Teeth whitening side effects

What Are The Most Effective Teeth Whitening Treatments?

January 1, 2024
Having whiter teeth can do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem. Consider teeth whitening treatments if your teeth have become dull, stained, or yellowed. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which solutions work? This blog post will showcase some of the most effective teeth whitening treatments today. We'll learn how popular options like teeth whitening strips and exceptional toothpaste work. We'll discuss professional treatments like laser teeth whitening. Finally, we'll sterilize the pros and cons of each method so you can decide which suits your needs and budget.

How Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work?

Teeth whitening strips have become widely popular over the last decade or so. They offer an affordable and convenient way to whiten teeth from your home's comfort. Whitening strips contain peroxide gel and use a flexible design to stick firmly onto your teeth for extended whitening contact. When you apply the strips as directed and leave them on for the recommended treatment, the peroxide bleaching agent penetrates deep into your tooth enamel. This oxidation process breaks up staining compounds and lifts discoloration from within the microscopic pores of your teeth. With consistent use (usually 30 minutes a day for up to 20 days), strips can brighten smiles by up to 10 shades, according to clinical trials.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Whitening Toothpaste?

Another accessible teeth-whitening solution lies right in your bathroom—whitening toothpaste. Most major toothpaste brands now offer products that remove surface stains and restore luster. Typically, these pastes contain mild abrasives and ingredients like silica or baking soda to polish away leftover gunk as you brush. Some whitening pastes also have low concentrations of peroxide built into their formulas. This can further lift staining over time with twice daily use. However, because peroxide concentrations are much lower than in other methods, toothpaste's results tend to be more subtle. On the plus side, whitening toothpastes pose little risk of side effects. Their gentle formulas improve upon regular brushing. But on the downside, they cannot produce dramatic brightening comparable to other professional treatments.

How Does In-Office Laser Whitening Work?

On the more advanced end of solutions, dentists in Fort Atkinson also offer laser teeth whitening procedures performed right in the dental chair. These activate the concentrated peroxide whitening gel with targeted light energy to accelerate the brightening chemical reaction. During a typical professional laser session, your dentist will first isolate your lips and gums to protect soft tissues. Next, a thicker grade of peroxide-based bleaching gel gets painted directly on your teeth. As the gel penetrates for 15-20 minutes, your dentist beams light waves onto the surface of your teeth. This light energy catalyzes the release of stain-busting oxygen radicals from the peroxide to blast away deep-set discoloration rapidly. In just one 60-minute appointment, laser power whitening can brighten teeth by an impressive eight shades on average. However, the concentrated peroxide does increase the risk of temporary tooth sensitivity as a side effect. Over-the-counter desensitizing toothpaste usually helps relieve sensitivity within a few days after treatment.

What Are the Potential Side Effects of Whitening?

While light surface sensitivity occurs commonly, all types of teeth whitening also carry some risk of complications. Prolonged exposure to lower pH whitening gel can damage tooth enamel or irritate gums over time in sensitive patients. This is why professional application allows careful control of whitening dosages. Illegal or improper use of very high-concentration peroxide solutions also raises safety issues. In rare cases, overuse can chemically "burn" "teeth" and cause lasting damage or intense pain that requires dental repair work. Always follow instructions carefully and talk to your dentist if you experience worrisome effects.

How Long Do Teeth Whitening Results Last?

Of course, everyone has a big question about teeth whitening: how long do the results last? Unfortunately, no method permanently whitens your natural tooth color. Without additional intervention, your teeth will eventually revert to their baseline shade. However, research indicates that maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding dark-staining foods/drinks can prolong your smile. On average, lower-concentration whitening strips may last 6-12 months. In-office laser power whitening lasts 12-24 months per session. Getting periodic touch-up treatments for the longest-lasting whiteness helps refresh your smile.

Give Your Smile a Boost

While no magic bullet for lifelong whiteness exists, we give you many effective ways to polish and refresh your smile today. From subtle brightness-boosting toothpaste to dramatic laser whitening, work with your local dentist near you to custom-tailor the budget and treatment plan that keeps your smile glowing. Here at Highland Dental in Fort Atkinson, WI, Dr. Patel stays up-to-date on all the latest techniques for safe, successful teeth whitening. We partner with patients seeking treatments from simple stain removal to advanced cosmetic makeovers. We look forward to giving your smile the dazzling, confidence-boosting power it deserves!