Teeth whitening is one of the easiest ways to brighten your smile, and fortunately, there are a few ways to do so. Professional teeth whitening can make a notable difference in the appearance of your smile. Not only is it a safe treatment option for most patients, but it can be a confidence boost too. 

However, since there are multiple methods for whitening your teeth, it’s best to research the differences between them so you know which option might work best for you. We also always recommend checking with your dentist to be certain your teeth can withstand the whitening process. Keep reading to learn the various teeth whitening methods and for tips on how to keep your teeth white. 

In-Office Teeth Whitening Treatments

Having your teeth whitened in-office is the quickest and most effective way to see results. This teeth whitening option is performed under the supervision of your dentist and is a popular choice for patients who have not gotten the results they were hoping for by using over-the-counter teeth whitening products or don’t want to utilize a professional teeth whitening kit at home. 

An in-office teeth whitening treatment typically takes roughly one hour to an hour and a half to complete. During this time, your dentist will begin by noting the current shade of your teeth and then polishing them to remove any plaque. The rest of your mouth and gums will be isolated using gauze in order to keep your teeth dry and the rest of your mouth away from the whitening solution. 

Most whitening solutions are made up of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Once the solution is applied it’s usually left to sit on the teeth for between 30 to 60 minutes and occasionally reapplied if need be. When the maximum time or optimal shade has been reached the solution is removed. For patients who are concerned about tooth sensitivity post-treatment, a fluoride solution can be applied. Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening, but the level of sensitivity varies for everyone. If the desired shade was unable to be reached from one session, your dentist may advise you to come back for an additional treatment. However, in-office teeth whitening remains the fastest and most effective means of whitening teeth. 

At-Home Whitening Kits

Although an in-office teeth whitening treatment is the most effective, busy schedules and other appointments may keep you from wanting to add more to your calendar. If this is the case, at-home whitening kits may be a great option for you. At-home teeth whitening can also be less expensive than an in-office treatment. Professional at-home whitening kits are only able to be obtained from a dentist and require the use of a custom-fitted tray. 

Even though it may take longer to see results it is still a very effective option. The length of time that you will need to wear the bleaching trays varies from patient to patient, and upon the strength of the gel. You could need to wear them anywhere between 30 minutes a day to overnight. Most patients see results somewhere between three days to a couple of weeks before observing significant results. 

There are also at-home teeth whitening kits available that are available over the counter. Teeth whitening kits, whether they are from the dentist or over the counter both will help whiten your teeth, there are differences between the two options. Whitening kits that come from the dentist are stronger and therefore generally have more substantial results. This is because they have a higher amount of bleaching agent than those purchased over the counter.

Other at-home teeth whitening options include teeth whitening strips and toothpaste. Teeth whitening strips can be effective for some patients and are also sold over the counter. But teeth whitening strips can take longer to produce results. While whitening toothpaste may also still help whiten your teeth, it does not work in the same way. Teeth whitening toothpaste is comprised of mild abrasives that slightly polish your teeth and remove surface stains. 

What To Do After Having Your Teeth Whitened

After whitening your teeth, either in-office or at home, it is best to avoid foods and beverages that have a higher level of pigmentation for around 24 hours after treatment. Some of these foods include coffee, black tea, tomato sauce or juice, mustard, candy, red wine or beets. Avoiding these foods helps you maximize your teeth whitening treatment so, you get the best results possible. In addition to avoiding highly pigmented foods, you should also avoid smoking or the use of tobacco, both of which can stain your teeth as well. 

If you’re looking to whiten your teeth or improve the appearance of your teeth and smile, please feel free to contact us or call us at (913) 782-8900. We love helping our patients feel confident by providing them with excellent cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule an appointment with your Olathe family dentist today!