When looking for ways to achieve a beautiful, bright smile, many patients look for the convenience offered by at-home teeth whitening kits. There are different types of at-home products ranging from custom trays that are prepared by a dentist near you, to kits found in drugstores. In this article, you will learn about each of these options, how they work, and whether or not they are as efficient as professional teeth whitening in Red Deer.
How does teeth whitening work?
All types of teeth whitening work under the same principle. If you undergo this treatment, your teeth will be in contact with a whitening solution with a specific concentration of either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals are bleaching agents that work by introducing oxygen molecules into the discoloured molecules on the outer layer of your teeth. At the end of your treatment, your teeth will look a couple of shades lighter than before.
The concentration of the bleaching agent determines the efficacy of this treatment and how drastic the changes will be. In-office teeth whitening involves very high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and offers very notorious results after a couple of minutes. Custom at-home whitening kits made by your dentist in Red Deer have lower concentrations of bleaching agents to avoid any side effects. Finally, kits found over-the-counter have the lowest concentration of hydrogen peroxide and their results are hardly noticeable.
So, what is the best option?
The best option for brightening your smile will always be undergoing professional teeth whitening near you. However, if you are looking for a more affordable option and want to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, you should look into the custom trays sold at a dental clinic near you. These aren’t as expensive as in-office treatments but still offer dramatic results.
What are the side effects of teeth whitening?
The main side effect of teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity. This symptom is pretty normal after undergoing this treatment since hydrogen peroxide dehydrates your teeth and opens up their pores. As a result, the nerves are more exposed to any temperature changes. Nevertheless, this effect goes away after a couple of days. Another side effect of teeth whitening is a mild chemical burn on your gums when the whitening solution comes in contact with them. This is more common in at-home treatments since dentists always apply a protective gel over the gums to prevent them from being burned. Other than these two side effects, teeth whitening is a very safe procedure when performed under your dentist’s supervision.
How to maintain your results
Unfortunately, the results of teeth whitening are not permanent and the factors that caused your teeth to become discoloured can affect them again. For this reason, dentists recommend following several instructions that will help maintain the results of teeth whitening. The first one is to improve your oral health habits. You should brush your teeth after every meal to eliminate plaque and food particles. Also, floss at least once daily to target the areas that can’t be reached by your toothbrush. This will not only help you maintain a bright smile but will also help prevent dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease.
It is vital to abstain from eating and drinking staining foods and beverages such as coffee, red wine, soft drinks, tea, tomato-based sauces, and soy sauce. These foods have pigments that stain the enamel. Finally, make sure to visit your dentist regularly. During these checkups, your dentist will perform a routine dental cleaning where they will polish your teeth with gritty toothpaste and an electric toothbrush. This can help you remove superficial stains and discolouration.