What’s the Best Option for Super Fast Teeth Whitening?
This month, we’re sharing another question the team at Naperville Dental Specialists received from a patient.
“I have a class reunion coming up in about one week. I don’t think that is enough time to get my teeth really white with over-the-counter whitestrips. Would professional whitening get my teeth really white by then?”Desiree M.
We’ll be answering Desiree’s question and discussing the different ways to get a brighter smile, the fastest way to whiten teeth and the types of teeth whitening we offer in Naperville, IL.
The Different Ways to Whiten Teeth
Before we dive into Desiree’s question about how to whiten teeth on a tight deadline, let’s talk about the different ways to whiten teeth in general and the pros and cons of each:
One option for low cost teeth whitening is to use a whitening toothpaste. You can opt for a traditional version like Crest 3D White Brilliance Toothpaste or Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste.
While all toothpastes are abrasive, whitening ones are even more abrasive in order to remove surface stains from the teeth. However, when whisking away stains, the products also take off a microscopic layer of tooth enamel, which can be tough on your smile. So, they’re not recommended for people with sensitive teeth or weakened enamel.
In addition to traditional whitening toothpastes, there’s a lot of buzz about activated charcoal teeth whitening products. You typically mix the charcoal powder with water to create a paste that you then brush on your teeth with your toothbrush like you normally would. After letting it sit, you rinse it away.
While billed as a natural teeth whitening solution, charcoal whiteners are no more effective than other toothpastes. They’re safe but still only remove surface stains caused by environmental factors like drinking coffee or eating certain foods.
Lowest cost teeth whitening option
Easy to use
Gets rid of mild surface stains
Only gets rid of mild surface stains
Won’t dramatically whiten your teeth
Has to be used every day for a prolonged period of time to see results
Charcoal teeth whitening toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride
Can cause sensitivity
Rough on teeth and not appropriate for people with weakened enamel
Over-the-Counter, At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits come in two main forms: teeth whitening strips and trays. The at-home teeth whitening trays you can purchase online also sometimes include an LED light along with the trays and bleaching solution.
These are more effective than whitening toothpaste but still only get your teeth a few shades whiter. They can also cause or exacerbate tooth sensitivity. Whitening strips contain a layer of whitening solution and stick on your teeth. With the trays, you fill each tray, which looks like an Invisalign aligner, with bleach and let it sit on your teeth, with or without an LED light.
Most options are fairly affordable
More effective than whitening toothpaste
Will get teeth several shades whiter
Can be done at home
Takes 10 days to three weeks to work
Can be messy
Strips often slide around
Some have to be used for up to 30 minutes at a time
Doesn’t eliminate deeper set stains
You have to be diligent with using it every day for weeks to get results
Professional At-Home Teeth Whitening
Another option for those who prefer to do their teeth whitening at home, is a professional take-home whitening treatment from your dentist. Your dentist will provide you with custom trays and a professional-grade whitening solution. Since your dentist will perform an exam first, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re a good candidate for whitening and that it won’t cause sensitivity or other issues.
While you will have to use the whitening kit daily for about a week, the bleaching solution is stronger than what you can get over the counter, meaning your teeth will be whiter than they would if you used a kit you ordered online. The results will also last longer.
Can whiten your teeth at home
Stronger and more effective than over-the-counter fast teeth whitening kits
Your dentist makes sure your teeth will respond and it won’t cause complications
Contains a safe, expert-approved bleaching solution
Works more quickly than over-the-counter methods
Easy to use
More expensive than whitening toothpaste or whitestrips
Results take about a week
Has to be used every day
Won’t get teeth as white as they would with an in-office treatment
In-Office, Professional Teeth Whitening
When you get in-office, professional teeth whitening, your cosmetic dentist applies a professional-strength whitening gel to your teeth. A specially designed light is then used to activate the solution. Once activated, the whitening solution breaks down stains on your teeth, including deeper set stains that can’t be removed with other teeth whitening methods.
Gets teeth dramatically whiter
Removes deeper stains
More effective than any other teeth whitening method
Only takes one session, which lasts about an hour
Done at your dentist’s office after they’ve made sure you’re a candidate for whitening
The longest lasting option (your teeth will always be whiter than they were prior to treatment)
Safe for enamel
Doesn’t cause tooth sensitivity
More expensive than over-the-counter teeth whitening kits and toothpaste
Not suitable for every patient, including kids under 13
Have to drive to the dentist’s office
What’s the Fastest Way to Whiten to Teeth?
Getting back to Desiree’s question, the fastest way to whiten teeth is an in-office, professional teeth whitening treatment. It will dramatically whiten your teeth in about an hour and in a single office visit.
Professional, take-home teeth whitening would also brighten Desiree’s smile in a week – just in time for her reunion. However, the results wouldn’t be as dramatic as they would be with in-office whitening.
The majority of over-the-counter teeth whitening kits would not produce results in a week. Additionally, they don’t target deeper stains and won’t get teeth as white as professional treatment. The higher-concentration whitening solutions used by your dentist can only be purchased by professionals and aren’t available online or at a store.
Our Naperville, IL Teeth Whitening Options
At our practice, we offer both professional, take-home whitening kits and in-office, fast teeth whitening in Naperville, IL. Whichever option you choose, a Naperville cosmetic dentist will assess your teeth and gums and make sure you’re a good candidate for the treatment. Then one of our team members will go over the logistics, such as your teeth whitening cost.
If you opt for a take-home kit, you’ll be provided with all of the instructions you need, as well as a safe, effective whitening solution that you’ll apply using plastic trays.
With an in-office whitening treatment, we’ll apply a gel to your teeth and activate it using a special light. The process takes about an hour. Before you leave, we’ll give you post-whitening care instructions. By following the instructions and practicing good oral hygiene, your results can last for years.
Schedule Your Visit for Teeth Whitening at Naperville Dental Specialists!
Are you ready for a more dazzling smile? Schedule a visit with us to find out if you’re a candidate for professional teeth whitening in Naperville, IL. Book your appointment online or by calling us at (630) 848-2010.