Brighten Your Summer Smile: Safe Teeth Whitening Options for the Whole Family

Teeth whitening for everyone.

Smile! It’s summertime!

As summertime rolls around, it’s time for family gatherings and vacations, and along with those get togethers comes photographs. Before friends and family start pulling out their cameras to snap memories of the fun times shared, prepare yourself by making sure your smile is white and dazzling. Sheppard Family Dental Care in Lawton, Oklahoma, has safe whitening options available for every member of your family.

Types of Teeth Whitening

There are a number of teeth whitening products available over the counter and at your dentist office. Here is some information on each of them, including their pros and cons.

Professional Whitening Services

For people looking to get the whitest teeth possible in the shortest amount of time, a professional whitening treatment is available at Sheppard Family Dental Care. 

Your dentist will start by applying a protective gel or shield over your gums to protect them. Then, using either a whitening gel that contains peroxide, or a concentrated solution of hydrogen peroxide and water, your dentist will apply the solution to your teeth. You will sit for 30 to 60 minutes to allow the whitening solution to do its job. Afterward, your teeth will be noticeably whiter. 

This type of treatment can show results immediately and last for about six months. While this is the fastest way to get white teeth, it is also the most expensive. Some patients report tooth sensitivity after the treatment, which should only last for a few days after the procedure.

Take-Home Dental Whitening Kits

Many dental offices including Sheppard Family Dental Care, offer take-home whitening kits. An at-home teeth whitening kit allows you to whiten your teeth on your own time.

An at-home kit uses custom-fitted dental trays that hold a whitening solution or gel. They are worn for approximately half an hour per day for about a week or two. Results of at-home whitening kits aren’t immediate, so teeth will gradually whiten over time. While people enjoy that they can whiten their teeth at home, the downside to this form of teeth whitening is that results aren’t instantaneous like they are with a professional in-office treatment, and you will not achieve the same level of whiteness as you would with a professional whitening service.

Over-The-Counter Whitening Kits

If you are looking for a cheaper way to whiten your teeth at home, there are a number of teeth whitening kits and strips available at pharmacies or grocery stores. Since these kits are much cheaper than a professional whitening treatment, it should go without saying that they aren’t as effective; there is a smaller amount of whitening solution in at-home treatments. This means results will take longer to see.

The other problem with at-home whitening kits is that the trays or strips aren’t custom made, meaning they aren’t one-size fits all and may not fit snugly to your teeth, potentially causing some irritation to your gums. Look for whitening kits or strips with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal. This seal means the product is recommended by the ADA.

Natural Remedies

If you’re looking for a natural remedy to whiten your teeth, baking soda is an option. Baking soda is a natural abrasive, meaning that brushing with it can help lift stains. Baking soda is also an alkaline, which means it can help lighten acid-based stains on teeth from coffee, tea, and red wine. There are some toothpastes on the market that are both recommended by the ADA and have baking soda in them—look for these if this is a route you want to take. The downside to natural remedies is they may take a while to work, so it could be some time before you see results.

Be careful about trying solutions you see on social media. Some of them can be dangerous to your oral health, such as wearing away at your enamel. Others can increase sensitivity and make your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Always ask your dentist first.

Consult your dentist.

While everyone wants to have a dazzling white smile, the best way to do so is by keeping up with a proper oral health routine. This means brushing your teeth at least two times a day and for at least two minutes at a time, as well as flossing at least once daily to remove any food particles from between teeth. Dentists also recommend using a mouthwash with fluoride, which is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to keep enamel strong.

If you find that your teeth aren’t as white as they could be, consult the dental team at Sheppard Family Dental Care in Lawton, OK. The two of you can decide on a tooth whitening treatment plan that will work best for the results you are looking to achieve. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation!