Take Home Teeth Whitening System
If you're looking for an alternative to professional teeth whitening in a
dental office, then do-it-yourself at-home whitening might be right for
you. There are dozens of home whitening options available for every
budget and temperament – whether professionally dispensed, store-bought
or sold on the Internet. Many teeth-whiteners are pre-mixed and ready to
use; others require mixing at home.
It may surprise you to learn
that many dental professionals believe that dentist-dispensed whitening
trays and whitening strips – when used as directed – can be even more
successful than in-office bleaching over the long haul. A key reason is
their ongoing use, combined with the fact that small amounts of bleach
remain within the tooth structure for up to 36 hours. When a new dose of
bleach is applied to a tooth retaining the previous day's peroxide, its
effect is greater.
However, there are pitfalls to whitening your
teeth at home. For example, if you have an underlying condition like
tooth decay or gum disease, you could end up enduring extreme pain
depending on the concentration of peroxide used. The following article
should help you evaluate all the pros and cons of DIY whitening.
Advantages of At-Home Teeth Whitening
results: Dental professionals agree that the only way to maintain your
whitened teeth is with at-home bleaching products, repeated regularly –
preferably every four to six months. But lately, many dentists are
advising people with very dark-stained or tetracycline-affected teeth to
continue home bleaching over a period of months (or up to a year) for
optimal results. What's interesting is, the newest teeth whitening
strips on the consumer market are intended for five-minute use every
day, like brushing or flossing.
Variety: You have a choice of whitening trays, strips or paint-on products, as well as numerous whitening accessories.
Convenience: You can do home whitening at any time of the day or night, for short or extended periods.
Portability: You can also use at-home whitening strips while on the go or at the office.
Over-the-counter whiteners range from $4 to $100, while
dentist-dispensed products cost approximately $400. By contrast,
in-office whitening costs an average of $650 per session.
Don't Over do it!
you can get over-the-counter whiteners without a dentist's
recommendation, if you over-use them or use them incorrectly, they can
harm your tooth enamel and irritate your gum tissue. Also,
over-bleaching can produce an undesirable bluish hue, chalky whiteness
or uneven results (otherwise known as "the technicolor effect").
by a dentist can prevent these problems. To ensure the health of your
smile, see your dentist before choosing an over-the-counter tooth
whitener and beginning the bleaching process. Dentists know a lot about
these products and can help you choose the right one and use it
Also keep in mind:
The stronger the peroxide
formula, the more rapid its effect; the weaker the formula, the longer
it can remain on the teeth safely. A low-percentage bleach used
overnight every night of the week will produce about the same results as
a high-percentage "day-bleach" that stays on the teeth one hour per day
for seven days.
The best time to begin at-home whitening is soon
after a dental hygienist's prophylactic cleaning. This procedure
removes the surface layer of plaque and grime that can interfere with
Dentists and oral care companies urge brushing and flossing the teeth just prior to any kind of at-home or on-the-go whitening.
For best results, don't consume food or beverages (excluding water) for a couple of hours after whitening.
Dentist-Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Trays
to dental professionals, the best bleaching results come from
dentist-dispensed take-home kits – particularly those that are used over
extended periods. These kits contain higher percentages of bleach than
over-the-counter kits and typically consist of:
application trays made of a flexible plastic material and offer several
benefits: 1) They help ensure that the bleach stays in contact with the
teeth, for maximum whitening, 2) They help prevent saliva from coming
into contact with the bleaching agent (which can dilute its strength),
and 3) They minimize the amount of bleach that can dribble onto (and
potentially irritate) the gums
Bleaching compounds are either
pre-loaded into the trays or stored in syringes and added to the trays
just before use. In many cases, your dentist can fine-tune the bleach
concentration and add a desensitizing agent to use before or after
application. Generally the kits provide enough gel for one two-week
treatment per year, plus one- or two-day touch-ups every four to six
The Procedure for Obtaining a Take-Home Whitening Kit
take-home teeth whitening kits available from your dentist contain a
high concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and
provide excellent results in 1 to 2 weeks of prescribed use.
trays keep the whitening solution on the surface of the tooth to be
whitened, and allow for only slight exposure of the solution to the
sensitive gingival area. The cost of take-home whitening is considerably
lower than in-office whitening.
The typical procedure followed
in the dental office to obtain an in-home teeth whitening kit would be:
1) Impressions are taken of your upper and lower teeth and sent to the
dental laboratory to make your trays. It will normally take 1 to 2 weeks
for the dental lab to make your trays. The initial shade of your teeth
is recorded in your dental chart for comparison when whitening has been
completed. 2) An appointment will be made to show you how to dispense
the teeth whitening solution in the trays and give you detailed
instructions to follow. Take-home teeth whitening is typically used one
hour a day for two weeks, and can be used for touch-up applications
thereafter. Certain brands may be worn overnight for your convenience.
Always brush and floss your teeth before placing the trays in your
mouth, and avoid eating, drinking, or smoking while wearing the trays
and for approximately 30 minutes after teeth whitening. 3) A follow-up
appointment is made to track your results and determine the final shade
of your teeth.
all toothpastes are whitening toothpastes, since they remove surface
plaque and debris. But only a few contain key whitening ingredients:
chemical bleaching agents and abrasives in high concentrations.
used regularly, these toothpastes may offer backup support for tooth
whitening. Of course, given that brushing time is limited to a minute or
two, that support is minimal. But since we all brush every day, some
consider whitening toothpastes to be potential whitening enhancers.
Toothpastes with Peroxide
toothpaste foams all over the mouth and is swallowed, the percentage of
any bleach it contains is low, to avoid irritation.
Toothpastes with Abrasives
toothpastes clean the teeth with finely ground abrasives such as
silica, aluminum oxide, calcium carbonate and baking soda. Whitening
toothpastes contain more of these abrasives – though the paradox here is
that overuse can cause more stains and can also dull the surface of
dental crowns and veneers.
Floss may seem
like an unlikely part of the tooth-whitening regimen, particularly as it
is in contact with the teeth for only a second or two. But over the
long haul, using whitening floss daily may assist with stain removal in
the narrow space between the teeth, an area that even in-office
bleaching has a hard time reaching.
Whitening floss differs from standard dental floss in its use of mild abrasives, typically silica.
Schedule Your Teeth Whitening Appointment
Arlington cosmetic dentist provides a comprehensive selection of teeth
whitening treatments. To learn more, or to schedule a visit, contact our
office at 781-648-0279. We proudly welcome patients from Arlington, MA,
and all surrounding areas, including Belmont, Cambridge, Lexington,
Medford, Somerville, Watertown, and Winchester.