Your Tooth Whitening Options

Tooth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures that works to improve your smile. However, there are several tooth whitening options or methods available. What you choose will determine crucial aspects of the procedure, such as how much you will pay and how long the whitening effects will last. Therefore, if it's your first time considering tooth whitening, below is a brief overview of some of the available options.

Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are thin pieces of flexible material, usually plastic, containing a bleaching agent that you apply to your teeth. You need to attach the strips to your teeth every day for some minutes for a few weeks. The results of whitening strips are usually evident quite fast, which is why they are preferred by many people. They're also easy to use because you place them directly on your teeth. Most of the teeth whitening strips come as a package with a set amount of the strips, which are disposable, so you don't have to worry about cleaning them. Also, they're a cost-effective option because they are a DIY form of treatment that doesn't require professional supervision. That means you'll save on dentist fees.

On the downside, however, teeth whitening strips are usually only ideal for the front teeth and may not be as effective for the back teeth. Also, reaching every part of your tooth with whitening strips can be tricky, which means your teeth may whiten quite inconsistently. They are also best suited for very mildly stained teeth.

Whitening Toothpaste

This is another affordable option you may want to consider. It's also only ideal for surface stains and may not really work for naturally yellow teeth. In fact, it's usually recommended that you only use teeth whitening toothpaste to prolong the effects of other forms of teeth whitening. You only need to brush your teeth for a few minutes when using whitening toothpaste, just like your regular toothpaste. However, it's worth noting that prolonged use of whitening toothpaste tends to come with increase tooth sensitivity issues.

Laser Teeth Whitening

This is undoubtedly the most expensive teeth whitening method, but for a good reason. It's an instant form of treatment whose results should be evident after just one visit to the dentist. However, he or she may recommend a repeat of the process according to your whitening needs. As the name implies, this type of teeth whitening involves the use of lasers to speed up the whitening process or the bleaching effect of the whitening product (usually a gel) that's applied to your teeth. Unfortunately, it tends to be quite aggressive, which means you should expect tooth sensitivity after the treatment. The sensitivity should subside quickly, but your dentist can prescribe medication just in case it becomes quite uncomfortable (which is rare).