Even if you are vigilant about brushing and flossing after every meal, as you age your teeth will become discolored. The amount of discoloration will vary depending on the amount of heavily pigmented drinks and food you consume such as coffee, red wine and colas. Other factors such as tobacco use, genetics and certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy can also affect the color of your teeth. Luckily, you can obtain gleaming teeth with the help of dental treatments that are more effective than trendy over-the-counter products.

Store-bought Bleaching Kits vs. Professional Whitening

When you browse the dental hygiene aisle at the drugstore, you have a choice of all kinds of whitening products including tubes of gels, messy strips that you apply to your teeth multiple times a day and expensive kits with plastic trays that require you to follow a strict regimen.

However, whitening strips contain gel-like substances that can cause a burning sensation on your lips and mouth. They can also irritate the skin on your fingers and leave temporary white marks when you handle them.

The plastic trays in over-the-counter kits are one size fits all and may not fit your teeth properly. They can also cause irritation and uncomfortable rubbing on your gums when you wear them.

Advantages of In-office Whitening

When you get your teeth whitened at your dentist's office you do not have to worry about ill-fitting devices. The trays used by dentists are custom-fitted to your mouth. In addition, the dentist will prevent teeth whitening liquids from coming into contact with your lips, gums and the rest of your mouth.

Your dentist will advise you on the merits of professional teeth whitening procedures to help you decide which method is best for your teeth.

One Visit In-Office Whitening

If your teeth are in good condition but starting to yellow, you can get your teeth whitened in as little as one visit. Your dentist will use a gel of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide along with a high intensity light to whiten your teeth.

Before applying the gel, the dentist will clean your teeth and apply a protective barrier to your mouth to shield your gums. The high intensity light activates the whitening action of the gel. The entire procedure takes no more than an hour.

Dentists can choose from among several trademarked whitening brands that include proprietary light systems and gel formulas. Your dentist can also provide you with a preview of how your teeth will look post-whitening with software and apps that you can download to your phone or tablet.

Dentist-provided At-home Kits

The dentist may also provide you with an at-home whitening kit as an alternative or to augment an in-office whitening procedure. The kit provided by your dentist includes a gel that is stronger than what you can purchase off the shelf. The kit also includes custom-fitted mouth trays to use with the gel.

The dentist will take photos of your teeth and impressions of your mouth for the custom trays. They will also show you how to use the kit and provide you with detailed instructions. The number of applications you receive will vary based on the color of your teeth.

Overall, getting your teeth cleaned by a cosmetic dentist is safer than using store-bought products. Whitening toothpastes from the store may too abrasive for teeth, breaking down the enamel.

Before a dentist uses any product, they will clean your teeth and provide you with a dental exam. This will give them the opportunity to take care of issues such as cavities and infected gums before beginning the tooth whitening procedure.

In addition, a dentist can monitor the effects of teeth whitening and modify the treatment if necessary for maximum results.

Visit a site like http://www.cretzmeyer.com, to learn more about the benefits of professional cosmetic dentistry.