We’ve all seen the ads and the displays at the local pharmacies -- dozens of brands, all claiming to do one thing: make your teeth whiter. Some advertise themselves as the easiest or fastest, while others claim to be as good as the service your dentist offers.
So what’s the truth? In short, there are two basic types of teeth whiteners: at-home, unsupervised methods, and methods either supervised by a dentist or done entirely in a dentist’s office. Deciding which is better for you depends on several factors.
First, do you have naturally sensitive teeth? If so, you may want to consult with your dentist before trying out a DIY method. Second, how quickly do you want results? Options for teeth whitening can range from a handful of treatments to daily maintenance. Third, how much time do you have in your schedule for the treatments? A dentist-supervised option is going to have fewer, longer sessions, versus some of the quicker but more long-running options you do yourself. Fourth, what is your budget? This is pretty self-explanatory, since an in-office or custom option with a dentist is going to cost far more than an at-home option.
Here are a few other things to consider when making this decision:
· If you have darkened tissue under your enamel (this makes the tooth look grayish and is caused by age or injury,) teeth whitening will not correct it.
· Whitening will only affect your natural tooth. If you have veneers, crowns, etc., they will not be affected. This may cause some color mismatching on your teeth.
· Deep staining will not be fixed by whitening toothpaste. You will need to use an actual whitening system to see significant results.
· Over-the-counter systems will not have as strong a formula as what a dentist can provide for you. This will affect how long it takes for you to see the results you want.
· Do not attempt teeth whitening with the assumption you will come out with a snow-white smile. Results will vary based on your teeth, eating and drinking habits, any damage, etc. Be realistic in your expectations.
That said, here are some of the highest-reviewed at-home methods for teeth whitening:
· If you’d like a natural option, try a whitening powder or toothpaste made with charcoal. There are many brands available, especially online.
· For toothpastes, appropriate for maintenance and light staining, try these: Crest 3D Whitening Toothpaste, Colgate Optic White Toothpaste, and Colgate Advanced Total Whitening Toothpaste.
· For bleaching strips, try the Crest 3D White Luxe Professional Effects Strips.
· For at-home bleaching trays, the Plus White Whitening Systems and the Smartsmile Professional Teeth Whitening Kit are well-reviewed. Both consist of trays and bleaching gel, and range in price from about $11.00 to $25.00 on Amazon.
There are many culprits responsible for "less-than-white” teeth. Things like red wine, coffee, age, trauma, and even medications can darken your teeth. Many dentists offer in-office whitening services that can restore and brighten your enamel. For patients seeking a whiter smile, Robinson Dental Group Family Dentistry offers PhilipsZoomatboth its Lake Charles and Moss Bluff offices.Zoomis a professional whitening solution only available at dental offices. "The procedure is safe, pain-free and offers a full range of options based on the patient’s needs and lifestyle,” said Dr. Tim Robinson, DDS. "A safe bleach solution is applied to the teeth in trays and then a special light is used to enhance the action of the whitening agent,” said Dr. Robinson. Over 10 million people rely onZoomfor a whiter smile. Patients can see their teeth looking up to eight shades whiter in only 45 minutes. To learn more, visitwww.RobinsonDentalGroup.net.