An ideal smile shows bright white teeth. Most children and young adults achieve this goal. As we age, our teeth discolor from food stains and from natural processes. Many people can get their bright smile back through teeth whitening methods. The problem becomes choosing from various over-the-counter (OTC) and dental office methods to be used at home or in the dental office. Riverside Dental Group describes teeth whitening options and considerations to help you.

Types of Teeth Whitening

When considering teeth whitening options, know your teeth, your time, and your budget. Yellowish or brownish teeth respond best to teeth whiteners. Teeth whitening requires healthy, natural teeth for an effective process. If your teeth meet those criteria, consider the relative cost, convenience, and amount of time for the level of results offered.

  • Baking Soda (OTC): Brush your teeth with a pea-sized amount of baking soda mixed with a few drops of water for the least expensive teeth whitening experience. Once per week will provide a small but noticeable improvement for only a dollar or so per month.
  • Whitening Toothpastes (OTC): Chemical agents and tooth polishers added to whitening toothpastes clean stains from teeth, potentially making your teeth about one shade lighter. The toothpastes will cost a few dollars per tube, a bit more than baking soda.
  • Whitening Gels and Strips (OTC): Peroxide-based gels and strips whiten teeth in 14 days when used twice per day for 30 minutes. Results last up to four months. Prices vary widely but can average around $25 for a cycle.
  • Tray-based Teeth Whitening (OTC or dentist): These systems involve filling a tray, similar to a mouthguard, with a peroxide and bleach-based whitening solution. Usually worn daily, the product comes with directions or, if purchased from a dentist, the dentist provides directions. The OTC products cost $50 and up per kit. In dental offices, you must request cost information. Results last four weeks or longer.
  • In-office Teeth Whitening System: The quickest, most dramatic teeth whitening results come from in-office whitening systems. Light-activated systems can lighten your teeth three to eight shades. A whitening product containing bleach is applied to the teeth. Light is used to activate the whitener. One 30-60 minute session yields results but several sessions yield more dramatic results. Results last longer and your dentist provides extra care and protection during the process. All of this comes with a higher cost; consult your dentist for fees.

Riverside Dentist Consultation

Make an appointment with your Riverside Dentist to find out if you are a candidate for tooth whitening. If you have worn enamel, dental cavities, or gum disease, teeth whitening may not be recommended. Also, teeth whitening will not work on dental crowns or other dental restorations, so your dentist may recommend another option such as veneers or bonding. Call our 92504 dentist office at (951) 689-5031 for teeth whitening and all of your dental care needs.