Everyone is on the look-out for a whiter or brighter smile, as your teeth do typically discolor with age or from habits such as tobacco use, drinking coffee or imbibing red wine. If you can believe it, teeth whitening is not a new trend. In fact, people have been whitening their teeth for more than one hundred years. Take-home whitening, when done right, is safe and is a very effective, lower-cost way to brighten your smile.
There are many at-home whitening products available, and you can either get them from Dental Excellence of Hatfield, or you can visit your local pharmacy or box store. We’re here to help you do your homework and find the type that best fits your lifestyle.
There are two types of take-home teeth whitening kits. The first option is a professional kit in which the take-home whitening program is designed, prescribed, supplied, and supervised by your dentist in Hatfield at Dental Excellence of Hatfield. The second option is a generic, non-prescription store-bought kit. Here’s a quick run-down of these 2 options…
Professional Take-Home Teeth Whitening
- We will make custom-made trays (made from high-grade medical plastic) that specifically contour to the unique shape of your teeth to ensure the best results because the tray not only fits well, but fits snuggly to hold the whitening product without leaking.
- The process starts by taking impressions of both your upper and lower teeth with a non-toxic dental putty. This takes mere minutes in the dental chair and we can either schedule an appointment just for this, or we can work it into another appointment such as your regular visit with your hygienist. Many of you have had impressions taken of your teeth previously … if you’ve ever had orthodontics or a dental restoration such as a crown, bridge, inlay, onlay, or dental implant.
- We’ll record the shade of your teeth so we can compare their before-whitening color to their final whiteness after treatment is complete.
- We’ll discuss exactly how bright you want your teeth to go. Some people just want to go a little lighter, while others want the brighter-than-bright look of Hollywood stars. Let us know what you want to achieve and we’ll discuss the possibilities.
- Once these impressions are set (again, it takes just moments), they are sent to a lab where your custom-fit trays are made. We only use the best labs, ones that have delivered great service and top-quality products.
- Once the lab completes the fabrication of your custom teeth whitening trays, they will ship them priority back to our practice.
- When your trays are here, we’ll schedule an appointment for you to come in. We may ask you stay a moment so that we can double check their fit.
- We’ll also give you one-to-one instructions on how to fill with just the right amount of whitening solution (never overfill as it will waste gel and you don’t want to ingest it), how to wear the trays, when to wear the trays, and how to clean them.
Store-Bought Take-Home Whitening Kits
- There are a number of great options for teeth whitening at home – gels, strips, pens, rinses, and toothpastes.
- Store-bought bleaching kits do not include a custom-fitted tray and often do not have the same concentration of bleaching agent. This is why they are cheaper than professional take-home whitening trays.
- With these store-bought products, the whitening process will take longer than the take-home whitening kits we provide.
- Store-bought kits are less effective than professional kits as the ingredients are not the same and are less powerful. A number of our patients who request professional take-home whitening have spent their money to try store-bought kits and were greatly disappointed.
- Using a standard one-size-fits-all tray may not allow even bleaching resulting in patchy results. Also because the trays will not fit snuggly to your teeth (as they are made according to generalizations and average mouth and tooth-arch size), they may leak whitening gel into your mouth, which may cause burning and irritation of your gums, as well as unintentional ingestion.
- Store-bought kits may require up to a month to see results which vary and are not guaranteed. This has been the reason that many people tend to abandon teeth whitening – they are just not happy with the length of time it takes to see results, especially if you’re whitening before a special occasion and have a firm target date to achieve that bright-white smile.
- Whitening rinses have started to gain some popularity. Like most mouthwashes, they freshen breath and help reduce dental plaque, however their whitening effects can be minor. Some people experience a black tongue with these products, but not to worry. When you stop using the rinse, it will go away.
If you are considering teeth whitening, give Dental Excellence of Hatfield a call at (215) 330-2449 or talk to us during your next visit. We can make a recommendation on the best product to brighten your smile!