Teeth Whitening: Trays, Strips and Pens, Oh My!
If you want to make your teeth whiter but don’t have a condition that requires veneers or crowns, you might benefit from teeth whitening. As you browse your options, you may notice just how many choices you have. Many products advertise whiter teeth, but which ones make legitimate promises? This post will review common teeth whitening choices and which ones offer the most safety and best results.
Over-the-Counter Trays, Strips and Pens
Over-the-counter retailers sell whitening products like pens, trays and strips that they claim will whiten teeth. According to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), Health Canada requires these products to have accurate claims, but the manufacturer can still exaggerate. While some of these products may be safe for home use, we recommend consulting your dentist first. They can help you choose a product or offer a service to try to minimize any side effects. Whitening products sold over-the-counter usually fall into one of two categories:
- Surface whiteners: Using light abrasives, surface whitening products remove surface stains on the teeth. These products include whitening chewing gum and toothpaste.
- Bleaches: Most tooth-bleaching products use peroxide to lighten teeth. The CDA recommends getting your teeth bleached only under a dentist’s care.
Take-Home Whitening Treatment From Your Dentist
A take-home whitening system from the dentist allows for convenient, at-home whitening with a dentist’s supervision. After examining your teeth and gums for any symptoms that could become worse with bleaching, or will cause teeth not to whiten, they will create custom trays for your teeth. They will then send you home with the trays and a bleaching gel to use with it. Before going to bed, you’ll add the gel to your trays, then wear both the top and bottom tray as you sleep. Your dentist will supervise you for any side effects or need for adjustment.
In-Office Whitening Procedures
Your dentist might recommend an in-office procedure if you ask them about teeth whitening. This treatment usually takes one visit to complete. During in-office whitening, your dentist will use a shield or gel to protect your gums from the whitening agent. Then, they’ll apply the whitening agent to your teeth.
Zoom!® Teeth Whitening
Some dental practices offer Zoom!® treatment as a teeth whitening option. Zoom!® combines in-office and at-home treatments for comprehensive teeth whitening. The procedure involves these steps:
- Teeth cleaning: Before beginning Zoom!® treatment, your dentist will likely recommend a complete cleaning. The gel used in the procedure does not penetrate through plaque or tartar, making it critical to have clean teeth before starting.
- In-office LED whitening: The in-office element of Zoom!® treatment works similarly to typical whitening sessions, but it involves an LED accelerator. This LED light speeds up the whitening process for more effective results.
- At-home touch-up: After your in-office procedure, your dentist will give you a touch-up kit to use at home. Like other at-home treatments, this kit includes a custom-fitted tray to apply the whitening agent evenly.
Discover Your Teeth Whitening Options at Dental Choice
At Dental Choice, we offer take-home whitening trays and Zoom!® whitening procedures. For more information about our dental care services, contact your closest office in Calgary or Edmonton.