Tooth whitening is a cosmetic dental treatment used to remove the stains, discoloration and dullness in your teeth. One can apply-It usually done by applying a bleaching agent to the teeth and gums, with some professionally used under supervision. The process generally takes anywhere from two hours to three hours. Professional treatments often take significantly longer due to more in-depth work such as reshaping gums, filing teeth and using unique materials like lasers and ultraviolet light.
Tooth whitening is also known as bleaching or “whitening.” Tooth whitening may resemble professional bleaching treatments, but they are often cheaper and performed by dental professionals at home. To help you decide whether tooth whitening is right for you, here is a look at the process and how long it takes:
Peroxide Teeth Whitening: This procedure features a high level of peroxide, the active ingredient in bleach gel, peroxide and other whitening products. It results in a more subtle change in color that lasts for about four to six weeks. This type of whitening usually takes between four and eight hours on average.
Monoiodide Whitening: With this procedure, the gel contains iodine for teeth whitening; it usually takes around four to eight hours on average. This procedure is the least invasive, which is why some people choose it.
Pumice stone Whitening: This process uses a pumice stone to rub the teeth for whitening. It usually takes about five days to a week. This process does not use tooth-whitening gels and strips.
Over-The-Counter Tooth Whiteners: These are popular products (oh, yeah!) that you can purchase at your local drugstore or supermarket. They usually take four to six weeks to whiten the teeth.
Professional Teeth Whitening: An experienced dentist or dental hygienist will use bleaching gels or trays and ultraviolet (UV) light to whiten teeth in two to three days. This process usually takes four to eight hours.
In-Office Bleaching: This process features a dentist or other dental professional using bleaching agents to whiten the teeth. This process takes a total of two hours.
Oral-B Battery-Operated Whitening Dentistry System: This device creates a bleaching effect lasting up to six months. It is perfect for people with stains that do not respond to over-the-counter products.
Complex Tooth Whitening: This procedure uses various light therapy and bleaching agents to create a more dramatic change in the appearance of teeth and gums. It typically takes two to five days.
Whitestrips: These are strips that you wear over your teeth and gums; they are similar to over-the-counter whiteners but are more expensive. They usually take about a week for the full effect to take place.
Porcelain Crowns: This tooth whitening requires a dentist or other dental professional to apply porcelain veneers to the teeth and gums for about two hours. They usually take back a week for the full effect to take place.
Toothpaste: Toothpaste with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide is used to whiten teeth and remove stains. These products take about a week or so to take effect.
If you go with a tooth-whitening treatment at home, keep in mind that your teeth may appear white — but they can still be unsightly if the rest are discolored. Also, because it takes so long to whiten your teeth, you may want to consider a routine that includes brushing and flossing your teeth at home.
Tooth whitening is a process that can be done professionally or at home. It may take longer to see visible results when done at home, so if you are looking for immediate white teeth, dentists suggest that you consider professional treatment. The time and results for whitening home kits vary depending on your chosen gear.