You might think your teeth are either white or they’re not, but actually there are 28 naturally occurring shades of teeth! Some people’s teeth are more on the yellowish side, and some have a more gray hue to them. If your teeth are any shade other than white, you’ve probably thought about whether tooth whitening is a good option for you.
Tooth whitening is a procedure that can be done either in the dental office or at home. There are chemical-based whiteners or bleaching products that can be used at home or by a dentist to remove deep stains and whiten the tooth’s surface. You can also try to get some more subtle results by using whitening toothpastes. These do not contain bleach, and they can really only remove surface-level staining.
Let’s explore these tooth whitening options a little further:
In-Office Tooth Whitening
If you want serious results, in-office tooth whitening is the way to go. There are actually many different kinds of in-office whitening options! At Inspire Dental Wellness, we offer Opalescence Boost which can get your teeth 3 shades whiter in just 60 minutes. This option is much stronger than the over the counter kits you can get at the drugstore. It is a gel that contains potassium nitrate and fluoride, which we brush onto the surface of your teeth.
After about an hour, you’ll be able to see results. Simple as that! And, because you’re getting it applied in the office, you can rest easy knowing that your sensitive gum tissue is being protected so there’s no pain or sensitivity following your whitening procedure.
At-Home Whitening Kits
No doubt you’ve seen the many, many options out there for at-home tooth whitening. They range from light-activated kits to whitening strips to gel pens that you brush on your teeth. These kits are not as strong as in-office whiteners and can cause temporary sensitivity and irritation of the soft tissues in your mouth, like your gums.
It is so important to carefully read the instructions that come with your whitening kit and follow them closely. Do NOT let the bleaching agent sit on your teeth longer than what is stated on the package. Doing this can lead to more long-term damage of your teeth and gums.
Lastly, there is whitening toothpaste, which is also extremely common. In fact, it’s kind of hard to find a toothpaste these days that doesn’t contain some kind of whitening agent. These toothpastes contain ingredients that help to remove surface stains, making the teeth appear whiter. They can’t remove stains that are below the surface.
If you have deep stains or are looking for a drastic whitening process, this probably isn’t going to be enough for you. However, it’s still good to incorporate to your daily oral health routine, since whitening toothpastes are pretty harmless.
Some people aren’t going to be good candidates for tooth whitening, for example, those with gum recession, exposed root surfaces, and those with crowns or extremely dark stains. It’s always best to consult with your dentist before trying anything new… including teeth whitening! If you’d like to schedule an appointment for Opalescence Boost, you can give us a call at 708-419-2496 or request an appointment here!