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Teeth Whitening

Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

There are a few different ways patients can whiten their teeth, and each of them has it’s pros and cons. Depending on the results you want, the process can be done in as little as 30 minutes or it can take as long as 2 weeks or more.

Teeth whitening can basically be broken into two types:

  • Professional teeth whitening (in-office)
  • Home teeth whitening

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Home teeth whitening

At home kits, products, and whitening strips are another way to achieve whiter teeth and they can be performed a few different ways.

  • Take home trays:  Most dentist offer take home trays that you, the patient, will be required to fill with gel and place into your mouth every day for a couple of weeks. Typically, you will wear this tray for an hour or two each day and some are even designed to be worn overnight while you sleep.  The results of these treatments vary, buy most patients achieve pretty good results bearing they don’t miss any applications and follow instructions correctly.  The downside of these trays for most patients are the price, the sensitivity, and time.  Each tray has to be custom molded to fit your mouth by your dentist and this can be costly.  Most dentist charge up to $500 for this treatment and a lot of patients complain of tooth and gum sensitivity due to the tray “leaking” gel onto the gums as saliva builds.  Patient’s mouths can also become sore and tired from having the tray inserted for such long periods of time.
  • Whitening Strips:  Whitening strips are very popular and are reasonably inexpensive compared to other methods of teeth whitening.  The results you can achieve from these strips are typically not as dramatic as you would get with the take home trays and a lot of customers complain of sensitivity and irritation.  As with the take home trays, the whitening strips are required by you to be applied directly to the teeth daily over a period of weeks.
  • Over the counter products: We all see the rows of different products offered at the grocery store or pharmacy promising a brighter smile.  Every brand of toothpaste has more than one product that is marketed to those wanting whiter teeth, but these products tend to have marginal results compared to professional products and treatments.  The best option for take home products is to use them to extend the results after an in-office treatment session and to choose those of a professional grade.