QUESTION: What teeth whitening options are there?
There are 4 common options for teeth whitening. They are in-office bleaching, teeth whitening trays, strips, and toothpastes. In-office bleaching is the most effective because the whitening procedure is done while at the dental office in one appointment. However, not all dental offices offer this service so you should check with your dentist first to see if this can be done.
The second option is teeth whitening trays with peroxide gels for use at home. This option can take a few days to a couple of weeks for it to be effective depending on the strength of the peroxide ingredient. The trays can be provided by your dentist or purchased as part of an over-the-counter whitening kit. The benefit of having your dentist making a tray for you is that it will be customized specifically for your teeth instead of a generic tray and the bleaching gel is stronger and more effective.
Whitening strips are very popular and can be purchased at almost any drug store or supermarket. This is a very cost effective option but it is not as effective as a tray provided by your dentist. The reasons are because the concentration of the peroxide agent is lower and it is possible for them to slide on your teeth.
The last option is teeth whitening toothpaste. However, this is the least effective method to whiten teeth. These toothpastes contain some abrasives to help remove stains but these do not bleach your teeth.
The best option will depend on how much whitening you're looking to achieve, the timeframe to achieve it, the cost, and the current sensitivity of your teeth. Discuss these points with your dentist to determine the best option for you.
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