Who doesn’t want a bright, pearly white smile? A healthy smile is just what we need to add that extra bit of confidence to our day.
Teeth whitening methods, whether they are performed at a dentist’s office or the comfort of your home, takes multiple sessions for at least four weeks time frame.
But there are occasions, such as job interviews, wedding, etc. where you may look for quick ways to whiten your teeth.
Some of such quick whitening methods are teeth whitening strips, gels, toothpaste, tray-based bleaching systems, etc.
You can also visit a dentist or go in for at-home teeth whitening where your teeth are bleached. Let’s dive deeper into this article and understand quick teeth whitening methods in details.
What is teeth whitening?
Discolorations on the teeth can be classified as extrinsic and intrinsic discolorations. Extrinsic stains involve the outer surface either partially or completely while intrinsic stains are located internally generally involving the dentin. (1)
Tooth whitening is a procedure in which teeth shade is lightened, and also stains and discoloration are removed.
Usually, it requires multiple visits to the dentist to achieve satisfying results. Also, tooth whitening is one of the most common reasons for a person to visit a dentist.
There are two types of whitening procedures –
- Vital whitening (tooth whitening done on a tooth with living nerve)
- Non-vital whitening (tooth whitening done on root canal treated tooth or tooth with non-living nerves)
Why opt for quick teeth whitening methods?
One thing is for sure that teeth whitening procedure is not a one-time procedure and requires multiple visits to the dentist.
But in some situations, such as important meetings, interviews, wedding, etc. you may look for quick ways to lighten the shade of your teeth to achieve a brighter smile.
Options for instant teeth whitening
There are two types of instant teeth whitening methods: in-office methods and at-home methods.
In-office teeth whitening provides faster and more effective results. For instant results, bleaching the teeth is the best option. In-office whitening system contains 15-43% peroxide.
Teeth get three to eight shades lighter, which takes several 30-60 minutes visits to the dentist. Bleaching is most effective on intrinsic discoloration, but the success of the treatment depends on the reason for discoloration.
The cost of these procedures can vary from 500$ to 1000$.
At- home methods
At-home teeth whitening systems contain 3-20% peroxide. These are less effective than in-office methods but are more convenient and cost-effective. (2)
For quick results, there are many options available like the following:
Tooth whitening strips and gels- they are directly applied to the tooth with the help of thin brush or a strip. It is usually done once or twice a day for 10 to 14 days. It can cost from 10$ to 55$.
2. Tray-based bleaching system
Tray-based tooth bleaching system requires custom trays to be made by the dentist, which is filled with peroxide-based bleaching paste or gel. It is placed over the teeth for several hours for up to four weeks. It can cost from 150$ to 600$.
3. Tooth whitening toothpaste
Tooth-whitening toothpaste contains chemical or polishing agents which scrub the stains from the teeth.
Some of the toothpaste include peroxide as well, but it is not in quantity to achieve any benefits. They are relatively inexpensive and lighten the teeth to only about one shade.
Teeth whitening pens has a brush attached to the top of the pen. It is also called as brush-on whiteners.
Just like any other teeth whitening aids, even whitening pens contain hydrogen and carbamide peroxide.
It is easy to go whitening aid for people who want to go for quick teeth whitening.
Tips to keep in mind after teeth-whitening
- Before the procedure is started, the dentist should examine the teeth for any decay, gingivitis or teeth sensitivity.
- You should practice proper brushing and flossing. Regular brushing and flossing will keep the teeth white after the treatment
- Avoid dark staining foods and beverages like blueberries, coffee, red wine. Straw should be used for a little while after the procedure to avoid discoloration again. (3)
- Smoking or chewing tobacco should be stopped entirely to prevent discoloration.
- If the patient experiences sensitivity after the procedure, sensitivity toothpaste should be prescribed.
- Sugar intake in the diet should be limited as it supports the growth of cavity-producing bacteria which in turn could cause discoloration.
- A diet rich in calcium should be consumed, which strengthen the enamel and helps in keeping the teeth white. (4)
- Consumption of fruits and vegetables should be increased. The mechanical effect of chewing crunchy fruits and vegetables scrapes away the plaque present on the tooth surface.
For producing instant whitening results, bleaching done at the dentist’s office is the most effective method.
There are several teeth whitening systems, such as whitening gels, strips, etc. which can be used at home too.
These systems are not as effective as those done by a professional but still, achieve a satisfying result. Also, at-home methods are more cost-effective than in-office methods.
You should follow some precautions after a whitening procedure to ensure that the effect lasts longer than usual.