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Three Types of Teeth Whitening Solutions Explained

Three Types of Teeth Whitening Solutions Explained

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In the blossoming world of cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening reigns supreme. Universally valued by men and women alike, whitening (or bleaching) treatments are available to satisfy every budget, time frame and temperament.

Whether in the form of one-hour bleaching sessions at your dentist, Dr. Jaleel’s office, or home-use bleaching kits purchased at your local drugstore, teeth whitening solutions abound. The long and the short of it is that teeth whitening works. Virtually everyone who opts for a teeth whitening solution sees moderate to substantial improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their smile. That said, whitening is not a permanent solution to discoloration and requires maintenance or “touch-ups” for a prolonged effect.

Tooth Discoloration: The Two Types of Tooth Stains

There are two categories of staining as it relates to the teeth: extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining.

Extrinsic stains are those that appear on the surface of the teeth as a result of exposure to dark-colored beverages, foods and tobacco, and routine wear and tear. Superficial extrinsic stains are minor and can be removed with brushing and prophylactic dental cleaning. Stubborn extrinsic stains can be removed with more involved efforts, like teeth bleaching. Persistent extrinsic stains can penetrate into the dentin and become ingrained if they are not dealt with early.

Intrinsic stains are those that form on the interior of teeth. Intrinsic stains result from trauma, aging, exposure to minerals (like tetracycline) during tooth formation and/or excessive ingestion of fluoride. In the past, it was thought that intrinsic stains were too resistant to be corrected by bleaching. Today, cosmetic dentistry experts believe that even deep-set intrinsic stains can be removed with supervised take-home teeth whitening that is maintained over a matter of months or even a year.

Teeth Whitening Options

Three major teeth whitening options are available today. All three rely on varying concentrations of peroxide and varying application times.

In-Office Whitening

Significant color change in a short period of time is the major benefit of in-office whitening. This protocol involves the carefully controlled use of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, applied to the teeth by the dentist or trained technician after the gums have been protected with a paint-on rubber dam. Generally, the peroxide remains on the teeth for several 15 to 20 minute intervals that add up to an hour (at most). Those with particularly stubborn staining may be advised to return for one or more additional bleaching sessions, or may be asked to continue with a home-use whitening system.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits

Many dentists are of the opinion that professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits can produce the best results over the long haul. At Dr. Jaleel’s Fairlawn Dental Clinicwe are proud to offer dentist-prescribed-home-whitening kits. Take-home kits incorporate an easy-to-use lower-concentration peroxide gel that remains on the teeth for an hour or longer (sometimes overnight). The lower the peroxide percentage, the longer it may safely remain on the teeth. The gel is applied to the teeth using custom-made bleaching trays that resemble mouth guards.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

over-the-counter-at-home-teeth-whitening-strip

The cheapest and most convenient of the teeth whitening options, over-the-counter bleaching involves the use of a store-bought whitening kit, featuring a bleaching gel with a concentration lower than that of the professionally dispensed take-home whiteners. The gel is applied to the teeth via one-size-fits-all trays, whitening strips or paint-on applicators. In many cases this may only whiten a few of the front teeth unlike custom trays that can whiten the entire smile. 

One Thing To Note About Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening 

Although you can get over-the-counter whiteners without a dentist’s recommendation, if you over-use them or use them incorrectly, they can harm your tooth enamel and irritate your gum tissue. Also, over-bleaching can produce an undesirable bluish hue, chalky whiteness or uneven results (otherwise known as “the technicolor effect“).

Consulting with Dr. Jaleel, one of the leading dentist in the Ottawa region, can prevent these problems. To ensure the health of your smile, come visit us at the Fairlawn Dental Clinic before choosing an over-the-counter tooth whitener and beginning the bleaching process. Dentists know a lot about these products and can help you choose the right one and use it correctly.

Want to learn more about what we can do for you? Visit our Teeth Whitening page.

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Feel free to call us. We are happy to book you an appointment with Dr. Jaleel. Our team is happy to assist you and address your concerns. We are located right across Carlingwood Shopping Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. We can be easily reach by public transit. Coming by car? We offer free parking and are wheelchair-friendly.

613-829-6868

2194 Carling Avenue, Unit 1

Ottawa, ON K2A 1H3

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