General Family Dentist | Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Gladstone, Happy Valley and Portland, OR

Kevin H. Speer, D.D.S.
2250 SE Oak Grove Blvd.
Milwaukie, OR 97267

Mon-Thur
8am–5pm

Teeth Whitening Methods: Which is Best For Me?

Teeth Whitening supplies

It is an unfortunate fact that teeth accumulate stains over the years, making them look more dull in color. As a result, many people look for solutions aimed at removing these stains to restore their teeth to their former glory. Nowadays, there are many different methods available to whiten teeth, however the sheer magnitude of products can leave you wondering how to choose the best option.

Ultimately, the first step in choosing the right teeth whitening method is to consider what your expectations are for your teeth whitening experience. The different methods available all offer varying levels of involvement, financial investment, and results. Considering  these factors is important when selecting the best teeth whitening method for you.

Generally speaking, most teeth whitening methods available today can be divided into three main categories. Namely, these categories are over the counter whitening products, at-home whitening trays and gels, and professional teeth cleaning procedures. All three of these categories have the same objective, however they accomplish this in very different ways.

The first teeth whitening method available is over the counter whitening products. These include items such as toothpaste, mouthwash, whitening strips, chewing gums, and specialized toothbrushes. The products offer topical whitening solutions that are aimed at removing surface stains through the use of bleaching agents. Out of all the methods available, these are the most affordable, however they tend to have unpredictable results and may need to be repeated over the course of several months to see noticeable results.

Another method available are the at-home whitening trays and gels.  Although they are also considered over the counter, they require a higher level of involvement. Whitening trays and gels utilize a similar procedure to professional teeth cleaning, using hydrogen peroxide to reduce internal stains. While the method may be similar to that of professional teeth cleaning, the concentration of the whitening gels is much lower.

When using this method, gels must be brushed evenly on the teeth and it usually takes a few days to notice the results, which can last up to four months. Whitening trays must be worn for thirty minutes a day and the results depend on the type and strength of the treatment. Some dentists may provide their patients with “take home trays” that have their own set of instructions. Despite the method, you will want to take special care when applying these types of treatments to avoid tooth sensitivity and gum irritation as a result of peroxide overexposure.

The final teeth whitening method available is professional teeth whitening. Professional teeth whitening is performed in a dental clinic and is the most effective method with the lowest rate of complications. The results from professional teeth whitening are seen immediately after treatment and last longer than the other methods. In addition, your gums and enamel are adequately protected during the procedure, meaning there is a lower probability of damage causing tooth sensitivity or gum irritation. This procedure takes approximately an hour.

Give us a call today to discuss which whitening option is best for you!