Whitening your teeth can be painless. It is not difficult to do, and your dental professional could help you decided which system is right for you.
Start with a dental cleaning and exam. Whitening will not help stop cavities or decay from forming, like decalcification, that could require attention before you get started. Your dentist can also show you what conditions will not respond, like tetracycline staining. Existing dental restorations will not whiten, so identify those areas first. You may need to change a few restorations to match your whiter shade. It is wise to consider whitening before you get a crown on a front tooth so you match the whiter shade.
Which one is right for you?
There are systems to be used at home and some designed to be done in your dental office. The cost for various systems may range from $50-$400.
White Strips are an at home system. The whitening agent is coated onto a thin transparent mylar strip, that is easily folded over the teeth. One strip for the bottom and one for the top teeth. This system is the least expensive. The drawback to some is that the strips are difficult to keep in place, making it uncomfortable to talk. These strips need to be applied a number of times to achieve the desired result. Some wear just the top or the
bottom at a time, so it is easier to control.
Custom Made Trays are another option. Your dentist takes two impressions of your teeth and makes you two trays. These trays are designed to be more stable and worn at the same time. Just apply the gel to the inside of th tray and insert. Clean the trays after usage and place them back in their case. The drawback is in their higher cost and need to repeat the process for your desired result. On the upside, these trays can be used to carry fluoride or another agent designed to remineralize or desensitize. These trays can also last for years so touch-ups at home are easy with a custom fit.