Posted on: 30 April 2019Share
We've grown accustomed as a society to seeing movie stars and other celebrities flashing brilliant white teeth in pictures and on TV. If these displays make you feel uncomfortable about showing your own teeth in public, you may be looking for ways to whiten your smile. You'll certainly find plenty of options awaiting you on the grocery store shelf or even in your own medicine cabinet — so why would you choose to pay for professional teeth whitening instead? Here's a quick look at the advantages of dental whitening techniques over the DIY approach.
Home Whitening Methods
Most home teeth whitening methods rely on a common substance called hydrogen peroxide. The familiar brown bottle seen in so many households contains a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide in water. The weakness of this concentration improves its safety for household use, but it also means that you may have to swish your mouth with the stuff for weeks before you get any results. You can also buy peroxide-based whitening strips that adhere to your front tooth surfaces for a more direct effect. But the peroxide in these products isn't much stronger than that in the brown bottle. Even so, the direct, extended contact of the peroxide with your gums can irritate the gum tissue.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening techniques offer both stronger whitening agents and more effective application methods than home-based whitening options can provide. Your dentist will start by examining your teeth's current shade and showing you different levels of whiteness so you can choose the one that looks right to you. You'll also receive a preliminary cleaning and polishing to get rid of any plaque or tartar that might block the cleaning process — an important step that you can't duplicate at home. The dentist can use extra-strong clinical concentrations of peroxide, placing a special barrier in your mouth to protect your gums from irritation. Laser light may then be applied to speed up the whitening process, rendering your teeth the perfect shade of whiteness in a single session.
When Whitening Doesn't Work: Other Options
Your dentist can provide you with whiter teeth even when conventional whitening methods can't. For instance, staining from tetracycline exposure often fails to respond to whitening agents — in which case, you can receive applications such as veneers or crowns to cover those stains permanently. These methods offer the additional benefit of correcting chips, cracks, or other irregularities in the shape of your smile.
Don't let the movie stars have all the fun. Get the same dazzling smile they enjoy by skipping the DIY method of tooth whitening and going for the real thing. Contact a clinic like Wakim Family Dentistry to ask about your teeth whitening options!