Desiring a whiter smile?
It’s normal to want a beautiful, healthy smile and pearly white teeth.
Maybe you’ve tried over-the-counter products, such as whitening toothpaste or gels, without much success. Or maybe you’re considering a whitening treatment for the first time.
With so many whitening products on the market - how do you choose one? Let alone, one that works?
This article aims to give you an overview of teeth whitening methods and important information to consider before choosing a treatment that might work for you.
In this article, we will cover:
- Important things to know about teeth whitening
- How to know if you’re a good candidate
- Managing your expectations with desired results
- Over-the-counter (OTC) vs. professional products
Important Things to Know Before Beginning a Teeth Whitening Option
Whitening treatments can be effective for reducing and removing both intrinsic and extrinsic stains (1).
You should know that first, starting with a clean mouth is very important (2).
If you have tooth buildups, such as tartar or plaque, whitening agents will have a hard time penetrating (2). Before beginning a whitening treatment, it’s wise to have a checkup and teeth cleaning. This will help remove as much tooth buildup as possible (2).
Starting with a clean mouth will only help you get better results.
Also, talking to your dentist about potential whitening treatments is always a good idea.
Your dentist will show you a shade guide and discuss your whitening goals. They will help you decide the best treatment option for you based on your budget, time, and desired results (3).
No matter which treatment you choose, it’s common to experience some tooth discomfort. After whitening, your teeth may feel sensitive, even if you have healthy teeth (3)
Again, this is another reason why speaking with your dentist is always a good idea.
Am I a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Most patients who are in good health and are at least 16 years or older are good candidates for teeth whitening (4).
However, teeth whitening may not be best for you if you have:
Based on your health history, if you’re concerned or wondering whether a particular whitening treatment is right for you, talk with your dentist.
Managing Your Expectations With Teeth Whitening Results
When desiring a whiter smile, it’s common to have high hopes and expectations. In the end, you may hope to have pearly bright teeth as white as a T-shirt.
While having high hopes isn’t a bad thing, it’s good to have more reasonable expectations going into it. This will help so you aren’t disappointed.
Everyone is different, so each person’s teeth will react differently to whitening.
Achieving a significantly lighter shade is reasonable, but know that teeth whitening isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime thing (3).
Your teeth whitening results will not last forever. Just like the rest of your body, maintaining your brightest smile requires regular routine care.
Having a healthy oral hygiene routine (brushing, flossing), bi-annual dental cleanings, and regular whitening treatment will help you to have a whiter smile and maintain it (4).
Also, avoiding these will help as well:
Over-The-Counter (OTC) vs. Professional Whitening Products
When comparing over-the-counter (OTC) products to professional ones, there are some important factors to consider.
The more cost-effective option is OTC products, as one would expect. Available at nearly all major grocery and convenience stores, you can find OTC whitening products in strips, toothpastes, and whitening trays (6).
The major negative of OTC whitening products is that due to grocery store regulations, they use much lower levels of active bleching ingredients than that of professional products (6).
For example, Crest’s over-the-counterwhitening strip, Crest 3D Professional Whitestrips, have a hydrogen peroxide level of 6.5%, according to the National Library of Medicine (7).
Oppositely, Crest’s Professional Whitening Product, Crest Whitestrips Supreme, have a hydrogen peroxide content of 14%.
So while OTC products are less expensive, they are significantly less powerful; it may take a long time for you to achieve desired results.
If achieving a whiter smile is something you’re really looking for, investing in a professional whitening product is your best bet.
How Do I Find Professional Whitening Products Near Me?
At Greentree Dental Group, we have three different professional whitening treatments available for purchase - Crest Supreme Whitestrips, Opalescence Go Whitening Trays, and Custom Bleaching Trays.
Each one has its pros and cons, so discuss with us your whitening goals and needs to find the method that would work best for you.
See below is some at-a-glance information about each of our offered products. If you have any questions about the product or purchasing information, contact us here.
Crest Whitestrips Supreme
- Price: $79
- Hydrogen peroxide content: 14%
- Description: Box of 42 pouches, containing a set of two strips (one upper and one lower) in each pouch.
- Wear one set of strips twice daily for 30 minutes
Opalescence Go Whitening Trays
- Price: $70 for a 10 pack, $40 for mini 4 pack
- Hydrogen peroxide content: available at 10% and 15%
- Description: Prefilled trays of hydrogen peroxide gel whitening product. Fast and convenient to use
- Wear up to 60 minutes
Custom Whitening Trays
- Price: $357 for the starter kit (includes custom trays and 3 syringes of whitening product)
- Description: Like a retainer, a scan of your mouth is taken and a custom tray is created for you. This ensures whitening product is effectively coating each of your individual teeth. Using a syringe that contains a whitening agent gel, you put a small bead-size drop in each individual tooth’s mold
- Wear your custom whitening tray for about 30 minutes daily to achieve desired results
- Whitening: American Dental Association
- Forbes: Professional Teeth Whitening Guide
- Allure: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Teeth Whitening
- Bright Now Dental: Teeth Whitening
- Greenvale Dental Group: Professional Teeth Whitening Vs. Over-The-Counter Products
- Over-the-Counter Versus Professional Teeth Whitening: Which is Better?
- National Library of Medicine