Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental treatment that helps to brighten up your teeth for a noticeably whiter smile. There are multiple ways to whiten teeth, one of the safest and most effective is in-office professional whitening when compared to methods like whitening toothpastes, and over-the-counter (OTC) whitening kits. According to a survey conducted by Philips, “65% of consumers who bought an OTC product would not recommend it.” Furthermore, do-it-yourself dentistry can be dangerous and the bleach that is used can cause chemical burns when used improperly.

What are the most popular teeth whitening methods?

Whether you choose an over-the-counter whitening kit or a tooth whitening pen, always make sure that the whitening ingredient is safe to use on your teeth beforehand. Some of the most popular methods include the following:

1. Professional in-office Zoom whitening treatment

This treatment is done under professional care to ensure that you get the best results in the safest possible setting and in the shortest amount of time.

2. OTC whitening kits

These kits are generally available at major retailers and drug stores. They are available over-the-counter because they have a less concentrated amount of the active bleaching ingredient than the bleach used at the dentist’s office.

3. Teeth whitening pens

Teeth whitening pens are often a quick fix for whitening your teeth on the go, but the results are often temporary.

4. Custom at-home trays from your dentist’s office

Trays that are made to custom fit your mouth are often very effective especially when you use the whitening gel given to you by your dentist. The whitening gels from your dentist are often much higher in concentration than those that are available over-the-counter.

5. “Natural” alternative whitening methods (charcoal teeth whitening, coconut oil pulling, etc.)

Alternative teeth whitening methods often have mixed reviews on their effectiveness and because they are generally not recommended by the ADA, they should be avoided.

How does teeth whitening work?

There are two main teeth whitening ingredients typically used in OTC and in-office treatments: hydrogen peroxide (HP) and carbamide peroxide (CP). HP is a fast-acting whitening agent that reaches its full potential within 30 minutes. CP is a slower acting agent that reaches maximum potential after 2 hours. Both agents work by breaking down the stain at the molecular level to make it appear colorless, brightening up your teeth. The shade of your teeth after whitening will depend on the concentration of the whitening agent used and the length of time it is left on the teeth.

What is the difference between Zoom teeth whitening and other whitening methods?

Philips Zoom teeth whitening requires an LED light to help accelerate the whitening process for whiter teeth in less time. According to a clinical study conducted by Lee et. Al. (2012), Zoom technology produced a 50% better result than the leading non-light activated competitor teeth whitening system. The LED light helps to break down the stains on the teeth for a smile that is up to eight shades whiter, quicker.

What are the side effects of teeth whitening?

Because the bleach used in whitening your teeth is potent, it can cause tooth sensitivity during and/or after your treatment. Some other side effects include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Dry, chapped lips if treatment is done using lip retractors
  • Pain near the gum line
  • White spots on the teeth and/or gums

The aforementioned side effects are usually very mild and temporary. When completed under dental supervision, teeth whitening is safe and effective.

Are there cases where teeth whitening doesn’t work?

Yes. In cases when the teeth are yellow because of severe calculus build-up, the calculus will be whitened along with any exposed tooth. When the calculus is removed by your dentist, the actual tooth that was covered by calculus will remain the color it was prior to bleaching. Further, there are other cases in which teeth whitening may not work, including:

  • Teeth that are gray, dark brown or purple in color tend to have poor results
  • Dental restorations such as veneers, bridges, and crowns do not react to whitening
  • People that don’t follow at-home whitening kit instructions, or don’t leave the bleach on long enough may not see noticeable results

Advanced DDS is a premiere, full-service dental practice in Long Island, NY where our team of highly qualified dentists provide a comforting experience with state-of-the-art equipment. Schedule your zoom teeth whitening appointment at 516-825-1100.

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