Teeth whitening is a procedure that removes stains and discoloration from teeth. At home, professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits can produce significant results over time.
Take-home kits utilize a lower-concentration peroxide gel (3% to 20%) that can remain on the teeth for an hour or longer (sometimes overnight). The lower the peroxide percentage, the longer it may safely remain on the teeth. There are three safe options for at home bleaching:
Whitening toothpastes contain safe chemicals that eliminate stains from teeth. They can usually brighten a smile by one shade. Whitening toothpastes are relatively inexpensive and can be conveniently bought at your local supermarket or drugstore.
Strips and Gels
Whitening strips and gels can be placed right over teeth and left on for certain amount of time, per the instructions. Optimal whitening takes about two weeks and you may have to wear them twice a day depending on the kit you buy. After that, your smile will stay its whitest for about 16 weeks. Whitening strips and gels are more expensive than whitening toothpastes, ranging between $10 and $55, depending on the kit.
A whitening mouth guard uses peroxide-based bleaching in the form of gel that is placed over your teeth. They must be left on at least an hour more, depending on the kit. You will achieve your best shade of white in about a month. Mouth guards can be bought over the counter, but are the most expensive whitening option at $150 or more.
Are you a candidate at home bleaching/whitening?
Whether you buy an at-home bleach kit or have our dentists bleach your teeth for you, almost anyone over the age of 14 with discolored teeth can benefit from whitening. If you are unsure about which method of at-home bleaching you should try, our dentists are more than happy to discuss it with you.