Many people wish they had a whiter smile, but undergoing a teeth-whitening treatment at the dentist is not always an option. The dentist may be far from your home, you may not get an appointment at a convenient time, or the process itself may be prohibitively expensive. The solution is to bleach your teeth at home.
But there is one small hitch. When you go to the dentist, he knows exactly which whitening product to use. If you want to treat yourself, how can you wisely choose between the dozens of whitening products available at your local drugstore? How can you know which products work the best, and more importantly – which ones are safe?
The following teeth-bleaching products are available over the counter:
- Gels – Paint the gel on your teeth every night with a small brush or pen, and leave the gel in place until morning. Repeat the process for at least two weeks.
- Teeth-whitening trays – Fill a tray shaped to fit over your teeth with a peroxide based-bleaching gel. Place the trays in your mouth for the prescribed period of time each day. Repeat the process for at least one to four weeks.
- Teeth-whitening strips – Apply thin plastic strips for 5 – 30 minutes per day, once or twice a day, for 5 – 14 days. The strips are coated with a whitening gel, and the higher the concentration of the gel, the faster the strips take effect.
- Teeth-whitening toothpastes – Use daily with no side effects. The pastes remove surface stains on the teeth and may increase the shade of white with time.
Any of these teeth-bleaching products can work well if you follow the instructions on the packaging and don't give up midway through the treatment period.
Some bleaching products can cause side effects or gum sensitivity, and you should discontinue use if the side effects become severe. Never bleach your teeth at home if you are pregnant or nursing or if you have gum disease.
Tips for choosing a bleaching product:
- Purchase only well-known brands with names that are familiar to you.
- Make sure the product you choose is approved by the ADA.
- Know that the products will be less effective if you have tooth-colored crowns, caps, or fillings, or if your tooth enamel is worn out.
In general, over-the-counter teeth-bleaching products have less concentration of whitening agents than products used by your dentist. Therefore, it will take longer to get results at home than at a dentist like Vernon Hills Dentist / Dr. Schussler D.D.S. Also, if your teeth are gray, the results will not be as successful as if your teeth are yellow. However, the over-the-counter products are all very affordable depending on what you choose. And if you avoid staining beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine after the treatment, you may enjoy a new white smile for quite a long time.Share