We all want a bright white, healthy smile, and there are a multitude of products on the market to help us get there. But what works best and how do they get the job done? Here are some things to know before choosing your whitening option:
How Whitening Works All whitening products use Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) in some form, be it pure or in a less broken down state known as Carbamide Peroxide, to achieve their goal. This oxides the molecules that help to form stains under the surface of your enamel. The stronger the concentration of H2O2, the faster your teeth will whiten.
Not everything will whiten equally. We typically see the best results on yellow/brown extrinsic staining. This kind of staining works from the outside in, and usually comes from things like smoking, red wine, and coffee. Intrinsic stains and gray staining tend to be less receptive to whitening. Also immune are any restorations your dentist has performed. Whatever color those fillings are, that’s where they’ll stay!
Side Effects Whitening is completely safe! The only real risks associated with the use of these products are teeth sensitivity and gingival irritation, which should cease upon discontinuation of use. If you’ve experienced sensitivity in the past, it’s a good idea to begin using sensitivity toothpaste (we like Sensodyne) 1-2 weeks before you begin using your whitening product. Varying the duration and frequency of treatment, while often resulting in a longer whitening process, can also help keep sensitivity at bay.
Whether you’re unsure of which option to choose or just not sure that whitening will work for you, talk to your dentist! They’ll be able to guide you towards the whitening option that will provide the best fit.
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