A bright white smile is a huge confidence booster and can improve your relationships at work and in your personal life. But as we age, our natural smile starts to become discolored through lack of oral care, from the foods we consume, or even medications we take.
Investing in a teeth whitening service can be life-changing for some, but the cost is often a deterrent. Luckily, there are a variety of teeth whitening treatments available today at varying prices.
You can choose from an in-office teeth whitening treatment or a take-home whitening procedure so that the service’s cost fits your budget while still fulfilling your oral health needs.
Teeth Whitening Options
There are countless choices today for teeth whitening services, and the best option for you comes down to your budget and personal preference. While professional teeth whitening options that take place in a dentist’s office may come with a higher cost than whitening toothpaste you can purchase at your local drug store or supermarket, they are more effective, safer, and last longer.
With professional whitening services from your cosmetic dentist, you can see faster results that will last longer. In-chair whitening treatments like Zoom!® whitening can leave your teeth six to eight shades whiter in just one hour.
Zoom!® Whitening In-Office Treatment
Before you undergo an intense professional whitening, we recommend having your teeth cleaned by a hygienist to remove all the plaque, so your teeth are as clean as possible.
Zoom!® Whitening uses a bleaching process to resolve tooth discoloration. Before the treatment begins, your dentist prepares you with a cheek retractor and covers your lips and gums to protect them from the whitening agent, which contains 25% hydrogen peroxide. With only your teeth exposed, your dentist can apply the Zoom!® hydrogen peroxide gel, which works with the Zoom!® Advanced Power Chairside Lamp to remove stains and discoloration.
Once your dentist applies the gel, it remains on the teeth for 15 minutes under the light. Over the next 45 to 60 minutes, your dentist repeats this step 3 or f4 times, each time leaving the gel on your teeth for 15-minute increments. Following the whitening procedure, your dentist applies a fluoride gel to your teeth to reduce tooth sensitivity.
Zoom!® Whitening Take-home Kits
Take-home professional whitening kits are another solution for fast results with a lower cost. You can also choose to get a take-home kit from your dentist following an in-chair whitening treatment to maintain the color of your teeth as time goes on.
Take-home whitening kits provided by your dentist use specialized products with custom-fitted trays, which allows the use of professional strength whitening agents. With the custom fit trays, it’s safe to use a stronger gel because it won’t ooze out of the tray into your mouth or throat. Zoom!® take-home kits are available as DayWhite or NiteWhite, so you can choose when you prefer to wear the trays.
With the DayWhite option, you wear the trays for 30 minutes and 90 minutes each day, whereas with NiteWhite you can wear the trays overnight for 2-4 hours. The strength of the whitening gel varies based on which option you select.
Zoom!® DayWhite products use hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel, with concentrations of 14%, 9.5%, and 6%. The less time you want to wear the custom-fit trays each day, the higher HP percentage gel you should use. Zoom!® NiteWhite products use carbamide peroxide in the whitening gel at concentrations of 22%, 16%, and 10%.
Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are both effective whitening agents, but they perform differently. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down more quickly, releasing most of its whitening agents within the first 30 minutes. This faster release makes it an effective option for brief daytime whitening.
Carbamide peroxide contains hydrogen peroxide and releases only half of its whitening agent in the first two hours, remaining active for much longer. This makes carbamide peroxide a more effective option for longer periods wearing the trays, ideal for people who want to have their teeth whitened while they sleep.
Besides giving you a more brilliant smile, Zoom!® take-home products also protect your enamel and help reduce tooth sensitivity with a combination of fluoride, potassium nitrate, and amorphous calcium phosphate.
By following your dentist’s directions for wearing the custom trays, you can see results in as little as two weeks with a take-home professional kit. Added benefits of choosing custom fit trays from your dentist rather than drug store whitening strips include reduced gum irritation and specialty trays for sensitive teeth.
Teeth Whitening Costs
The costs associated with whitening your teeth vary depending on the method of whitening you select. Same-day Zoom!® whitening is the most expensive option, but it provides an instantaneous result.
Take-home professional teeth whitening products usually come with enough whitening paste to last two weeks, range in price. However, because you do most of the work yourself, they typically cost less than the in-office treatment.
If you are getting veneers or a crown, your dentist may recommend professional whitening in advance to ensure the color of the restoration matches your teeth perfectly.
How to Keep Your Teeth White
Once you’ve spent time and money whitening your teeth, you’ll want to do everything possible to maintain your vibrant new smile. Part of this process entails reapplication of the whitening agent every so often for touch-ups.
In-office whitening can last for 6-36 months, depending on the product used and how you care for your teeth. With Zoom!®, you can use the trays provided after whitening to maintain your color between dental visits.
In the meantime, treat your teeth well to prevent discoloration from reoccurring. This means sticking to a regimented oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing twice daily. Vigilant oral care prevents plaque buildup and is also the best protection against tooth decay.
Avoiding or limiting beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine also helps preserve the effects of whitening treatment for longer. All these beverages contain tannins that stain teeth by allowing chromogens to stick to your tooth enamel, resulting in discoloration. Adding milk to your coffee or tea can reduce its staining properties, and brushing after a glass of red wine can also help.
Highly acidic foods also wear away at your tooth enamel, revealing the tooth’s yellowish core over time. Citrus fruits and yogurt are two common and highly acidic food items to monitor your consumption of. If you eat acidic or sugary foods, brush your teeth immediately after.
Owens Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Can Help
At Owens Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we offer Philips Zoom!® Whitening treatments either in-chair or for you to take home. Cosmetic dentist Scott J. Owens DDS has extensive experience in teeth whitening and is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
To learn more about Zoom!® Teeth Whitening and learn if it’s the right choice for you, contact us today (248) 626-0772, or fill out our online form to schedule your appointment.