Many of us want brighter, whiter teeth. The sodas and coffees we drink every day affect the brightness of our teeth, and make them dull. Since our smile is usually one of the first things noticed when we meet someone, we want our teeth to look their best. Making a good impression is important in today’s atmosphere, as people often have a hard time moving past their first impression and accepting a person for their qualities, not appearance.
There are many products on the market that are supposed to assist with whitening and brightening our teeth, and thus our smiles. Choosing between them can be a difficult decision. You want the right product that will work best for you, and not damage your teeth in the process, though products on the market today should be tested and ready for use without damaging your teeth. Which is better, carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide gels? Should you go through the whitening process in your home or at the dentist office?
If you choose to do your whitening at home, you will have to decide between the bleaching or gel whitening options. The gel contains either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as key ingredients. The in-home whitening has a lesser concentration of the carbamide peroxide than the dentist-supervised hydrogen peroxide agent. The gel oxidizes the stain molecules away from your teeth. The gel is held in place against your teeth with whitening trays. The in-home kit contains a one-size-fits-all mouth tray. This can bring the gel into contact with your gums. The higher concentrate of peroxide agents in the gel can cause hypersensitivity in your teeth. This should subside after a short amount of time. If your teeth are already sensitive, you should make sure that you do not use a concentration of higher than 10% of the peroxide levels. Most people can use the average amount of 16% of peroxide solution in the gels. The highest and maximum concentration of peroxide in the gels is 22%. The higher amount achieves the whitening faster. However, there is also the chance of greater risk to your teeth and mouth with the higher levels. The peroxide can dehydrate your teeth and cause the hypersensitivity to last longer.
If you choose to have your whitening done at the dentist office, the dentist will use a hydrogen peroxide whitening agent. The concentration in these solutions range from 15% to 43%. A custom tray will be made for your mouth to minimize the contact with your gum tissue. The gel is applied to your teeth directly, instead of in the tray. Because your dentist knows your dental history, he or she will be able to customize your treatment. This includes choosing a solution strength that will would be suitable for your stains and sensitivity. The dentist will also watch for any irritation caused by the solution. Multiple visits may be needed to reach the whitening results you are looking for. With your dentist, you can customize your plan and the number of visits you will need. While this may be more expensive than the store bought, in-home whitening kit, having knowledgeable staff available to help you protect your overall mouth health may be worth the extra cost.
Take your time in deciding which method to use. You want to make sure you choose the right method for your mouth and oral history. Discuss this decision with your dentist. Your dentist can help you find the right product and whitening plan that will work best for you and your lifestyle. Be sure to be clear with your plans and goals.