Want a white, bright, shiny smile? Well, you are not alone. Teeth whitening is a popular topic, especially so right before the holidays, weddings, or other big events. After all, who wouldn’t want to spruce up their smile for those picture-perfect moments? As Dr. Rivka Goldenhersh of Delmar Family Dental will tell you in this video, there are plenty of teeth whitening options on the market today, ranging from DIY whitening solutions, over-the-counter solutions, and in-office (dental clinic) options. That said, science suggests that there is only one ingredient, which makes a huge difference in how your teeth will look after the treatment: hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. So if you are looking for the whitest and brightest result, this is the ingredient to look out for.
Teeth whitening solutions
Toothpaste is a common go-to for most people looking to whiten their teeth. There are a lot of options out there, but there is also a lot of marketing that goes with whitening toothpaste. That being said, even toothpaste brands that don’t explicitly market as whitening products offer some degree of whitening. This is because they remove most surface stains and colorants, which reduces discoloration. However, toothpaste marketed as exclusive for teeth whitening may not be the best for you as they may be extremely abrasive and wear down your enamel. This would bring up other issues like sensitivity, and Dr. Goldenhersh advises caution when using them.
Charcoal is yet another popular teeth whitening option these days. But like whitening toothpaste, it can prove very abrasive to the enamel. Additionally, the research on the effectiveness of charcoal is not conclusive, i.e., it may work for some and not work for others. It’s therefore advisable to take the hype around charcoal for whitening with a pinch of salt.
Rinses are also a common self-administered/DIY whitening option. A lot of drug stores and chemists have them, but again, they cannot promise you a big dramatic change. In reality, teeth whitening takes time. Rinses are a great addition to your oral hygiene routine, but you have to give them time to notice the difference in your teeth—if any.
Over the counter trays /strips
Teeth whitening trays and strips come infused with gel and hydrogen peroxide and are designed to stick to the teeth more. They are perhaps the most effective teeth whitening option. Some of them come with an LED light, but Dr. Goldenhersh adds that there is very little research to support the efficacy of light for teeth whitening.
While you could find an array of teeth whitening trays and strips products in a chemist, it is advisable to go for the dentist-issued options. That’s because dental-issued strips and trays tend to be customized to fit the patient’s dental pattern for a better fit and better overall results.
Likewise, dentist-issued strips may come with a higher concentration of the gel for faster results.
At Delmar Family Dental, we offer our patients two different options. You can get a custom tray that fits squarely around your teeth. This comes with a gel, and you can wear it for 20-30 minutes daily or two to three weeks. Alternatively, you can get a set of 10 single-use disposable strips/trays to get you started with teeth whitening without that big of a commitment.
While an option for some, it may not be the most effective method, and for this reason, Delmar Family Dental does not offer this service. As mentioned before, teeth whitening is a gradual process. As such, one session with a dentist is not going to yield any meaningful results. Furthermore, even after a clinical whitening, you will have to make the slow and steady at-home whitening approach for up to two weeks. So, it’s advisable to go for the latter straight away.
One crucial thing to keep in mind about teeth whitening is that you have to be wary about what options you use. There are many risks associated with many teeth whitening, and the choice of product may leave you with a worse problem than you started with. Teeth whitening is not advisable for children or adolescents still growing their teeth. In any case, if you want to whiten your teeth, it is better to consult your dentist before you do anything or use any product on your teeth.
Watch this video by Dr. Rivka Goldenhersh of Delmar Family Dental to find out just how easy it to get a whiter, brighter smile.