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Get Whiter, Healthier Teeth
People with bright, healthy smiles increase the value of their face! And the options to brighten your teeth range from one-hour bleaching sessions at your dentist’s office, or home bleaching kits from the drugstore.
But even though there’s proof that teeth whitening works only 15% of the population has tried it..or they’re not telling. Please know that teeth whitening is not a permanent solution and requires maintenance or “touch-ups” for a prolonged effect. Do your research and make up your own mind.
Bleaching vs. Whitening
According to the FDA, the term “bleaching” is permitted to be used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. This applies strictly to products that contain bleach – typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
The term “whitening,” on the other hand, refers to restoring a tooth’s surface color by removing dirt and debris. So any product that cleans (like a toothpaste) is considered a whitener. Of course, the term whitening sounds better than bleaching, so it is more frequently used – even when describing products that contain bleach.
Teeth Whitening Options
Three major teeth whitening options are available today. All three rely on varying concentrations of peroxide and varying application times.
In-Office Whitening costs about $650 on average and likely is NOT covered by your insurance. This method will give you a significant color change in a short period of time. This protocol involves the controlled use of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, applied to the teeth by the dentist or trained technician after the gums have been protected with a paint-on rubber dam.
Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits are actually preferred by many dentists and can produce the best results over the long haul. Take-home kits can range anywhere from $100 to $450. They incorporate an easy-to-use lower-concentration peroxide gel that remains on the teeth for an hour or longer (sometimes overnight). The lower the peroxide percentage, the longer it may safely remain on the teeth.
Over-the-Counter Whitening costs anywhere from $20 to $100 and is by far the cheapest and most convenient of the teeth whitening options. Over-the-counter bleaching involves the use of a store-bought whitening kit, featuring a bleaching gel with a concentration lower than that of the professionally dispensed take-home whiteners. The gel is applied to the teeth via one-size-fits-all trays, whitening strips or paint-on applicators. In many cases this may only whiten a few of the front teeth unlike custom trays that can whiten the entire smile.