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Can You Really DIY Teeth Whitening?

Have you ever thought of having your teeth whitened? For all of us, regardless of how well we look after our teeth, they can and will become discoloured and dull over time. Whilst taking great care of your teeth combined with regular visits to your dentist can help keep stains and plaque build-up at bay, there is nothing quite like getting your teeth whitened to literally make your smile stand out!

As soon as you begin your search, you will realise that there is a vast range of different whitening options on the market. There is ‘in-chair’ whitening, ‘whitening toothpaste’, and there are special tooth trays and hydrogen peroxide gels that you can take home (not to mention gums, cosmetic tooth tints, etc.!).

So, what’s the difference? Which method is the most effective? Let’s start with the cheapest method and take it from there.

It’s not uncommon for people to say “I don’t need braces” because they are not currently experiencing or encountering any problems or pain, without realising that they could be setting the stage for greater problems down the line.

Tooth Whitening Pastes

There is nothing wrong with buying tooth whitening toothpaste – they are often just as effective as all the other toothpaste varieties available on the market. However, it is almost certain that it won’t have a standout formula that truly whitens your teeth for a market difference (i.e. any improvement you see will be only perceived!). Microcrystals, unique formulas, it doesn’t matter; they don’t work. Worse, you might damage your teeth with overly abrasive “experimental” concoctions that weaken your teeth’ function and cost you time and money to reverse. When it comes to toothpaste, simple and sensitive formulas can often be best!

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips can work to brighten your smile, but can be awkward to wear, and need to be used with caution as they can cause teeth sensitivity. On the whole, they require long-term use to be effective and even then – they often don’t give you impactful results. Some types of strips may not match the length or area of your teeth and may therefore not cover your teeth adequately. In other words, don’t bother.

Whitening Trays and Gels

Whitening trays can be very effective, but they must be fitted and supplied by your trusted dentist. Over-the-counter consumer trays can be ill-fitting. Poorly fitting trays mean that the bleaching gel (that contains the whitening element, peroxide) will not make consistent contact with the tooth, resulting in a less than impressive result. Also, there is a greater chance of the gel making contact with and irritating your gums – not good!

Your dentist, on the other hand, will make you a perfect tray from a mould of your teeth, which will both fit and work perfectly and will definitely be safer for your whole mouth. From here, you will need to use these trays regularly over several weeks to get the desired result.

In-Chair Whitening

If you want to get instant, stunning results (in the shortest time possible), there is nothing better than in-chair teeth whitening, such as Zoom whitening.

In-chair whitening is done at the dentist’s, where your dental professional will coat your teeth with a bleaching gel before activating it to start the whitening. As the process is overseen by a medical professional, the gel will have a more significant concentration of hydrogen peroxide, meaning that it will work faster at whitening your teeth. Don’t worry, your dentist will use either a protective gel or a gum shield to ensure that your gums don’t come in contact with the bleaching gel. From here, the dentist will also use a special blue light shone over the teeth that further activates the potent whitening ingredients in the bleaching gel. The result? Fantastic! Up to 8 shades lighter teeth in under an hour.

If you’re looking for instant gratification, this is the way to go!

Trays + Zoom

Following your in-chair procedure, your dentists will also provide you with trays that you can then use with a milder hydrogen peroxide gel at home. This empowers you to upkeep your pearly whites from home, knowing that you’re using the correct formulas being monitored and supplied by your dentist.

So, Which Way to Whiter Teeth?

The results of in-chair whitening at the dentist are excellent and quick, yet the same results can be achieved at home with regular and consistent use of at-home trays and gels prescribed by your dentist. The main difference is ease and compliance. For at-home only teeth whitening to work, you need to have the discipline to do it regularly, and the results take time. For many people, when they don’t see instant results, they fail to follow the whitening plan and therefore fail to get the results that they had hoped for.

The answer? A combination of both. Your dentist will give your teeth a deep clean before you have a mould taken. Following your supervised in-chair session, you will be given these mouth moulds to take away and use with an at-home bleaching gel.

When done right, teeth whitening is virtually painless but will have an immediate result that will amaze you. Fresh, pearly whites can make you feel and look great, and at Proud Smile, we think this is really important!

Smiles under the sun

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