Is Home Teeth Whitening the Best Bleaching Choice for You?

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September 12 2011

All you need to know about teeth bleaching

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Do you know that teeth whitening is a fast and affordable way to improve your smile? Well, I think you already know that there are many teeth whitening product on the market. But with so many products to choose from, do you know which product is good for you?

There are OTC teeth whiteners like gels, strips and brush on liquid. Whitening toothpastes have abrasives that remove stain on the teeth. They do not contain any bleach but can lighten tooth color by one shade. Whitening strips are those adhesive strips that placed over your teeth. It is worn overnight. Brush on liquid also contain a peroxid solution and are painted on the teeth.

Professional whitening treatments include tray-based at home treatments and in-office bleaching treatments. For at home bleaching, the dentist will provide a custom fitted mouthpiece that is filled with bleaching gel and worn for several hours each day or overnight. During in-office treatments the dentist puts a bleaching solution on the teeth, then uses a heat light or laser on the teeth to activate the bleach. In-office treatments take about 30-60 minutes.

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Most over the counter whiteners will make teeth a few shades lighter. In general, the products that come in contact with the teeth for the longest period of time will be the most effective. Over the counter products have a lower concentration of peroxide than professional products, so you may have to use them for longer periods than professional treatments to get similar results. There is also a higher risk of gum irritation with over the counter products, because the bleaching gel is more likely to come in contact with gum tissue.

Professional treatments can make teeth up to eight shades lighter with fewer treatments than over the counter products. Because professional bleaching trays are custom fitted to the patient’s teeth, bleach is less likely to contact gum and other soft tissue. During in-office bleaching treatments, the gums are protected, so there is even less risk of irritation.

The results of teeth whitening can last from 2-7 years. If your teeth were stained from coffee, tea, or nicotine, and you consume those items after treatment, results will not last as long and will need to be touched up more often.

There are side effect on teeth whitening. Some of them are temporary. The effects of whitening are not permanent and treatment have to be repeated to maintain whiteness.

Teeth whitening is not for everyone. People under 16 and pregnant women should not use bleaching treatments, as well as those with active gum disease. Extremely deep Tetracycline or fluoride stains do not respond very well to whitening treatments.

You can learn more about professional bleaching procedures and quality home teeth whitening kits in our currently only German website Bleaching<will be available in English soon.