Choosing a Teeth Whitening System

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Are your teeth showing the signs of your coffee habit? Many people want a whiter smile, but with so many products on the market, choosing the right teeth whitening system can be overwhelming. What are the differences between whitening pens, whitening toothpaste and custom whitening trays, and which option is right for you?

At Home Whitening Systems

Whitening Pens

If you need to whiten your smile immediately, a whitening pen may be the right choice for you. Whitening pens are thin tubes filled with a bleaching gel, and a brush on one end is used to apply the gel. Try using Colgate Optic White Toothbrush and Whitening Pen, which has a whitening pen inside of the toothbrush and polishing bristles to help remove surface stains. To whiten your teeth, you simply apply a thin layer of gel to your teeth with the brush. For even results, make sure that you apply the gel to your entire tooth surface.

Since whitening pens are small and easily stashed in a purse or briefcase, they're a great option for on-the-go whitening. You can give yourself a last minute smile touch-up before important work meetings or social events for a boost of confidence.

Whitening Toothpaste

If you want to gradually remove stains from your teeth, whitening toothpaste may be a good fit for you. Whitening toothpaste is easy to use. Simply switch your regular toothpaste for a whitening one, and continue to brush your teeth twice per day.

Whitening toothpastes gradually lift stains from your enamel as you brush your teeth. This can help to remove the discoloration caused by coffee, red wine, curry and other highly pigmented foods or drinks. However, if you seek bright white results, not just stain removal, you may not be satisfied with the results of whitening toothpastes.

Custom Whitening Trays

If you want to target surface stains and deeper stains, ask your dentist about custom whitening trays. While over-the-counter whitening trays are available, these trays are designed as a one-size-fits-all and may not fit you well. Ill-fitting trays can let the bleaching gel come into contact with your gum tissue, and this can lead to irritation. Custom-fitted trays can help you avoid this discomfort.

Though these trays are made by your dentist, the whitening process happens at home, not in the dentist's chair. This makes effective tooth whitening very convenient. Depending on the product and your whitening needs, your dentist may recommend wearing the tray one to two times a day for a period of one to two weeks.

Things to Consider

The American Dental Association recommends seeing your dentist before you use any teeth whitening system. Teeth whitening isn't appropriate for everyone, and your dentist can determine if you're a good candidate.

For example, if you have very sensitive teeth or gum disease, chemical whitening could cause further irritation. If your teeth are stained brown or gray, they may not whiten evenly when they're bleached. Tooth-colored restorations – like fillings or crowns – can also be an obstacle when it comes to teeth whitening. Your teeth will get whiter but your restorations will stay the same color, and this will make the restorations stand out.

If you're not able to use teeth whitening systems, don't worry; it doesn't mean that you're stuck with stained teeth. Ask your dentist about alternative options, like bonding or veneers, that can give you the white smile you desire.

Choosing the right teeth whitening system can be difficult, but your dentist can help you make the right choice for your situation.

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