Lighthouse Family Dentistry
37 Old Solomons Island Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
Three Choices For Whiter Teeth
Todays smile-centered society can now have whiter teeth almost on demand. Now, whitening teeth is as quick and easy as coloring your hair or tanning your skin, and is very safe and does not damage the teeth. Tooth whitening is available to practically everyone who wants a whiter, brighter and more attractive smile.
There are three ways of whitening teeth that take from one hour, to one week, to one month. Power bleaching in the dental office takes about an hour. Take-home tray bleaching systems can take from one to three weeks. Whitening strips generally take up to a month to get the best results.
Power bleaching is by far the fastest and most dramatic way to whiten. This highly advanced technique is done in the dental office under a dentists supervision. The patient reclines in the dental chair with the whitening material applied to the teeth and has a special light directed over the teeth. The dentist then applies bleaching gel on the teeth for about an hour.
The light accelerates the whitening action so that maximum results occur in less time. After the power bleach treatment, the gel is simply rinsed off and the teeth have whitened up to 10 shades in only an hour. The results are dramatic and last for years without relapse if whitening toothpastes are used daily to prevent re-staining.
The take-home tray bleaching system can give excellent results but takes longer. This method requires bleaching trays to be worn one to two hours a day for one or more weeks to whiten the teeth. The tray system has the patient take the responsibility for following the bleaching instructions properly and wearing the trays as directed in order to get really good results.
Professionally-made and custom-fitted trays used with prescribed bleaching materials from your dentist is the better way to go than with store-bought over-the-counter (OTC) make-your-own tray systems. Poorly fitted trays may leak the bleach onto the gums and into your mouth. OTC whitening gels are not as good or as strong as the ones your dentist will prescribe.
The tray system takes more time and effort on the patients part and does not give immediate results. However, take-home tray systems can give excellent results if supervised by your dentist and the trays are worn as directed and long enough.
Whitening strips are the least costliest way to bleach your teeth. Bleaching material is impregnated into clear plastic strips, which are placed over the front of the teeth. The strips are left on the teeth for one-half to one hour a day and done daily for as many weeks as needed.
There are different concentrations of the bleaching agent available. The higher, more effective concentrations are available through your dentist. Lesser strengths can be purchased OTC. Just out on the market is a paint-on bleaching kit that allows you to put on the gel with a brush instead of with strips. Whitening strips and paint-on gels are very economical and relatively easy to use.