Did you know that 96 percent of Americans believe that a smile is important to a person’s appearance? So if you’re avoiding smiling because you feel like your teeth aren’t as white as you would like, then teeth whitening might be an option for you to consider.

The best long-term way to keep your smile bright is to brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and check-up, and go easy on teeth-staining foods and beverages. But if your teeth are still stained and a bit yellow, we have detailed below the main options you can use to whiten your teeth.

Whitening Toothpastes, Whitening Strips and Whitening Pens

Whitening toothpastes look like regular toothpaste, but contain some additional ingredients that help to polish your teeth and remove stains. However, using a whitening toothpaste is not a quick process. You’ll need to use it 2x a day for as long as six weeks to see results.

Whitening strips are small, flexible, and coated with a whitening gel that includes hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent. You wrap the strips around your teeth and keep them on for 30 minutes each day to remove stains and discoloration. This can take from two weeks to much longer (you’ll often have to get a second set of strips to see any effect).

With a whitening pen, you “color” your teeth with the pen, which contains a flavored peroxide solution. Like whitening strips and toothpaste, this can take many weeks and results can be inconsistent.

At-Home Whitening Trays

With this approach, you purchase an over-the-counter kit from your local drugstore or grocery store. Or you can order the kit online – you’ll find a wealth of choices. You’ll often get a mouthpiece that you put whitening gel into and then wear the mouthpiece for a certain amount of time. Some kits include an LED light option or the mouthpiece is warmed while you wear it to increase the whitening power of the gel. The whitening gel contains peroxide. The higher the percentage of peroxide, the more powerful the gel is for whitening. However, the higher the percentage of peroxide, the more you have to worry about gum irritation or damage.

Dental Office

If you’re looking for the safest and most effective way to whiten your teeth, then going to your dentist is your best options. The cost will be higher than some of the at-home approaches, but the results will be superior and you won’t have to worry about damaging your gums from using peroxide.

At Dental South, we use custom-made trays for bleach and hydrogen peroxide that is clinical strength that you can’t purchase online or over the counter. Plus, our dental are team has years of experience safely applying clinical-strength peroxide in a safe, effective approach.

When you visit Dental South for teeth whitening, we’ll get rid of any plaque or tartar on your teeth on your first visit, and then take an impression of your teeth. We will then make a custom mouth tray that will fit your teeth like a glove. That’s important because the better the tray fits, the higher the likelihood that each tooth will be properly bleached. When you come in for your second whitening visit, your dental team will explain how to use the gel that goes in the tray.

How long will you need to use the whitening trays from Dental South? It depends on how stained and yellowed your teeth are and the strength of the peroxide gel used. Generally, you’ll use the whitening trays for 30 minutes per day for about two weeks. If you have tooth sensitive, our care team will provide you with an alternative bleach.

If you’re interested in a brighter smile solution that is effective and safe, call our care team at Dental South to get started. You’ll feel confident smiling again!