If you want to avoid the dentist altogether several over-the-counter products are available at drug stores. Like other at-home treatments these products contain mouth trays and a carbamide peroxide solution. Be aware though of the risks of do-it-yourself tooth whitening kits. Like any off-the-shelf product these kits offer little room for customization. Your mouth trays will likely be one-size-fits-all or perhaps adjustable but they will not fit as snugly as a tray custom-made by your dentist. A loose tray creates the risk of bleach leaking onto your gums or down your throat causing irritation. As well to lessen the risk of irritation some products contain less peroxide. While the risk is lower so too is the whitening effect. Finally any irritation or reaction will require a trip to your dentist anyway.
Both in-office and at-home bleaching products change the colour of your teeth by oxidization. The hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide breaks down into water and a radical or compound constituent. The radical attaches itself to stain molecules and weakens them allowing oxygen to reach and whiten your tooth enamel.
Teeth whitening is a safe and popular form of cosmetic dentistry. According to the American Dental Association 96% of users report a whiter smile. Dentists warn though that teeth whitening is not for everyone. Tooth-coloured fillings for example do not respond to bleach and will stand out against a newly whitened smile. Before you begin a treatment talk to our Vancouver Dentist about your specific needs. Together you will determine if teeth whitening is the best option for you.