White teeth can give you a shot of confidence. That being said, when you seek to whiten your teeth, you can increase the sensitivity of your teeth. For best results, you should consult with a dental professional to tailor your whitening regimen to your specific needs. Knowing what is available and the risks involved will help you to make a wise choice for whitening.
You can buy bleaching kits from the store that use either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Both are effective whiteners, but you should plan to use gels containing carbamide peroxide in your mouth longer than those containing hydrogen peroxide. In either case, you should see optimal results within two weeks as long as you are faithful to your whitening schedule. You will want to avoid getting the whitening gel on your gums as this can cause pain and sensitivity. The most common side effect of whitening gels is teeth sensitivity, and long-term tooth damage is also a potential risk. Because the trays used to whiten your teeth are one-size-fits-all, you might have some gel leak around the trays and irritate your gums.
Laser Whitening Treatments
Some people think that laser whitening will use light to blast stains off of your teeth. This is not true. Instead, dentists will apply a whitening gel and then use the laser as a heat source to speed up and intensify the results of the gel. Because lasers create heat, they can overheat your teeth, which in turn can damage the pulp inside your teeth. Laser whitening is popular because it will give you quicker results than you can get with at-home gels, but the risk of tooth sensitivity is increased.
To mitigate the risk of overheating teeth, some dentists will use special lights to activate the whitening agents in the gels they apply. These methods do not whiten teeth more than at-home treatments over the long-term, but they quicken the results. You should see faster whitening with light-activated systems, so if you are on a pinched schedule, light-activated systems will help you to get a whiter smile within 1-2 hours, but more treatments are prescribed to enhance the results and prevent rebound. Dentists who use light-activated systems will custom fit trays to your mouth, and the system should not create extra heat, so tooth sensitivity should be normal.
If you have the time, you should get custom fit trays from your dentist and use an at-home whitening system. You should have minimal discomfort and see the same great results that you get at the dentist. The use of special lights and lasers may get you faster results, but it will also increase your cost. Thus, when it comes to pain-free whitening, it is best to be patient and use trays that are fitted to your teeth.
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