Exploring Your Options For At-Home Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the #1 requested cosmetic treatment. If you're among the majority of people who are interested in whitening your teeth, there are a few things that you should know to make sure the process goes well.

Talk to your dentist

Even if you plan to do teeth whitening at home, you should talk to your dentist to make sure that you don't have tooth decay that could cause the whitening products to sink in and cause pain. Your dentist can also tell you about in-office treatments so you have an idea about the cost and advantages of working with a cosmetic dentist instead of doing it at home. Also ask your dentist what would be a realistic goal for you to achieve in your teeth whitening process.

Choose your product

If you talk to your dentist and still feel that you would like to pursue at home options, it's time to pick your product. Don't just grab the cheapest product, however. It is important to do your research to find the best product for you. Some things to consider:

  • Bleaching vs. whitening: Bleaching products are made to take the teeth beyond their natural whiteness. These products typically contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Whitening products on the other hand are made to get rid of stains. This applies to many tooth products such as toothpaste, but many bleaches also use the term "whitening" because it sounds more appealing than bleaching.
  • Dentist vs drugstore: Even if you choose not to go to a cosmetic dentist, your dentist may have take home whitening kits that you can purchase. These kits are easy to use, and your dentist can help you find one that will be the safest for your teeth. These kits often are left on longer than the kind you can get over the counter. With the over the counter whitening kits, you often get a one-size-fits-all tray
  • Strips vs teeth trays vs paint-on: Teeth whitening products also come in different varieties. Some come in strips that are easy to apply and are more comfortable to wear than some other options. Tooth trays available at the drugstore are one-size-fits-all and can be worn anywhere from a few minutes to overnight, but dentists can fit you with custom trays for your teeth. There are also paint-on applicators, mouthwashes, and toothbrushes that can have some whitening effects.
  • Carbamide peroxide vs hydrogen peroxide: The main difference between the two major types of whitening agents is that carbamide peroxide is hydrogen peroxide that has an additional solution to help whitening added to it. Hydrogen peroxide, then, is the basic form of the ingredient. There are also a few other potential whitening ingredients that you can look into so that you can find which product will work best for you.

Whitening your teeth at home involves a lot of decision making, but with the help of a dentist and careful research, you can have the beautiful white teeth that you have been dreaming of. Visit a dentist like Dansville Family Dental Care for more information.