At Metro East Dental Care in Granite City, we offer a variety of methods to brighten your smile. The best way to begin any teeth whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to one of our doctors about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening to determine which option would work best for you.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Our office does not recommend in office whitening. We find that we get superior, longer lasting results with tray whitening and have less tooth sensitivity. Not only that, but tray whitening is half the price.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel available only through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth and used 40 minutes a day. Most patients do it while getting ready for work or during their morning commute. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, it whitens stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and contains ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At home professional tray whitening generally takes ten to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.
Paint-On Teeth Whiteners
There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options, and one type of readily accessible whitening product is commonly referred to as “paint-on” teeth whiteners. Paint-on whiteners can be purchased over the counter and generally are less expensive and less effective than whitening strips or professional options. Paint-on teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth with a small brush. The gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth, and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth-whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use. You don't want to apply this if you have any cavities.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The whitening agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing them into place to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth-whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. Because the peroxide is not as strong as the one used in tray whitening, you will have to use it for a longer period of time. The cost is also greater than tray whitening.
Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash
Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, toothpastes and mouthwashes work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives. However, unlike the materials used in professional whitening procedures, these products do not lighten the actual color or shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will mildly lighten your teeth.
If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment.