Everything You Need To Know Before Trying A Teeth Whitening Treatment

Coffee lovers know the pain of having less than perfect teeth. The white shade of your teeth can quickly fade over time due to consuming various liquids that stain your teeth, especially the caffeinated drink so many of us rely on these days. If you've noticed your teeth have begun to take on a yellow shade, you have likely looked into a teeth whitening treatment. All of the options on the market can make the process of whitening your teeth seem overwhelming. Whether you want to toss some white strips on or seek out professional assistance from a dentist, knowing your options before making a decision is important, according to Smile Brilliant.

Cost, lifestyle habits, and where you want your teeth whitening treatment to take place are all factors to consider before making an appointment, says Forbes. Teeth whitening treatments are safe and effective ways to bring a shiny, white shade back to your teeth, and finding the perfect treatment plan for you will bring you the best results.

In-office treatments

Going to a dentist and having a teeth whitening treatment performed by a professional may be the most effective option. However, it can come with a hefty price tag. If you're choosing to get your teeth whitened in-office, be prepared to return for a few short appointments, says Forbes. The dental professional applying the whitening treatment to your teeth will let it sit for about 15-30 minutes. You'll likely be in and out of your appointment in an hour.

The type of treatment depends on where you go and what you're looking for. You can get a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide gel applied via a syringe to your teeth or gel paired with a high-intensity light. However, in an interview with Byrdie, Dr. Marc Lowenberg of Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor in NYC advised that in-office whitening may not work for everyone.

 "The marketing of this industry is so convincing, making everyone feel like they can get whiter teeth," Lowenberg shared. "However, lots of the results have to do with the genetic makeup of your teeth. Some people's teeth are dark because they've stained over the years, and others' teeth are dark genetically — just like the color of your eyes. Sometimes you just can't whiten your teeth enough to see an obvious difference. You never know with anyone until you actually do it. You can sit here through the whole process and not see any difference, or sometimes you'll see a great difference — this varies from person to person."

At-home whitening treatments

If you want to give at-home whitening treatments a shot, there isn't a shortage of options. You can try oil pulling with coconut oil, white strips from the drugstore, or customized trays, according to Byrdie. Brain Kantor, DDS, explained to the outlet how some of these work but are not as effective as an in-office visit. "Things like oil-pulling, white strips, whitening toothpastes, and charcoal-based cleaners to whiten your teeth are removing surface stains and making your teeth appear whiter," he said. "Those products don't actually bleach your teeth like professional teeth whitening. What determines how white your teeth are going to get is how concentrated the hydrogen peroxide is, which is a bleaching agent. With our treatment, the peroxide is remaining isolated on your teeth for a significant period of time."

Kantor recommends visiting your dentist every six months for a whitening treatment for best results. Your dentist can even customize professional-grade whitening trays for you to take home and apply yourself so you can get professional results from the comfort of your home.

Possible side effects of teeth whitening treatments

Before you decide to get a whitening treatment, it's important to consider the side effects. According to Byrdie, there is a difference in how sensitive your teeth are after you've had a professional teeth whitening treatment. Cold and even hot food or drinks may cause discomfort after you've gotten your teeth whitened. They can also become more prone to staining, which is counterproductive to what you want. That's why dentists recommend coming in often for another treatment.

You also need to be careful with what you eat post-treatment, said Marc Lowenberg. "Right after your teeth are professionally whitened, you can't eat or drink anything with color," Lowenberg told Byrdie. "Don't eat things like spaghetti with marinara sauce, red wine, ketchup, or blueberries. If you're a coffee or tea drinker and you absolutely can't go without it, drink it through a straw. After five days, the new color of your teeth is locked in."

 Keeping in mind the side effects and aftercare is key when deciding to get your teeth professionally whitened.