Pathways to a Brighter Smile: Your Options for Tooth Whitening
Dr. Aldo Leopardi of DenteVita Prosthodontics helps patients achieve whiter, brighter teeth every day. While stains and discoloration may be signs of tooth decay in many cases you can have perfectly healthy teeth that still have visible stains from tobacco use, aging, coffee, and other staining agents. That’s why it’s important to talk to a professional dentist who specializes in the oral health and aesthetics of your teeth.
The best way to get personalized, meaningful information about tooth whitening is speaking directly with Dr. Leopardi. Options for patients to get whiter teeth are as follows:
There are many types of off-the-shelf toothpaste advertised for whitening. Like all toothpaste, whitening toothpaste gives you the appearance of whiter teeth by removing surface stains via a mild abrasive action. There are a few ADA-approved whitening toothpastes that have additional stain removing agents. However, no ADA-approved whitening toothpaste actually changes the color of your teeth.
Over-the-Counter Tooth Whitening Products
There are a number of brand name tooth whitening products that can be purchased without a prescription. At-home tooth whitening products come in the form of strips or gels. They typically contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These are the same active ingredients used for professional tooth whitening. However, for safety reasons, over-the-counter tooth whitening products often come in lower concentrations than what might be used with a dentist-supervised treatment plan.
Professional Tooth Whitening
Tooth whitening professionals provide a number of convenient options for a dentist-supervised bleaching plan. This begins with a thorough oral exam and evaluation in order to identify any underlying dental health issues. If your dentist recommends bleaching, this procedure can be done in-office with a 30 to 60-minute “power bleaching” session. Or your dentist may mold a custom-fitted tooth whitening tray for at-home use. To protect your oral health and ensur