Do a search for teeth whitening and you’re sure to get dozens of home remedies, over-the-counter methods and even professional treatment options. How do you know what is the best option? Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about whitening your teeth.
Do Home Remedies Really Work?
Home remedies are most effective for people with little to no discoloration. Most home remedies take many applications to see any improvement. If your teeth are severely discolored from either smoking, food or years of neglect, you will most likely get better results if you talk to a professional. Sometimes, discoloration isn’t cosmetic, but internal, in which case, no amount of external treatments will help. Home remedies are not the best option for teeth whitening.
What About Over-the-Counter Products?
You can go to your local pharmacy and find many different products that purport to whiten your teeth. These products are more likely to work if you don’t have much discoloration and other tooth problems. Most tooth whitening toothpastes can only change your tooth color about one shade. Whitening strips can help in a few days, but the results may not last more than about four months. Whitening rinses are more common today, but it can take up to 12 weeks to see results because the product doesn’t come in contact with the teeth for very long.
Why Are Professional Dental Tooth Whitening Products Superior?
When you’re using home remedies or over-the-products, you probably still have plaque or tartar on your teeth that limits the effectiveness of the product. When you start at the dentist’s office to get your teeth whitened, your dentist will have your teeth cleaned before applying any product. This lets the whitening agent work on the surface of your tooth to give you consistent results.
Professional teeth whitening agents are stronger than what you can buy over-the-counter. Your dentist can brighten your teeth up to eight shades whiter in just one sitting. You can’t get those results on your own. Because your dentist starts with healthy teeth, your entire mouth benefits from whitening.
Many OTC products may slowly get results, but they can cause sensitivity and gum irritation. Your dentist makes sure that the products used in the office only touch your teeth, keeping your gums safe. The chemicals used in the dentist’s office may be stronger than what you buy at the drug store, but your dentist can accommodate sensitive teeth to help you stay comfortable and keep teeth healthy.