We all want a whiter and brighter smile, but with all the options available to us to for cosmetic teeth whitening it can be confusing as to which option is the best. Let’s explore the different options, and the pros and cons of each so we can make the best decision for our personal choice of teeth whitening!

At-Home Kits:

One of the most important things to look for when doing an at-home whitening kit is that they correctly fit the size and shape of your teeth. Whitening strips, for example, fit straight across your teeth and can be scalloped in shape. Bleaching kits also need to fit properly or in both of these situations you can end up with two-toned teeth or irritated gums. According to some cosmetic dentistry experts, “professional strength” home whitening, with the trays and gel, will get your teeth the whitest. Although, this can take a month or two to achieve the desired results. Well-fitting and well-made trays are crucial in ensuring a good result, so be careful of buying products for at-home whitening over the internet or over the counter. When using over-the-counter bleachers, there is a chance that you can over-bleach your teeth. Your cosmetic dentist should be part of the process and supply you with take-home products. This will ensure a proper fit and results that will make you glad you asked for professional guidance.

Professional In-office Whitening:

Many cosmetic dentistry experts agree that while most treatments work, in-office and take home products provide the whitest and longest lasting results. For quick results, an in-office whitening treatment is always the fastest. Many of us use this service for weddings and special occasions, but if we want long lasting whiteness, our cosmetic dentist gives the best advice on how to continue on a whitening program, and can supply us with take-home products so that we will know they fit properly. Both in-office and at-home dentist prescribed whitening treatments will give you faster and longer lasting results than any treatments you can buy over the counter or online. In-office whitening provides maximum whitening with minimal effort and also has the least sensitivity.

Whitening Toothpastes and Whitening Rinses:

Although they may not be the most effective, whitening toothpastes and rinses may be the best option if you are looking for a quick and easy whitening treatment. Your teeth really need more “contact time” with a whitening agent than a quick brush with a toothpaste or a mouth rinse. It is simply not enough contact time with your teeth to achieve your desired results. The bleaching agent, (hydrogen peroxide), is more effectively delivered in gel form where it can adhere to the teeth for a longer amount of time. Toothpastes or rinses do not have the “stickiness” or a high enough content of peroxide to really be effective and give you good results. Whitening toothpastes can also be very abrasive on your teeth, so experts will caution people on the overuse of this type of toothpaste since it can actually cause a slight loss of the tooth structure itself. If you have had any type of cosmetic work done on your teeth such as bonding, porcelain veneers or crowns, you should also avoid whitening toothpastes because the abrasive qualities can remove the polished finishes.

There are many teeth whitening options to choose from. Which kind of treatment you choose, really depends on what matters most to you. Do you want a quick and easy treatment? Or would you rather take matters into your own hands and try an at-home kit? When it comes down to it, professional, in-office treatments will give you the quickest and most effective whitening.