You’ve probably stood in the toothpaste aisle wondering which, if any, of the whitening products will actually work.
As we get older, it’s normal for our teeth to get yellower and darker. Your morning coffee, those plates of pasta, and all the sweets you’ve eaten over the years are delicious, but they also leave a little something behind. Over time, all those little somethings add up into something that’s visible on your smile.
So, should you get the whitening toothpaste? The whitening strips? The whitening gel with the trays?
If you really want a brighter smile, visit our dentist office in Peabody, MA. At Contemporary Dentistry & Implantology, we offer a professional teeth whitening option that can remove the most stubborn stains.
Your Teeth Whitening Options
You aren’t the only person who wants to get rid of the stains on your teeth. That’s why so many different “whitening” products are on the market.
It’s also why the American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs decided to take a closer look at these various products. Here’s an overview of what they found.
Whitening products fall into two general categories — non-bleaching products and products with bleaching agents. Whitening toothpaste is considered a non-bleaching product. Whitening strips and gels are bleaching products.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
◼ Whitening toothpaste
From a marketing standpoint, the ADA council found that whitening meant any product that makes your teeth whiter, even if only by one shade.
Technically, whitening toothpaste can remove the surface stains from your teeth. From a practical standpoint, nearly any toothpaste could do this. That’s why dozens of toothpaste boxes proclaim what’s inside is “whitening” toothpaste.
Keep in mind, that you are constantly adding to the stains on your teeth with every sip and bite that you take, so using a whitening toothpaste is going to have a limited effect at best.
◼ Commercial bleaching products
Commercial products typically use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as a bleaching agent. This allows them to get beyond the surface to remove some of the deeper stains in your smile.
When used correctly, you may see some improvement to the overall color of your teeth. There is a risk with using any product with a bleaching agent, however. Overuse actually can damage the enamel on your teeth, and that is a risk that comes with using any whitening product without some guidance or supervision by a dental professional.
◼ Professional bleaching products
Professional teeth whitening products use the same bleaching agents as commercial products, but they can have concentrations 7 to 11 times higher than commercial products.
This allows them to go even deeper and to remove more stains in less time. It’s also why professional products are available at dentist offices rather than at retail stores.
They can be incredibly effective, but before you use any whitening product with a bleaching agent, the ADA council recommends talking to your dentist first.
Take Steps To Whiten Safely
If you are interested in teeth whitening, your first step should be scheduling a consultation with one of our dentists.
The health of your teeth can be a factor. If you already have dental fillings or crowns, teeth whitening isn’t going to work on them, which could leave you with an uneven color to your smile.
Likewise, staining is not the only reason your teeth can look dark or yellow. As effective as whitening products can be at removing stains, they don’t do much for worn-down enamel, the side-effects of medication, or discoloration due to injuries.
Our dentists can help determine if teeth whitening will help you. If so, we can make custom-fitted trays and provide you with our take-home whitening gel. When used as directed, most patients see improvements in a matter of just a few days.
If teeth whitening may not work for you, there’s another way you can create a brighter smile.Dental veneers can give you the appearance of a smile that is as white as you would like it to be.
Unlike bleaching products, veneers don’t remove the discoloration from your smile. Instead, veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth (similar to how fake fingernails are bonded over your real fingernails). When your veneers are attached, they can change the appearance of your smile in a number of ways, including how white your smile looks.