There are dozens of options to whiten teeth, including in-office professional whitening and over-the-counter at-home treatments, but not all are created equal. Many patients first opt for at-home products purchased from drug stores or super markets due to the lower price when compared to professional treatments, while others skip the trial and error phase and go straight for professional results. Although the products and treatment options vary significantly, so do patients and their needs. For some, over-the-counter teeth whitening kits are sufficient for their desired results; others may not be able to achieve a bright white smile with store bought products, depending on their teeth and other factors.
Almost all major toothpaste brands offer whitening toothpaste options. Some brands have specially designed whitening toothpastes that include active ingredients comparable to those in at-home kits. These toothpastes often feature a mildly abrasive texture for polishing the teeth to remove surface stains and active ingredients that include peroxide or other bleaching agent for whiter results. When used properly, a good quality whitening toothpaste may lighten teeth over time. They are also very good at maintaining results after professional whitening treatments.
At-home kits are available over-the-counter and online. Some kits utilize strips that contain the bleaching gel, which are pressed over the teeth and left in place for a set amount of time. Other kits may use whitening trays where the bleaching gel is applied to the tray and then placed in the mouth to hold the gel. In both cases, results will depend on the patient’s needs but rarely will an at-home kit produce professional results. In some cases, if the bleaching gels are used inappropriately, for too long or with significant contact to the gums for example, there can be increased sensitivity and other signs of irritation from use.
Professional whitening treatments, such as Zoom Whitening, utilize a high-quality peroxide-based whitening gel that is applied to teeth one at a time, after a professional dental cleaning has been done. The gel is activated by a UV light applied for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the needs of the patient and tolerance levels. This is repeated two to three times, with fresh whitening gel applied each time. The results are significantly brighter than those produced by at-home kits.
For more information about teeth whitening options and other procedures, contact our experienced dentistry team today!
Mark E. Massaro, DDS
3150 East 41st Street
Wellington Square Suite 141
Tulsa, OK 74105
Dr. Mark Massaro is a Tulsa, OK dental professional dedicated to General, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry such as Dental Exams, Cleanings, X-rays, Smile Makeovers, Zoom Teeth Whitening, Lumineers, Crowns, & more.