What are my options for teeth whitening?

Your goal: A white, bright smile. But what is the best teeth whitening option for you? Our Halifax dentists explain teeth whitening options and the effects they can have.

What is teeth whitening?

Typically, fluoride treatment at your dental clinic will consist of a single application of gel, foam, or varnish. Varnishes are painted onto the teeth, whereas foams are placed in a dental tray and applied to the teeth for a few minutes. Gels can be applied either by brush or by the tray.

What are my options for teeth whitening?

You have a variety of options today for teeth whitening. Selecting the best option can be challenging because each has benefits and can produce effective outcomes. Each procedure has some drawbacks, just like any other procedure.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

The most effective teeth whitening procedures are performed by your dentist in a dental office. This is because the whitening agents in your dentist’s gel are much stronger and produce much more effective results than over-the-counter products.

Typically, the process takes an hour. Your dentist will lighten the natural colour of your teeth by removing surface stains with a concentrated whitening solution. Compared to at-home whitening products, which take days or weeks to work, this produces results that are a little more quickly.

At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening Trays

This take-home option would be supervised by your dentist. During an initial visit to your dentist, a dental impression will be created to make your whitening trays.

You will apply the teeth whitening on your own after taking the bleaching trays home. Depending on what your dentist recommends, you'll wear the whitening gel for anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours per day for 1 to 3 weeks.

The whitening solution will gradually remove surface stains from your teeth and lighten their natural colour.


Whitening toothpastes work to remove visible stains from your teeth and slightly lighten them. However, keep in mind that whitening toothpastes won't change the colour of your teeth naturally and can't remove stains that have gotten under the surface of the tooth.

Enamel-strengthening toothpastes can help to defend your teeth from cavities and protect your enamel from further damage, which can prevent stains from developing in the first place.

Whitening Strips

These small plastic strips are coated with peroxide-based gel. When you apply the strip to your teeth, the peroxide coating removes surface stains, lightening the colour of your teeth.

Typically, you would apply whitening strips once daily for two to three weeks, removing them after no more than 30 minutes. As a result of the small amount of peroxide present in these products, the effects are typically subtle.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are razor-thin strips of porcelain that are affixed to the fronts of your teeth to improve their colour, shape and symmetry.

If only one or a few of your teeth are discoloured, porcelain veneers may be a practical solution to even out the colour of your teeth.

How do I know which are the best teeth whitening products?

The best teeth-whitening products for you will depend on a range of variables, including personal preference, time constraints, and financial considerations. For advice and suggestions from other people who have chosen to go the professional and/or at-home route, you might want to think about searching online for teeth whitening reviews.

Are you wondering which teeth whitening options would be right for you? Our Halifax dentists can examine your smile and recommend treatments. Contact us today.

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