Top 10 Teeth Whitening Treatments Recommended by Dentists
Many Canadians dream of a bright beautiful smile. With hundreds of treatments all promising whiter teeth, it can be hard to know which ones to choose.
Here are the top 10 teeth whitening treatments that dentists recommend.
1. Get a Dental Checkup
Before you begin any sort of teeth whitening treatment, be sure to see your regular dentist. Your dentist will be able to take a look at your teeth, and give an expert opinion on whether teeth whitening will work for you.
If you have any problems with gum disease, or worn tooth enamel, it is a good idea to avoid teeth whitening. Teeth whitening can cause additional gum irritation, and also harm teeth that are already sensitive. Your dentist can also keep an eye on any damage from over whitening.
2. Get a Dental Cleaning
A professional cleaning is a great thing to start your teeth whitening treatment. In the cleaning, your dental hygienist will have removed most of the surface stains from your teeth. A bleaching treatment right after a dental cleaning lets the bleach work directly on your tooth enamel, and not on the surface stains.
3. Professional Bleaching with Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide
There are basically two different ways to whiten your teeth – products that bleach your tooth enamel, and non-bleaching products that scrub away surface stains. Hydrogen peroxide is the only product that can safely remove both surface stains, and deep stains on your teeth.
A whitening treatment at your dental clinic can use a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Generally, the higher the concentration, and the more contact it has with your teeth, the shorter the treatment time, and the whiter your teeth will be. Your dentist will know how to properly apply a protective coating to your gums and lips to avoid irritation.
Some bleaching treatments recommend an ultraviolet light to chemically activate the ingredient. These treatments claim to improve the effectiveness of the bleaching, but have not been scientifically proven, and are not recommended by the Canadian Dental Association.
4. Whitening Gel with Custom Dental Trays
Your dentist may recommend take home versions of bleaching gel that can give more dramatic results in a few treatments. The most effective gels require custom made fitted dental trays that are moulded to the shape of your teeth, to get the gel directly onto your teeth.
A customized tray will give you a better fit, and make sure that the bleaching gel stays on your teeth, and doesn’t get swallowed, or irritate your gums.
5. Whitening Strips
There are a number of home teeth whitening products that use dental strips that fit directly onto your teeth. These strips generally have a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide, so they are better for patients who have sensitive teeth.
Whitening Strips can also be good for teeth whitening ‘maintenance’ and used every few weeks.
6. Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Teeth whitening toothpastes use mild abrasives such as silica to remove surface stains such as those caused by coffee, and tea. Although it is effective for removing these light stains, It is important not to use this toothpaste everyday, as it can lead to severe wear of your tooth enamel.
7. Avoid Heavily Pigmented Food
Once you have the desired whiteness of your teeth, it is important to avoid food, and drinks that can cause additional surface stains. Foods that do the most damage are those with dark pigments like coffee, tea, or red wine.
8. Think About Your Diet
What you eat can have an effect on the state of your teeth, as much as on the rest of your body. Acidic foods and sugary drinks, citrus, red wine, and coffee can wear away at your tooth enamel, and stain your teeth. Eating lots of fresh vegetables, including those with calcium, and fibre will help fight irritation, and strengthen your teeth.
9. Don’t forget to Brush and Floss
The best way to maintain a healthy and bright smile is to take care of your teeth through regular dental hygiene. Dentists recommend you practice good dental hygiene by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing every day.
10. Always follow directions
However you choose to whiten your teeth, it is very important to follow the directions. Using bleaching treatments longer than recommended will not improve the look of your teeth, and may irritate your gums, or cause white spots to appear.
It is also important not to use bleaching treatments over the long term as this can lead to enamel wear and tooth sensitivity.
It is always important to check in with a dental professional like Dr. Mark Rhody Dentistry before starting any teeth whitening treatments. They can make sure your bleaching treatments are safe for your teeth, and will give you the bright smile you are looking for.