There’s something appealing about white teeth. A sparkling white smile seems clean, attractive, and even friendlier to some people. It’s safe to say that most adults like the idea of whiter teeth. In fact, according to one survey, 67% of American adults have used some method to whiten (or attempt to whiten) their teeth. Unfortunately, our teeth rarely stay as white as we’d like them to on their own.

When it comes to whitening your teeth, there is a wide variety of methods, from at-home whitening strips to professional, in-office whitening treatments. These methods may not produce the same results, but having a range of options makes it possible to find a whitening solution for nearly every budget.

Keep reading to learn more about professional teeth whitening, at-home teeth whitening, and other tips to keep your pearly whites sparkling.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening performed in a professional dental setting is a safe, effective way to brighten your smile. Professional whitening uses high concentration bleaching gels that are not available over the counter, so, depending on the whitening method you choose, results can be dramatic.

If you want whiter teeth as soon as possible, professional in-office whitening is the way to go; it will yield results much faster than over-the-counter whitening products. In-office whitening, for example, can lighten your teeth three to eight shades in a single hour. Additionally, it offers better protection for sensitive gums and tooth-root surfaces. When you have your teeth professionally whitened, the practicing dentist should perform an oral exam before beginning the whitening process. This oral exam ensures that any tooth discoloration is not the result of a dental condition in need of treatment.

If your dentist discovers a dental condition during an oral exam, they will treat that issue before moving forward with whitening methods. Don’t be discouraged if this happens, delaying your preferred timeline. When underlying dental conditions are treated, whitening results will last longer.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

This whitening technique offers the fastest results. First, your dentist will cover your gums and tooth-root surfaces with a protective barrier. Then they will use a thin plastic device known as a retractor to hold your lips and cheeks away from your teeth. This allows them to apply a professional-strength hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth without touching your lips or cheeks. The gel will be left on for about an hour. When it is removed, your teeth will be noticeably whiter.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening

Take-home whitening is another effective way to whiten your teeth, though it involves more effort on your part. Additionally, results aren’t as quick as in-office whitening procedures, and several weeks may be needed to achieve your desired level of whiteness. The first part of this process involves taking a mold of your teeth. Then, two thin, flexible plastic mouth trays will be custom-made for you—one for the top teeth and one for the bottom teeth. Once home, you will fill the trays with whitening gel and place them over your teeth. Typically, the trays are left in for about an hour at a time. Your dentist will send you home with specific instructions and best practices for achieving desired results.

Professional take-home whitening trays are not the same as over-the-counter whitening trays, which we will talk about in the next section. Though it is an at-home method, your dentist still oversees the process and uses professional-grade whitening gels.

At Ashby Dental, we use GLO Science for whitening treatments. This effective method will leave your teeth whiter than ever in just 30 minutes!

Over-the-Counter Teeth
Whitening Methods

Walk into the oral hygiene aisle of any drug store, and it won’t take long to see a myriad of products for whitening teeth. These whitening products have varying levels of effectiveness, but they are convenient if you are looking for a quick, affordable whitening method.

Whitening Strips

OTC whitening strips don’t typically yield lasting results, but they can be a great solution to use when you want whiter teeth for a specific event, such as a wedding. They are easy to apply in the comfort of your home.

Whitening Pens

Whitening pens have become more popular in recent years. The pen-shaped applicator applies gel to whiten teeth. Some brands are designed to leave on your teeth overnight, while others claim to work on the go.

Whitening Toothpaste

Toothpaste is not a quick-fix whitening method, but it can be a helpful product to use on a daily basis. If you’re not in the market for professional whitening or at-home strips, using a good whitening toothpaste is a great step toward whiter teeth.

Whitening Mouthwash

Similar to whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash isn’t going to give you pearly whites overnight; however, with consistency, it can improve the color of your teeth. It will be even more effective when paired with whitening toothpaste.

Teeth Whitening in
Berkeley, California

We serve families in Berkeley, California and the surrounding areas with comprehensive and affordable dental services, including professional teeth whitening. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a whitening consultation.

At Ashby Dental, we’re always here to take great care of you—and your smile.