One of the things patients wonder about the most in cosmetic services today is how to whiten teeth. According to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, almost all adults believe an attractive smile is an important social asset and important in the workforce, but people have a lot of questions on what methods are available to them.
Fortunately, teeth whitening is one of the easiest and most economical ways to improve your smile, and most methods are also easily acquired. But before you begin, it is important to determine what you want to achieve with whitening. After a consultation with your dentist, you can then put a plan of action together on what's best for whitening your teeth.
There are three basic methods you can use to whiten your teeth:
This process involves making an appointment with your dentist to have a special concentrated gel applied to your teeth. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes for the gel to work, but your appointment time in the chair can last up to an hour. Also in the dental office, the dentist can make the custom trays with a weaker whitening gel to continue the process at home.
This method is similar to in-office whitening, but you do the whitening at home with a milder whitening gel. You'll wear a set of custom trays at home for about a maximum of an hour per session, and stop when your teeth reach your desired shade. Eventually, though, your teeth will no longer whiten, and like the in-office method, at-home whitening may require you to use a desensitizing toothpaste for a certain amount of time.
Another at-home whitening method is over-the-counter strips, which are directly applied to the teeth for about an hour a day. The results vary, just like tray applications. This method is most effective when the teeth are completely straight, as the plastic whitening strips must be able to touch the complete surface of each tooth. Quite often, however, the use of whitening strips is more expensive than specially designed whitening toothpastes.
For a lot of patients, whitening toothpastes are good options for whitening teeth but it may take a longer time. Follow the product's instructions on how to whiten your teeth, and you can be on the road to a whiter, healthier smile. When selecting a whitening toothpaste, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which is your assurance that it has met the American Dental Association's standards for safely and effectiveness.
The use of any of these three methods for how to whiten teeth will provide you with a healthy-looking smile. Consulting with your dentist or dental hygienist before you begin is the best way for you to guarantee a good result.