toothpaste and you may achieve results similar to what you would get at the dentist's office.