Ask a Dentist: How Should I Whiten my Teeth?

Ask a Dentist: How Should I Whiten my Teeth? 

One of the most common questions I hear in our dental office is, "I would like whiter teeth, but how should I whiten my teeth?"  There are so many options for tooth whitening today and it can be very confusing.  I will try to simplify this popular topic once and for all in this month's blog post.  

“Cheaper” Options One stroll down your local store's Oral Health aisle is all you need to become overwhelmed by the options for tooth whitening products.  Whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes,  strips, trays and sprays are all available for relatively low prices.  Each of these have concerning issues you will want to consider. 

Toothpaste/Mouthwash sold at Department Store The active ingredient percentages in whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are too low to actually make a difference.  Whitening is a great marketing tool for these products,  but their effectiveness is minimal. These products can actually be so abrasive to exposed root structure that they can do more harm than good. 

Strips/Trays Option sold at Department Store The whitening strips and trays sold over the counter are more effective than toothpaste or mouthwash.  However, they can fit loose, causing their active ingredients to become diluted by saliva. They can also end up causing uncomfortable burns to the gums. 

Strips/Trays sold Online Be aware that many knock off products are sold illegally on sites like Amazon.  The validity and expiration dates of these products cannot be verified unless sold in a dentist's office.  In short, these "cheaper" options can cause damage to teeth and gums or are so ineffective that more professional options are needed anyways. 

Dental Office Options Our office keeps it simple with two whitening options:  

1)     Take Home Trays Our Opalescence Go take home trays are comfortable and effective, offering our patients an affordable option to whiten at home.  With an outer shell to help deliver the trays and a sticky formula that both whitens and protects teeth, patients are much less likely to encounter the saliva dilution and burns to the gums that often come with over the counter trays.  All of our team members have tried the trays, myself included, and we have all experienced whiter smiles!  Currently, we offer 4 upper and 4 lower trays for $40. 

2)     Professional In-Office Whitening The second option for whitening at our office is Zoom! Professional In-Office whitening.  This procedure has led to some life-changing experiences for our patients!  It typically takes about 90 minutes to comfortably paint protective material on a patient's gums, apply strong whitening gel and take before and after photos.  This service also comes with custom-made whitening trays and gel to touch up after any slight changes down the road due to coffee, tea or red wine.  The in-office professional whitening has led to our most dramatic changes and one of the results is the featured picture in this blog post.  This service usually costs $499, but between a $50 rebate and a $50 office promotion, patients can currently receive the 90-minute whitening session, custom upper and lower trays and take-home whitening gel for $399!!  Please feel free to call the office or contact us through our website if you have any questions concerning whitening or want to purchase or schedule any whitening services.  Creating new smiles is one of our favorite services we provide at Moore Dental at Lewis Center!! 

Cheers to dental health,

Dr. Cliff Moore

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