Though the concept of tooth whitening treatments dates back centuries, the more popular methods for at-home tooth whitening that we know of today got their start back in the 1980s. Since that time, people have made an effort to whiten their teeth for a variety of reasons. For some, tooth whitening is a popular choice when preparing for a job interview or other special occasion. For others, tooth whitening has become a sought-after treatment to counter the effects of smoking, the aging process, and discoloration that comes with time.
There are now dozens of at-home tooth whitening treatments available for purchase at drug stores, convenience stores, and the like. But not all at-home tooth whitening treatments are good for our teeth. While in-office whitening treatments are the safest for your oral health and a long-lasting white smile, we understand that many patients prefer to try at-home methods first. If you seek a healthy at-home whitening treatment, be sure to check out this list of what you need to know.
What You Need to Know About At-Home Whitening Treatments
The American Dental Association (ADA) advises against at-home tooth whitening treatments that use acidic fruits, baking soda, charcoal, spices, and oils. These at-home tooth whitening treatments can cause more harm than good. If you want to keep your teeth white naturally, practicing good oral hygiene habits is the best way to do so. Try these tips:
- Brush your teeth after meals or at least two times per day, for two minutes each time.
- Use a fluoridated toothpaste with whitening properties that has been approved by the ADA.
- Floss between your teeth at least once per day.
- Refrain from over-consumption of foods and beverages that may stain your teeth, such as red wine, coffee, and tea.
- Quit smoking or avoid the use of tobacco products.
- Visit your family dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and oral assessment.
Though whitening treatments will provide you with a brighter smile, not all at-home treatments are effective. Further, at-home whitening treatments will not remove deep stains as they only contain the appropriate agents to safely remove stains from the surface of your teeth. For a proper, deep whitening treatment, a professional in-office whitening treatment is the safest and most cost-effective in the long run.
Still want at-home whitening treatments?
If you still want to pursue an at-home tooth whitening treatment, you will be best served by a whitening toothpaste or over-the-counter whitening strips. But don’t just buy the first product that you come by in the dental aisle. Here’s what you should know about these products to help you brighten and whiten your smile.
Whitening Toothpaste for Safe At-Home Whitening Treatments
To be effective, tooth whitening toothpastes include safe abrasives that help polish your teeth and peroxide to help break down stains on teeth. Some tooth whitening toothpastes contain blue covarine, a chemical that sticks to the teeth’s surface to make them appear more white.
When used twice per day, whitening toothpaste can make teeth appear whiter in as little as two to six weeks. Whitening toothpaste that has blue covarine in it can create an immediate whitening effect.
If you decide to use a whitening toothpaste, be sure to follow the instructions on the package closely, and ensure you only purchase a brand that has the seal of acceptance from the ADA. This seal is an indicator to consumers that the whitening toothpaste is safe for use and will help remove stains from the surface of your teeth.
In-office tooth whitening is the preferred treatment.
Professional tooth whitening from Dr. Lang entails using an agent that contains peroxide, which is highly effective at removing deep stains from the enamel of your teeth. However, before we get started on any in-office tooth whitening treatment, we’ll take the time to assess the overall health of your teeth and gums and will consider the extent of the staining on your teeth. The results of our assessment will determine the concentration of peroxide that will be used on your teeth.
Professional whitening agents use more peroxide than is permissible for at-home whitening treatments, so your teeth are adequately penetrated and the staining can be removed. The stain’s molecules react to the oxygen in the whitening agent, thereby breaking the bonds and whitening your teeth as a result. When you elect to use a non-professional at-home whitening treatment, you will only be able to remove the stain from the teeth’s surface. Thus, professional in-office whitening treatments are more effective.
With in-office whitening, Dr. Lang and his team guarantee that you will have whiter teeth and a brighter smile. Costly whitening products that you can buy in the store will only benefit you for the short-term.
Regardless of whether you select an at-home or in-office method, you may experience tooth sensitivity after your whitening treatment. If you have sensitive teeth before treatment, it is important to let Dr. Lang or your family dentist know so that the whitening agent can be appropriately adjusted to produce less sensitivity post-treatment.
Get your free at-home whitening kit from Dr. Lang.
If you are interested in at-home whitening, be sure to get your free whitening kit from Dr. Lang. Fill out the form at the link provided, and a member of our staff will contact you about your whitening kit. If you decide that professional tooth whitening is the better solution for you, be sure to request an appointment. We’ll be happy to talk to you about our approach to tooth whitening or other options and how we can help you love your smile again.