Simple Pathways to a Whiter Smile

I love coffee. Most people enjoy beverages with color like coffee, tea, red wine, or soda. One of the side effects of these beverages is that it dulls the color of your pearly whites. I noticed this morning that my smile is in need of a whitening boost. What to do? There are essentially three paths to a whiter smile that don’t  involve bonding, porcelain veneers or crowns. We know it as bleaching. The quickest way to begin the whitening process is to purchase a box of Crest White Strips at your local grocery store. They cost about thirty five  dollars depending where you buy them.  These plastic strips are impregnated with a small percentage of hydrogen peroxide, a product proven to remove the surface stains of enamel.  You adhere them to your teeth and leave them there for about 30 minutes.  They work well for those who have slight discoloration and take a couple of weeks depending on how often you use them.

If you have more moderate discoloration, then you need a prescription strength product dispensed by a dental office like Fisher Jones Family Dentistry. This involves a stronger concentration of peroxide gel that is placed in bleaching trays made especially for your teeth. The gel is placed in your trays and you wear the trays for an hour or two at a time at least once a day. This is a more thorough method of bleaching because it is a stronger bleaching solution that flows in between the teeth and gets at those more stubborn stains. In our office, the fee for this professionally delivered product is $217. It takes about two weeks depending how often you wear your trays.

Now for those how want the maximum results in the least amount of time there is Zoom! This involves a powerful bleaching gel activated by a high intensity blue light. A protectant is applied to your gums to protect them from the whitening gel.  The whole process takes two to three hours. The fee for this service is $782.00 and includes custom bleaching trays and gel so you can keep your smile its whitest over time. We typically have people use their touch up product after their routine hygiene visit every six months. When you run out of the bleaching gel, refills are available for purchase.

I compare these choices to different ways to clean your clothes. Crest White Strips are like a Tide Pen. Bleaching trays are like putting your teeth in the washing machine. Zoom! is like taking your teeth to the dry cleaners.  Choose the method that works best for you and then you can smile with confidence!

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