Discoloration of your teeth may be caused by coffee, cigarettes, medication, or just aging. Brooklyn, NY cosmetic dentist Laurence Langer, DDS, will recommend a teeth-whitening procedure that will have you smiling in no time.
Today, there are dozens of whitening options available for every budget and temperament—and Dr. Langer will take your particular case into consideration when developing a treatment plan for you.
One whitening method is dentist-dispensed whitening trays, which Dr. Langer will prepare during your visit. Taking a mold of your top and/or bottom teeth, he will develop whitening trays to be used with tooth-whitening bleach as directed.
Results have shown that dentist-dispensed whitening trays can be even more successful than in-office bleaching over a long period of time. The reason for their success is that their ongoing use, combined with the fact that small amounts of bleach remain within the tooth structure for up to 36 hours, produce more pronounced effects when a new dose of bleach is applied to a tooth retaining the previous day’s peroxide.
Other tooth whitening methods include store-bought teeth whitening kits or whitening strips. Whether professionally dispensed, store bought, or sold on the Internet, teeth-whiteners are either pre-mixed and ready to use, or require mixing at home.
Our Brooklyn Dentist: Advantages of At-Home Teeth Whitening
- Optimal long-term results: Dr. Laurence Langer and other dental professionals are in agreement that the most effective way of maintaining your whitened teeth is with at-home bleaching products, if repeated on a regular basis (preferably every four to six months). These days, however, dentists like Dr. Langer recommends that patients with very dark-stained or tetracycline-affected teeth continue home bleaching over a period of months (or even up to a year) as a way of achieving optimal results. Even the newest teeth whitening strips on the market are intended to be used for five-minutes a day, every day—just like brushing or flossing your teeth.
- Convenient to use: You can use home whitening products any time of the day or night, for short or longer periods.
- Have product will travel/portability: Whether on the go, traveling, or at the office, at-home whitening products can be used anywhere.
- Cost effective: As affordable as they are convenient and portable, the cost of at-home teeth whitening is less than half of in-office bleaching.
Dr. Langer’s At-Home Whitening Considerations
- Keep in mind that more rapid effects will take place the stronger the peroxide formula; and, the weaker the concentrate, the longer it can safely remain on your teeth. So, you’ll get about the same results with a low-percentage bleach used overnight every night of the week as with a high-percentage “day-bleach“ that you keep on your teeth one hour a day for an entire 7-day week.
- Dr. Langer recommends starting your at-home whitening regimen soon after you come home from his hygienist’s prophylactic cleaning. Your professional cleaning serves to remove the surface layer of plaque and grime that has been shown to hinder bleaching efforts.
- Dr. Langer and his associates stress brushing and flossing your teeth right any form of at-home or on-the-go whitening.
- Wait at least two hours after whitening to consume food or beverages (except for water) for best results.
Dentist-Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Trays
Dr. Laurence Langer and other dental professionals are in consensus that the most effective bleaching results are achieved with dentist-dispensed take-home kits, especial when used over extended periods of time.
These kits, which contain higher percentages of bleach than over-the-counter kits, typically consist of:
- Custom-fitted application trays fabricated from a flexible plastic material, which:
- Helps guarantee that the whitening bleach stays in contact with your teeth to achieve optimum whitening
- They help prevent saliva from coming into contact with the bleaching agent (which can dilute its strength).
- Prevents your saliva from coming into contact with the bleaching agent (which will dilute its strength)
- Serves to minimize the amount of bleach that can dribble onto the gums—and potentially irritate them
- The bleaching compounds that Dr. Langer and other dentists will send you home with are either pre-loaded into the trays or stored in syringes (and require you to add to the trays just before you use them). In most cases, the gel provided is enough for one two-week treatment per year, plus one- or two-day touch-ups every four to six months.