In our never-ending search for physical improvement, many people find themselves looking in the mirror and wondering if their smile could use a tune-up. From straighter teeth to filling in gaps to simply whitening things up a few shades, there are many ways you can make your smile more appealing to yourself and everyone you meet! One of the easiest and quickest ways to improve your smile is through whitening your teeth. The options are seemingly endless and the methods can be a bit complicated, so today we’re taking out the guesswork and explaining the differences between the most common tooth whitening strategies around!
Basics in Bleach
You can achieve a whiter smile through two different fundamental means: bleaching or non-bleaching stain removal. Bleaching procedures can brighten your smile by 5 to 7 shades by changing the natural color of your teeth. There are at-home and in-office treatments that vary greatly in cost and procedure, but all will rely on an active ingredient such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to remove both surface and deep stains. Bleaching procedures include:
- Light Activated Whitening: Sometimes referred to as chairside bleaching, light activated whitening takes place in your dentist’s office and results in dramatically whiter teeth instantly. These procedures can cost about $500, but the results are noticeably impressive. Over time, however, your teeth will start to develop stains again as you resume your normal habits of coffee, wine, and tea drinking and you will have to revisit the dentist to have this procedure done again.
- Custom Whitening Mouthpiece: Your dentist can create a custom whitening mouthpiece for you to wear at home for a few hours a day or overnight. These mouthpieces typically cost about $300 and take about two weeks to whiten your smile dramatically. One of the benefits of these mouthpieces is that they are reusable and if you start to notice new stains, you can spend a day or two touching up the brightness of your smile in between visits to the dentist.
- Over-the-Counter Whitening Treatments: The grocery store and pharmacy offer a wide range of over-the-counter whitening treatments. These may vary from strips to trays to brush on bleaches, and their effectiveness will vary as well. Typically these treatments cost anywhere from $10-$45, so depending on your whitening needs, this could be the most cost effective way to go!
Scrubbing Away the Stains
Alternatively, teeth can be whitened without using bleaching agents whatsoever. A non-bleaching procedure will use chemicals or physical work to remove existing stains. While all toothpastes use mild abrasion to remove surface stains, whitening toothpastes will use abrasion in addition to a chemical known to aid stain removal. Having a professional dental cleaning will also help to remove surface stains from things like food, tobacco, and coffee.
Improving the look of your smile will not only leave you feeling more confident and happy, it will also help change how the world sees you! Captivating smiles are consistently found to help make better first impressions, so a small investment in yours can go a long way.
If you would like to know more about the whitening services we offer or to schedule a whitening procedure, give us a call at Countryside Dental Group today!