At-Home Teeth Whitening Advantages
- Long-term results: Dental professionals agree that the only way to maintain your whitened teeth is with at-home bleaching products, repeated regularly -preferably every four to six months. Some people with very dark-stained or tetracycline-affected teeth will need to continue home bleaching over a period of months (or up to a year) for optimal results.
- Convenience: You can do home whitening at any time of the day or night, for short or extended periods.
- Portability: You can also use at-home bleaching while on the go or at the office.
- Cost: Over-the-counter whiteners range from $4 to $100, while dentist-dispensed
products cost approximately $250. Inoffice bleaching is an average of $650 per session
Dentist-Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Trays
Some of the best bleaching results come from dentist-dispensed take-home kits -particularly those that are used over extended periods. These kits contain higher percentages of bleach than over-the-counter kits and typically consist of:
- Custom-fitted application trays
- Bleaching compounds are stored in a syringe and added to the trays just before use. The bleaching materials we use include a desensitizing agent.
- The best time to begin at-home whitening is soon after a dental hygienist removes the
surface layer of plaque and grime that can interfere with bleaching.
- We urge brushing and flossing the teeth just prior to the use of at-home whitening.
- For best results, don’t consume food or beverages (excluding water) for a couple of hours after whitening. Brush with a regular toothpaste before eating.
Technically speaking, all toothpastes are whitening toothpastes, since they remove surface plaque and debris. But only a few contain key whitening ingredients: chemical bleaching agents and abrasives in high concentrations. These toothpastes may offer some backup support for tooth whitening.
Toothpastes with Peroxide
Because toothpaste foams all over the mouth and is swallowed, the percentage of any bleach it contains is low.
Toothpastes with Abrasives
Most toothpastes clean the teeth with finely ground abrasives such as silica, aluminum oxide, calcium carbonate and baking soda. Whitening toothpastes contain more of these abrasives.
Overuse or brushing with too much pressure can cause tooth wear and can also dull the surface of teeth and crowns.