Wouldn’t it be nice if our teeth stayed perfectly white? We’d probably smile more, feel better about our appearance and enjoy a boost in confidence. But if you’ve walked down the oral hygiene aisle in search of the right teeth whitening option, you were probably overwhelmed.

At-home options include strips and gels, tray-based tooth bleaching systems and toothpastes. Let’s go through of each of these.

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Strips and Gels

These peroxide-based bleaching products typically need to be applied once or twice a day for up to two weeks. Tooth whitening strips and gels are applied directly to the teeth with a brush or thin strip.

Tray-Based Tooth Bleaching Systems

These are easily the most costly choice of the bunch. As described on WebMD, a mouth guard-like tray is filled with bleaching gel or paste and placed over the teeth for several hours a day for up to one month. The average tooth bleaching system costs several hundred dollars.

Toothpastes

Remember that since every toothpaste contains mildly abrasive chemicals, that maintaining good brushing habits helps remove stains from teeth. However, whitening toothpastes, in particular, contain polishing agents that help scrub stains without help from a bleaching agent. Whitening toothpastes may brighten teeth by about one shade over time.

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Dangers of OTC Teeth Whitening Products

Patients often ask what makes the results that these provide different from what a dentist provides. The American Dental Association recommends that if you choose to have your teeth whitened or use a bleaching product, that you first consult with a dentist. Many people don’t realize that whitening treatments work only on natural tooth enamel and not on crowns, bonding materials or tooth-colored fillings. Our cosmetic dentist in Plano advises that patients steer clear from over-the-counter teeth whitening options, as the chemicals could damage tissue in the mouth if not applied properly.

Keeping Teeth White

The best place to start is with a healthy mouth. So if you’re experiencing tooth decay, sensitive or cracked teeth, infections, gum problems or any other dental issues, those should be diagnosed and treated before we complete any tooth whitening procedure.

At our dental office, we can evaluate, diagnose and treat any conditions and present the safest, most effective tooth whitening treatment. So what causes the discoloration? It could range from injury to food stains to antibiotic treatment as a child or other causes.

Regular brushing and flossing help more than you think. Plus, you can avoid acidic and tannin-rich foods and beverages such as coffee, white and red wine, sports drinks, carbonated beverages, strongly colored foods such as berries, as well as sauces like soy and tomato.

Teeth Whitening from Dr. Nguyen

Avue Cosmetic Dentistry understands that a healthy smile is important. Our goal is to help you achieve not just a whiter, more attractive smile, but also one that is healthy and contributes to your overall health. Instead of throwing away money on over-the-counter products or trusting workers at tooth whitening kiosks, turn to Dr. Nguyen for all of your family dental care needs. Contact us to learn how you can qualify for free teeth whitening at our Plano office.