Teeth Whitening 101: What Is the Best Teeth Whitening System?

From whitening trays to an in-office job, there are a number of ways to whiten your teeth. But what is the best teeth whitening system? In my opinion, it’s about which method best fits your needs. Here, I list top whitening methods and their benefits to help you make the right decision.

Before you begin your research on which whitening method to choose, first, you need to figure out if you’re a good candidate for it. Otherwise it won’t be worth your investment.

You’re a good candidate if:

1. Your teeth staining is extrinsic and not intrinsic.

If your stains are extrinsic, it means you have stains from some external factors, like from coffee, red wine or ketchup, while intrinsic staining means your discoloration was caused by something internal, like a dead nerve.

2. Your teeth aren’t brown from cavities.

If they are, those teeth need to be restored and healthy first.

3. The teeth you want to whiten are natural teeth.

Teeth with bondings or crowns do not consist of enamel. Therefore, they will not whiten.

4. Your teeth and gums are healthy.

Your teeth should have no disease or decay present.

Now, let’s explore at-home and professional teeth whitening methods, and how each could benefit you.

At-home whitening methods

If you opt for an at-home method, cost is certainly a benefit. You could pay up to $500 for a professional job ($300 at my office), and these options tend to run much cheaper. To explore more about teeth whitening cost, read my recent blog post about it.

Whitening rinses. As easy to use as mouthwash, these rinses are packed with whitening agents. But teeth whiten very gradually, as agents are only exposed to teeth for a couple of minutes per day. You may not see a difference for a couple of months.

Whitening toothpaste. These toothpastes contain mild enzymes that scrape away stains when used with a toothbrush. To blast away even more stain, use an electric toothbrush.

However, be aware that, in some cases, these toothpastes can make teeth more sensitive.

Gel strips. Attach strips to your teeth for one to two hours per day for up to two weeks. Although, a greater commitment than a one time in office whitening treatment, gel strips are quite effective.

Whitening trays. These are are plastic trays used as a mouthguard that you fill with whitening gel.

While they whiten teeth fast, unless you have a custom tray molded at your dentist’s office, these trays usually are not custom-made to fit your mouth, which can make them uncomfortable to use. Take caution, as they may irritate your gums.

In-office whitening method

The supreme benefit of professional teeth whitening is that it’s both the safest and most effective way to get that glowing smile you’re hoping for. It’s a service I highly recommend to patients looking for whiter teeth.

We perform the procedure in my office every day, and it consistently yields positive results – my patients always walk out with brighter smiles and stronger self-confidence.

If you’re looking into having professional whitening for your wedding, a high school reunion, or simply to treat yourself, go for it! After the relaxing 90 minute procedure, you’ll walk out of the office with your teeth an average of 2-3 shades lighter.

Here’s how it works:

When you arrive, you’ll be escorted to a dental chair to meet with a staff member professionally trained to whiten teeth. He or she will place a material over your gum tissue to protect it from whitening agents. This is called a barrier.

Then, a UV light will be placed over your teeth after the professional applies the whitening agent.

The only thing you need to do is keep your mouth open. As I mentioned before, the procedure lasts about 90 minutes. You’ll most likely watch a movie or TV show during that time. Some patients even read or do work.

After it’s over, we put fluoride and other agents on the teeth to ward off any potential sensitivity you may encounter afterwards.

Talk to your us if you’re looking for whiter teeth – we can talk you through these choices, their costs, and help you decide which will be most beneficial to you.