Home Teeth WhiteningWritten by RJ on March 2nd, 2012
Home teeth whitening is quickly becoming the most popular method to developing a brighter smile. Gone are the days when the only way to whiten your teeth was to shell out hundreds, or thousands, of dollars and have it done by your dentist. At home whitening methods have progressed to the point where safe and successful whitening can be achieved in your home and at a fraction of the cost. Not only has the cost of quality whitening treatments decreased, but the treatment times have as well. Where it once took hours upon hours of sitting in the dentist’s chair, and repeat appointments, an at home treatment may only take a half hour a day for 7 days. Perhaps the best part of at home teeth whitening is the convenience of the treatment. Applying the treatment takes only minutes, and once it’s applied, you are free to do any tasks or leisure activities you choose. In fact, the treatment is so unrestrictive it’s easy to forget that your teeth are being whitened!
Home Teeth Whitening Methods
There are three different ways to whiten your teeth at home. Not only are they more convenient (you can apply the treatment while cooking dinner, reading or watching TV), but they are nearly as effective as professional whitening. The three home teeth whitening methods are:
- Brush-on whitening formula
- Whitening strips
- Whitening gel applied using trays
Each method has its own positives and negatives; however they all give you the added freedom of applying the treatment at home, which spares you hours spent at the dentist’s office. Since at-home methods have evolved to nearly equal the effectiveness of the professional whitening methods, choosing one of the previous three ways is probably your best bet.
Choosing a Home Teeth Whitening Method
When trying to decide which home teeth whitening method is best for you there are a few factors to consider:
- Cost – although at home whitening methods are less expensive than in-office treatments, there is still a discrepancy in prices for at-home products. Typically, the over the counter products, such as whitening strips, are the least expensive. Custom trays and brush on gels usually cost more.
- Effectiveness – if you’re going to go through the process of whitening your teeth it’s safe to assume you want it to work. For best, and longest lasting, results the gel trays are probably the most effective. The brush-on technique tends to be the least effective. You should research the product you’re considering as thoroughly as possible to make sure it’s worked for others.
- Safety – if you follow the instructions nearly all of the treatments are safe. However, not all people respond to the different methods the same way. It’s recommended that you discuss any whitening products you’re considering using with your dentist prior to using it. Some sensitivity may occur, but to be safe, if you notice any discomfort, stop using immediately and contact your dentist.
Things to Remember When Whitening at Home
- At home teeth whitening can make things very simple – which is a good thing! However, if you want to see positive results it’s important that you follow the instructions carefully and that you stick with the treatment. It’s easy to come home tired and decide that you’re going to skip treatment for today. Resist that temptation. Skipping a treatment will not make your teeth whiter!
- It’s important that you’re patient when you begin your home teeth whitening treatment. Your teeth won’t get whiter overnight (though they might after two nights!), so don’t get discouraged. Sometimes it’s necessary to follow your first treatment cycle – the full cycle, not one treatment – with a second consecutive cycle. Use your best judgment here, because sometimes your teeth and gums need a break.
- Remember, teeth whitening treatments do not replace healthy tooth care. Just because you’re whitening your teeth doesn’t mean you no longer have to brush or floss. In fact, not taking care of your teeth will slow the whitening process for obvious reasons. Your best bet is to get in good oral hygiene habits before you begin whitening. This way your whitening efforts won’t be for nothing.
- Once you’ve decided on a method, read more about the different products that are available and begin. It’s ok to be anxious and excited. You’re on your way to a healthy-looking, brighter smile!