There was a time when dazzling white smiles belonged to those who sashay down the red carpet in Hollywood. Today teeth whitening has become the fastest growing type of cosmetic dental procedure performed. Depending on the type of tooth whitening technique you choose the price ranges from a ten dollars for a tube of whitening toothpaste to up to $600.00 for in office laser teeth whitening.
The Cadillac of teeth whitening is the in office laser system. This is the costliest, but fastest way to achieve white teeth. Laser teeth whitening is a very simple procedure. The dentist applies a bleaching gel to your teeth (after putting protection over your gums) and places a laser light in front of your mouth. The cleaning action of the gel is activated by the light. This gel is left on your teeth for twenty minutes. The application is generally applied two more times to your teeth. In about one hour you leave the dentists office with the whitest teeth possible.
A very popular and mid priced tooth whitening technique is the tray based system. You can purchase these systems in stores. However, they are best if you have the trays made by your dentist. It takes a very short time in the office to have an impression made of your upper and lower teeth. Within a week the dentist will have a soft flexible plastic mold for you. He’ll give you the gel, which is generally a 10% carbamide peroxide and he’ll instruct you in how to use the tray and tell you how often. Results are seen quickly with a tray system.
Whitening strips are a recent addition to the market, introduced in 2001. They are quite inexpensive and do work, but may not deliver the exact results that you think. The strips have the advantage of having the exact dose of carbamide peroxide pre applied on them. However, the whitening strips will only whiten the teeth they come in direct contact with. The strips generally cover the six center teeth, eyetooth to eyetooth. Some people find their smile is longer than the strip allows for. You will not achieve a full mouth of white teeth using whitening strips.
Another type of whitening system is whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes have many drawbacks. They take a very long time to show real results. Read their claims carefully. The success of whitening toothpaste is directly related to how long and how often you brush. However, over-brushing your teeth can cause the loss of tooth enamel. Tooth enamel cannot be replaced. Also, whitening toothpastes only affect the outside layer of enamel. This will make the yellowness of deeper layers of teeth more pronounced. Many people will whiten their teeth using an in office laser, or a tray system and then use whitening toothpaste to help keep their teeth white.