Many products and techniques are available for patients who want to achieve a brighter smile. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the method that is right for the patient. Although we do not offer in-office whitening procedures, we are happy to discuss over-the-counter options.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Paint-On Teeth Whiteners
There are many over-the-counter teeth-whitening options. One type of readily accessible whitening products is commonly referred to as a “paint-on” teeth whitener. Paint-on whiteners can be purchased over the counter and generally are less expensive and less effective than whitening strips or professional options.
They consist of a gel applied to the tooth using a small brush. Paint-on whitening gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth, and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth-whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use.
Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower.
The whitening agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing them to ensure contact with all the teeth. Teeth-whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.
Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash
The least expensive options are whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, toothpastes and mouthwashes work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives.
However, unlike the materials used in professional whitening procedures, these products do not lighten the actual color or shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will mildly lighten your teeth.