Tooth whitening offers patients a sparkling smile through any of several options. While store-bought whitening products remain available, their effectiveness and safety cannot compare to that of office treatments. Here is a deeper look at which tooth whitening methods are best.
Options for Tooth Whitening
On store shelves, patients can find products that whiten teeth with peroxides and abrasives. Peroxides, found in many gums, strips, gels and toothpastes, work by bleaching away pigments on the teeth. Abrasives are most commonly found in toothpastes and work by grinding away stains. To minimize risks of tooth damage, abrasive-based whitening products should only be used occasionally. Peroxide products are often used for months to obtain desired results. Professional teeth whitening treatments use stronger peroxide-based gels, offer minimal risk of damage and deliver results in a single session.
Professional Whitening Choices
A number of options are available within the category of professional tooth whitening, which generally takes one hour or less. Most professional whitening compounds are based on hydrogen peroxide, but Zoom whitening compound also contains carbamide peroxide to enhance results. During a professional whitening session, our dentist protects the oral soft tissues with a barrier and applies the whitening gel before activating it, allowing it to work, and removing it. Zoom is different in that it includes three of these cycles per session.
Choose Whitening from a Dentist
Professional whitening is sometimes performed by individuals who are not trained dentists. This can affect the quality of results and increase risks of side effects, including tooth sensitivity and soft tissue damage. Receiving this procedure from a cosmetic dentist also ensures that additional treatment recommendations can be gained if necessary.
Store-bought and professional teeth whitening options are available. When the latter is desired, it should be received from a properly trained tooth whitening dentist. You can schedule a consultation with our dentist to find out which whitening method is best for you.