Your Teeth Whitening Options

As a cosmetic dentist in Ballwin, MO, one of the most common topics we discuss with patients is teeth whitening. Many people are unsatisfied with the color of their teeth and are drawn to the option of whitening as a simple yet effective way to beautify their smile. While there are many available options, not all methods are created equal. Here we will discuss some of the more popular methods and how they work.

Whitening toothpaste

Toothpastes which claim to whiten teeth do so by implementing abrasive ingredients which help to clear away stains on the surface of the tooth. These are available without any prescription and are among the least expensive methods for teeth whitening. Over the course of a few months the teeth may be whitened by a shade or two.

Over-The-Counter Products

These products often contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. They lighten the color of the tooth from deep within, resulting in a somewhat more lasting brightness. These often come in the form of a one-size fits all tray in which you place the whitening solution. The trays are worn at night and the gel is brushed away in the morning.


Whitening rinses also contain peroxide. You may see results within 12 weeks, though they are somewhat less effective than strips or gels.

Strips and Gels

These are peroxides which are applied directly to the surface of the teeth, with faster results than toothpastes or rinses. Results are seen in a few days and last about 4 months.

Prescription Trays

Similar to over-the-counter whitening trays, prescription trays are filled with whitening products and worn on the teeth. But unlike those one-size-fits-all products, these whitening trays are custom fitted and designed not to irritate your gums. With the application of a higher concentration of peroxides, results are often seen within a month and can last up to a year.

In-Office Whitening

This method has the fastest results. The product is applied directly to the teeth and combined with heat, light, and/or a special laser. Results are seen in one 30-60 minute visit, though more dramatic results can be achieved after several visits. The chemicals we use in the office are 5-14 times stronger than the over-the-counter products, resulting in a brighter white, sooner, and with more lasting results. We also use protective agents to shield your gum tissue from the effects of the gels, and supervise the entire process. When you have your cosmetic dentist in Ballwin, MO take care of your whitening needs, it removes the guesswork and ensures that you can have a bright, beautiful smile, as safely as possible.

Teeth whitening doesn’t last forever. Depending on your diet, the condition of your teeth, the initial level of staining and the system used, you will need repeat treatment every 1-12 months. We advise that if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have very sensitive teeth, under age 16 or allergic to peroxide, or if you have gum disease, worn enamel, exposed roots, or tooth colored crowns or fillings, you ask Dr. Postol about your options, as you may not be a candidate for teeth whitening.

But if your teeth are otherwise healthy, and you are interested in our technique for teeth whitening, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Let us make your dreams of a bright, beautiful smile a reality!

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