Which Teeth Whitening Method Should I Use?

You brush and you floss, and you brush and you floss, and still, your smile just isn’t as bright as you’d like it to be. The good news is, you’re not alone. Millions of people experience discoloration of their teeth for a variety of reasons. Even with regular visits to the dentist for your cleanings your teeth just may not be the pearly whites you’d like them to be. Luckily, there are many more options to whiten them than there ever have been.


You could go the DIY route (Do It Yourself) and try some over the counter remedies. After all they are the most affordable. They might also not be as effective as you are hoping they will be and can contain abrasives that may damage teeth over time. There are toothpastes, gels, rinses, pre-made whitening trays, and the ever famous strips. The toothpastes are typically the least effective and do not have the bleaching agents to really make teeth bright white. The gels and rinses can help but may also not be that effective. The pre-made trays can be uncomfortable and may cause some gum irritation. Of all the over-the-counter remedies, the white strips are typically the winners with experts and customers.


To be clear, your best bet for whitening your teeth starts with consulting a professional. Make sure you check in with your dentist to understand the full scope of what you’re trying to accomplish. The main reason for checking in with your dentist is that there can be a lot of confusion and possible misinformation about the whitening process. Most importantly though, professional, dentist-supervised treatment is safer and more dependable than doing it yourself. Talk with your dentist.


Another reason for talking with your dentist is that you could get a result you don’t want or no results at all. For instance, people with restorations such as crowns or veneers on front-facing teeth. Also, if you have intrinsic stains (stains below the enamel), extreme tooth sensitivity, or worn enamel, you might not be a good candidate. People with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) should also make sure to consult a dentist first.


For those that are good candidates, most dentists offer options for whitening in the office or in the comfort of your home. Side effects of whitening are rare and generally mild, while the treatment is easy and convenient.


In-Home whitening procedures are pretty straight forward and offer much more dramatic effects than the over-the-counter options. You would get a set of custom-made trays and the gel to put in them. The gel prescribed for home care is generally more mild than the in-office treatment and poses little risk of irritation. You’ll wear your trays for a while every day as prescribed by your doctor to get the results you’re looking for. Very simple, and still pretty cost effective.


Finally, there is the in-office treatment. This treatment typically makes the most dramatic impact. Sometimes using special lights optimized to work in concert with the gel, giving you a dazzling smile. On occasion, to get the very best result you might be encouraged to do a combination of in-house and home whitening.


The array of options available to whiten your teeth now is dazzling. As we mentioned before, if you really want the very best bright smile you can get, talk to a professional first. Book an appointment with Dr. Kantor and ask what your best options are to get your brightest smile as soon as possible.