Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

There are many different methods for whitening your own natural teeth. You’ve probably seen the ads for dentists who claim to be able to whiten your teeth several shades in just an hour using different lights and lasers. Or perhaps you’ve seen the many over-the-counter (OTC) solutions for teeth whitening. Virtually every teeth whitening method except whitening toothpaste is based on one chemical. That chemical is a special kind of peroxide. Whether you’re purchasing an OTC bleaching product or having the bleaching done in a fancy, high-tech office setting, the peroxide is effectively the same and the results can be, as well.

There are many different teeth whitening systems available. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each system:

Over-the-counter teeth whitening strips

Advantages: Your teeth will eventually get white, they are easy to purchase, and they initially may be cost-effective.

Disadvantages: Because this is not a custom-fit product, the peroxide can have a tendency to get everywhere and can get on your gums. In addition, the strips usually do not cover all of the teeth in your smile, so you may have to use multiple strips for one application. Finally, the concentration of peroxide is comparatively low, so results may take longer to achieve and realize.

Other over-the-counter methods (paint-on, etc.)

Advantages: Your teeth will eventually get white, they are easy to purchase, and they initially may be cost-effective.

Disadvantages: Because the peroxide is not being held against the teeth by any trays or strips, you will probably swallow more of the peroxide. Other disadvantages are the same as the whitening strips. We have not seen any definitive evidence proving the effectiveness of these products.

Advantages: This is the method that we recommend most commonly in our office. The trays are made of soft plastic and are custom-molded to your teeth. You can apply the teeth whitening gel on your own at home and you can use a variety of different peroxide strengths. In addition, you are in control of the amount of time the tray is left on and how many times you wear it. If your teeth are sensitive following teeth whitening, we provide you with a fluoride gel that is usually effective at alleviating these symptoms. This is a safe, effective method for whitening teeth.

Disadvantages: You may have to wait a few days for the trays to be made. Also, if you choose to use a peroxide product that is too strong, it could cause tooth sensitivity that we can usually treat effectively.

In addition to Teeth Whitening, we provide the following cosmetic dentistry treatment options to our patients in San Luis Obispo and the surrounding areas: Veneers and Invisalign.