Valentine’s Day is almost here, and if you have something special planned with your Valentine, you’ll want to look your very best. If your teeth are looking a bit dull and yellowed, you may want to consider tooth whitening before the big day. After all, you don’t want to spend Valentine’s Day hiding your smile because you’re self-conscious about your teeth.
Unfortunately, many different things can result in stained teeth. Simply growing older is enough to result in a dingy smile, since teeth tend to darken as you age. Your eating habits can contribute to staining as well. Regularly consuming colas, coffee, teas, acidic fruits, and red wine can stain your smile. Smoking also is known for staining teeth. Even certain medications can result in tooth stains that are difficult to remove.
While whitening results can vary depending on the type of tooth stains and discolorations, many people do enjoy great results with whitening treatments. Here’s a closer look some of the available whitening options to consider to get your smile ready for this romantic holiday.
Whitening Toothpaste and Rinses
Whitening toothpaste and rinses can easily be found at your local store if you’re looking for a low-cost whitening option. Whitening toothpaste usually contains chemical agents or gentle polishing agents that help remove stains. However, these kinds of toothpaste only deal with surface stains and they are very limited in the amount of whitening they can provide. They usually only lighten teeth by one shade, and it can take a significant amount of time to see results.
Whitening rinses include ingredients designed to whiten teeth, such as hydrogen peroxide. However, rinses are only in contact with your teeth for a short time, which means they aren’t very effective. Using a rinse can take as long as 12 weeks to see any results. If you need fast whitening results, toothpaste and rinses probably won’t be effective.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Gels and Strips
You can also purchase whitening gels and strips over-the-counter. Whitening gels are peroxide-containing gels that you brush on the surface of the teeth. The length of time you leave the gel on your teeth will depend on the specific product you’re using. You’ll usually see results in several days and results may last for a couple months.
Whitening strips are coated with a whitening gel that’s peroxide-based, and they are applied to your teeth and worn for a specific amount of time. They are nearly invisible and very thin, so you can wear them even when you’re busy with other tasks. Just like the gels, results are seen in several days and the results you see will last for a couple months.
Tray-Based Tooth Whitening
Tray-based tooth whitening systems can be purchased over-the-counter or from your dentist. The use a tray similar to a mouth guard that’s filled with a whitening solution containing peroxide-based bleaching agents. You’ll wear the trays for a specified period of time. Some trays may be worn daily for a couple hours and others may be worn during the night. In some cases, they may be used for several weeks, depending on the amount of whitening you want to see. One of the main complaints about tray-based tooth whitening is discomfort, and many people experience tooth-sensitivity after using this method of whitening.
In-Office Tooth Whitening
In-office tooth whitening is available at your dentist’s office, and it involves applying whitening products directly on your teeth while the gums are protected with special rubber dams. After the product has been applied, lasers, special lights, or heat may be used along with them. Just a single treatment can offer excellent results. However, for dramatic results, you may need several appointments. In-office whitening often whitens teeth by five or more shades. If you want a significantly whiter smile quickly, in-office whitening is the best choice.
While easy in-store whitening options may seem like the cheap and easy way to go when you want a whiter smile, they just don’t provide the results you’ll see from in-office whitening. Since Valentine’s Day will be here soon, most over-the-counter options won’t give you dramatic results in this short amount of time. Heading into your Melbourne, Florida dentist’s office for whitening can help you get that beautiful, white smile that you want so you can flash your pearly whites at your love this Valentine’s Day.