Teeth Whitening Strips: The Basics of At Home Dental Treatments

After a few years of drinking coffee and tea, smoking, or poor brushing habits, your teeth become stained and yellow. Many dentist-prescribed methods as well as over-the-counter products are available to whiten teeth. The best results are typically attained from whitening procedures by a professional dentist, but for light stains and more affordable costs, teeth whitening strips are a practical, effective option.

The chemical used on teeth whitening strips is the same used in other solutions. Hydrogen peroxide is slathered on the inside of the flexible plastic strips that are placed over the top of your teeth. Most whitening procedures are done with a molded tray of your teeth, but the whitening strips are placed on your teeth and fold and slide to fit your mouth's dimensions. Two strips are used: one larger strip is for the top part of the mouth while a smaller strip is placed on the bottom of the mouth. As with professional methods, it's important to keep the strips in close contact with your teeth without touching the gums because the chemical used in teeth whiteners can irritate the gums and make them sore.

Every product has its own set of instructions, but typically, teeth whitening strips are placed on the teeth for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The typical amount of consecutive time that teeth whiteners are used is two weeks. If the strips contain a more concentrated form of hydrogen peroxide, then the amount of time is shortened and the cycle only needs to be performed for several days.

Even with the easy availability of teeth whitening strips, you should always consult your dentist before using any over-the-counter dental treatment at home. Most importantly, the dentist will go over your medical history and determine if teeth whitening is safe for you. He or she can also evaluate the stains on your teeth to determine if your expectations of the teeth whitening process are realistic.

Popular cosmetic dentistry procedures, including teeth whitening and porcelain dental veneers, can help enhance your smile. Speak with an experienced cosmetic dentist to learn more.