Teeth Whitening

Overview

Teeth whitening enhances the brightness of natural teeth, but it’s not for everyone. Discuss it with the dentist before you decide to whiten your teeth, especially if you have:

  • Discolored or sensitive teeth
  • White spots known as decalcification or decay on your teeth
  • Infected gums
  • A bridge, crown, or other dental work (especially involving front teeth)

The lifespan of whitened teeth can range from 4-12 months depending on the type of treatment used and your consumption of food and drink that can easily stain teeth (such as blueberries, coffee, and tea).

To keep your teeth the whitest without undergoing teeth whitening treatment, practice good oral hygiene.

Types of Whiteners

If the dentist agrees that you are a candidate for tooth whitening, you can choose either an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit or a dentist-supervised treatment.

Over-The-Counter

If using an over-the-counter whitening kit, choose one approved by the American Dental Association and follow the directions on its package. Store-bought kits require 7-30 days of consistent use for full effect, Individual results may vary.

Dentist-Supervised

Dentist-supervised treatments provide greater tooth whitening results faster than store bought kits. Two types of treatment are available:

  • An in-office treatment that typically whitens teeth 2-3 shades lighter within 45 minutes
  • A dentist-dispensed take-home kit containing a higher concentration of whitening than a store-bought and it’s easy to use. You are likely to be more satisfied with the results of a dentist-dispensed kit than by a store-bought kit.