How to Achieve a Brighter, Whiter Smile

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The holiday season is right around the corner and many of us have a brighter, whiter smile on our wish list. With countless products and methods available, we often get questions from patients regarding the pros and cons of the different teeth whitening options. To help you achieve the bright, white smile you are wishing for, let’s breakdown a few of the products we discuss most frequently with our patients.

Over-the-counter (OTC) Teeth Whitening Options:
Probably the most familiar and easily accessible option for whitening your teeth are the over the counter whitening products. OTC whitening products are available without seeking the advice of a dental professional. These include the strips, kits and toothpastes from various manufactures that you can find in the health and beauty section of most major retail stores. There are also various online websites and manufactures that promote OTC whitening options. When selecting any OTC whitening option it is important to first and foremost make sure the product you select carries the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This seal will help to ensure that the whitening product you are using has been tested and confirmed to be both safe and effective.

Do OTC whitening products actually work? Most OTC whitening products actually contain similar chemicals to professional whitening systems however; regulations limit the concentration of these chemicals available over the counter without guidance by a dental professional. The smaller concentrations found in these OTC options are generally less effective than professional whitening systems. We typically advise our patients that if you are looking to achieve a noticeable improvement in the shade of your teeth, OTC whitening products may not be the most suitable or cost effective option. You may find that OTC options are more useful for maintenance or subtle changes in the shade of your teeth.

Professional Teeth Whitening Options:
There are several options at Dentistry on Carmel for whitening your teeth professionally. After a thorough exam and consultation, we will discuss the current shade of your teeth, the desired and expected results, and the timeline to achieve those results. Based on this discussion we recommend which professional whitening option would be the best fit.

For patients who are looking for a little more cost effective and simple solution for whitening your teeth, we often recommend Opalescence Go Take Home Whitening. This easy to use product requires no messy impressions or molds of your teeth. Each Opalescence Go Kit contains 10 sets of upper/lower universal or one size fits all trays that are loaded with professional strength Opalescence whitening gel. These trays are easily molded to fit to your teeth once inserted and are to be worn at your convenience for 15-30 minutes a day. Opalescence Whitening kits are available to be picked up at any time directly from our office.

Take home, custom bleach (or whitening) trays are probably the most familiar professional whitening option. For custom trays, a licensed dental professional fabricates a snug but comfortable fitting tray from a mold of your teeth. These trays can then be used in conjunction with Opalescence professional whitening gel to achieve your desired results. Depending on the strength of the prescribed whitening gel, custom trays may only need to be worn for as little as 15-30 minutes a day. Although there is an initial investment in the fabrication of custom whitening trays, these trays are reusable and in most cases, last for many years. In addition, because custom trays are made from a direct mold of your teeth there is a controlled application of the whitening gel which allows for more predictable results and less waste. Additional refills of the whitening gel are always available to purchase at our office.

At Dentistry on Carmel we also offer in office whitening options. With in-office whitening, a chemically activated whitening gel will be applied directly to your teeth in 15 minutes increments. Patients can expect a significant lightening of their teeth in less than one hour. This is a great option for someone looking for instant results!

If you would like to know more about our whitening options and which may be the best choice for you, feel free to reach out to us at 704-900-5045 to schedule your consultation. We would love to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted!

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