my dentist offers a "teeth whitening system" by bleaching. is there anything specific i should get for teeth whitening? whitening options other than bleach?
What's the Best Teeth Whitening System?
Doctor Answers 4
There really is no one best tooth whitening system.
This has to be one of the questions I'm asked the most, but the answer is that there really is no one best system. All take home tooth whitening systems have basically similar active ingredients (often carbamide peroxide) with the differences being flavorings, thickeners, etc. With higher concentrations of the active ingredient there does seem to be more sensitivity, which is the main side effect of whitening.
Teeth whitening system choices
Today there are many options for the consumer, and whitening has become the most demanded procedure in dentistry. I always recommend asking your dentist first because teeth whitening is a process that penetrates the tooth to break up the stains. Some of the alternatives may be better for you than others; only your dentist can help in this decision.
If you need (or want) your teeth whiter right away, try an in-office power system like Zoom!. It is fast and easy but it requires care and close observation by a dental professional. I recommend that you take some whitener and a tray home with you as there is always some rebound as your teeth re-absorb moisture after they are whitened.
If you can wear a tray comfortably, this is a great alternative. Today’s tray whiteners are designed to be worn for as little as 30 minutes a day (while you read, commute, or even sleep) for just a few days. Since you whiten over time, there is no rebound.
Whitening has been proven to be safe and effective when used properly. One side effect for some people is temporary sensitivity and this goes away in a few hours with an analgesic.
One more thing, peroxide is an oxidizer which releases free radicals in the mouth. I recommend the use of an antioxidant paste after whitening like REVITIN to rebalance the oral environment and replace protective antioxidants lost during the whitening process.
All whitening products are bleach
Even the OTC products available are bleach. The gel used is normally carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, and both are essentially bleach. It is NOT bleach similar to Clorox, but bleach nonetheless.
I would try something cheap from the corner supermarket to see if the results satisfy. If not, your dentist can help you get a better result, but you must have real expectations. If you are seeking super duper bright white, you likely can't get that from bleaching and may need to consider restorative methods.
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The two professional tooth whitening systems
The two professional systems available for tooth whitening are the in-office power whitening and the take-home whitening kits.
The in-office technique usually takes approximately one hour and utilises a more powerful whitening agent and light source. This is ideal for the busy individual who does not have time to use at-home kits.
The at-home technique involves filling whitening trays with gel, which fit around the teeth. This type of technique usually takes 7-10 days to recreate the result of the in-surgery whitening.