At Newberg Family Dental, we get a lot of patients asking us about teeth whitening procedures. Should you do a professional whitening program designed by our dentist in Newberg, Oregon, or is an at home procedure better for you? There are important considerations to take in if you are planning on doing an at-home teeth whitening system. Here are the basics of what you should know before you whiten your teeth at home.
What Teeth Whitening Product is Best?
We recommend trays and strips, because they are the most effective at-home choices for the most dramatic whitening. These are “barrier methods” that whiten and keep the peroxide solution against the teeth for the longest amount of time. The reasons these products work so well is because it is a daily application, which can whiten teeth five or more shades. Most brands of trays and strips recommend you use them for around 30 minutes a day until you get to the desired shade (usually at least one week). For the most dazzling results, look for higher concentrations of peroxide combined with longer application times.
How Do At-Home Teeth Whiteners Work?
At-home tooth bleaching uses either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gel applied to the teeth using thin mouth guard type trays. Over the counter whitening strips that go over the front teeth can also be used. The peroxide agents penetrate into the porosities in the enamel and oxidize the stain deposits that build up on your teeth.
Why Does Tooth Discoloration Happen?
As a person ages, the teeth often become darker due to staining by foods (coffee, tea, or red wine), tobacco or bacterial pigments. Environmental factors can influence the color of teeth as well. Tetracycline antibiotics can also cause a gray staining of the teeth. Dental bleaching and teeth whitening can help to lighten the enamel and reverse the staining of the enamel. But as we discussed above at home treatments are usually safe and easy to use as well. If you are planning on whitening your teeth make sure to avoid coffee, dark color foods and drinks. Anything that can stain the teeth will work against the whitening procedure.
Should I Whiten My Teeth at the Dentist Office?
The fit of the trays or strips for at home whitening kits sometimes stops some people from using them. Unlike a custom tray from the dentist’s office, disposable versions are made with generic molds that are designed for the average-size mouth. Well obviously there is no average one size fits all, so what ends up happening is common leaks of the peroxide solution through any gaps and this causes tooth and gum irritation. Whitening strips easily wrap around teeth but sometimes slip and slide.
The benefit of working with your Newberg Family Dental is the custom bleaching trays that are made for at-home use, and they can apply a masking gel or dam to protect gums during stronger, in-office treatments. You may also qualify for Newberg Family Dental’s Free Teeth Whitening for Life program, which will allow you to maintain a bright, healthy smile!