What is the Best Teeth Whitening Product?

In today’s world, the idea of having teeth that are not gleaming and white is off-putting for many. This has led to the masses looking for ways to whiten their teeth from within the confines of the dentist’s office or applying at-home products to whiten their teeth. Whitening toothpaste, gels, strips, trays, rinses, and other whitening products can all help a person to gain a glowing smile.

Teeth whitening is recommended for people who have a healthy mouth with no restored teeth and gums. Slight yellow stained teeth can be easily whitened and respond best to treatments. It is always best to talk to your dentist before beginning the use of smile whitening products. This article will go over how to get white teeth and the many products that can be used to gain a bright, healthy smile.

teeth whitening

Finding the Correct Product

With so many products available in today’s market, it begs the question, what is the best teeth whitening product? Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all answer. Different products will work better for some, while other products will work better for others. Most likely, there will be a product listed in this article that will work for an individual’s desired results. Between toothpaste, strips, rinses, gels, and chewing gum, there are a lot of options.

There are specific reasons to check with a dentist before beginning the use of any teeth whitening products, especially for those with the following issues:

  • dental restorations
  • very dark stains
  • a stand-alone dark tooth
  • many fillings or crowns
  • sensitive teeth

Teeth Whitening Products

Let’s look at some of the more popular whitening products on the market to understand how they work, and how long they take to work.

Whitening Toothpaste

A normal toothpaste helps remove plaque and other surface stains that are mild, however, a toothpaste made for whitening teeth will contain more powerful stain removal agents. Most toothpaste that is bought over-the-counter contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to combat stains and bring out the white in the teeth. While over-the-counter toothpaste can raise the color shade one level, prescription strength toothpaste can offer greater whitening power. Most over the counter whiteners will take somewhere between two to six weeks to achieve their results.

Whitening Gels

Gels are similar to toothpaste but are used explicitly for whitening. The gels are clear and peroxide-based that are applied to the teeth with a small brush. The gel is left on the tooth for a short period of time and whitening takes up to 10-14 days.

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are over the counter products and are generally very thin and nearly invisible when applied to a person’s teeth. The strips have a peroxide gel on them and are typically applied to the teeth for 5 to 45 minutes depending on the specific product. Users will typically see results fairly quickly, sometimes within a couple of days. The final results are usually seen in about four months’ time.

Whitening Rinses

One of the newest ways to whiten teeth are whitening rinses. Like most mouthwashes, these are swished around the mouth, but the whitening rinse contains hydrogen peroxide and other key ingredients to help whiten teeth. This method takes longer to see results, up to 12 weeks, but it is the simplest method to use, only taking about one minute per day.

Tooth Whitening Using a Tray

These types of products can be obtained from a dentist or bought over-the-counter. Whitening trays are similar to a normal mouthguard you might see in use to fight Bruxism (teeth grinding). However, this mouthguard has a peroxide-bleaching component added to it before its placed in the mouth to keep the bleaching agent in contact with the person’s teeth. The tray can be worn variably to gain desired results.

General at Home Safety With Products

As you begin your quest for how to get teeth white, it’s very important to closely follow the instructions on any products before beginning use. Do not leave the product on longer than recommended in the instructions. Some general rules of thumb when using whitening products is to not leave them on too long as they can cause a number of issues such as gums that become sensitive and sore. Also, for a few hours after completing treatment, do not drink any coffee, soda, and other beverages that are highly acidic.

After completing treatments, teeth may become sensitive and it is important to pay attention to this and make adjustments accordingly. If a person’s teeth and gums are very healthy, there will be very little sensitivity in most cases. If anything becomes painful or overly uncomfortable, stop treatment and consult your dentist.

Reaching the shade of white a person wants is very achievable in most cases, but it is important not to rush the process. Follow the recommended instructions and over the course of time, teeth will indeed become brighter and whiter.

Whitening at an Office

The absolute fastest and safest way to gain a gleaming smile is by visiting your dentist. Dentists can create custom-fitted whitening trays or use a high-tech solution like Zoom whitening. Zoom whitening uses a special light which, on average, whitens teeth eight shades with results that can last for years. This solution is not only long-lasting, but also very safe and quick. The procedure typically takes about an hour.

If you still have questions about teeth whitening products or procedures, get in touch with us or schedule an appointment with Cavanaugh Dental today. We’ll be happy to walk you through your options and help you find the best whitening solution for your teeth.


Personalized patient care and professionalism, clinical excellence and patient safety have always been our top priorities. Cavanaugh Dental has always followed the strictest CDC and OSHA regulations, and we hope that our attention to detail and cleanliness is apparent at all of your visits to our practice. We address the importance of pristine, healthy treatment rooms, reception areas, and the office as a whole–including the areas around the outside of the practice each day. Our protocols for infection control and sterilization are extreme, going above and beyond what is necessary. Beginning in May 2020, with the COVID-19 health crisis, we have implemented further advanced measures.

  • Our team’s scrubs and uniforms are laundered daily, and our staff members do not leave the building in their gowns. Our entire clinical team wears fluid-resistant gowns over their scrubs, and our entire outfit for the day does not leave the practice, including our shoes.
  • We have acquired N95/KN95 masks and Level 3 masks which offer the highest level of protection to both you and our staff. We will be wearing face shields over our loupes and mask combinations.
  • We utilize high-speed suction/evacuation devices during many procedures for patient comfort and to minimize aerosols outside of the mouth. Even during hygiene appointments (teeth cleanings), we will now use high-speed moisture evacuation during the entire procedure, including an additional product that will rest on the cheek and suck away much of the aerosols generated. We have added extraoral high-speed evacuation for all dental procedures to eliminate or nearly eliminate even the slightest aerosols.
  • Perhaps the most substantial addition is a series of 5 individually located 5-stage HEPA air filtration systems that that we run throughout the office. These systems alone will clean the air over 6 times per hour. These systems, while quite over the top, offer our patients and staff the confidence that the air that we breathe in while anywhere within the practice is safe and clean.
  • We have installed an ionizer into our HVAC system that kills viruses as they pass by.
  • With the exception of delivering treatment plans, new patient forms, and payment, our practice has been entirely digital and paperless. Our new techniques will work to minimize if not eliminate contact with paper and pens in a back and forth manner with the staff for your safety.
  • We have implemented several new protocols for our patient appointments that will constantly work to minimize contact with other patients, including having patients move straight from their vehicles to their treatment room. Please know that this is for your safety as well as our own–we know this is the right thing to do despite the limitations it will initially have on “normal social interactions” between us which we so enjoy.

Be well and we look forward to seeing you soon!

What to Expect During a Tooth Extraction

Tooth extractions can seem incredibly intimidating and tend to create a lot of stress for patients because they are afraid that it will hurt or that something bad will happen. As modern technology evolves, dental procedures, like tooth extractions, become less of a burden meaning they are quicker, easier to perform and create less discomfort for patients. This article will give you an idea of why tooth extractions are needed and what to expect in hopes of settling your nerves.

What are the common reasons for tooth extractions?

The most common reasons for tooth extractions include:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease
  • Overcrowded Teeth
  • Impacted Teeth

Many reasons for tooth extractions are easily avoidable by visiting the dentist regularly. However, even if a patient has great oral hygiene and health, sometimes a tooth extraction is necessary to fix overcrowded or impacted teeth.

Tooth Decay

When a tooth needs to be removed because of decay, it is often because a patient does not visit the dentist regularly. Tooth decay starts by deteriorating the enamel of the tooth and then works its way deeper until a hole, or cavity is formed. This hole allows bacteria to enter into the center of the tooth causing an infection in the root that is typically treated by a root canal. The longer tooth decay goes without treatment, the lower the chances are of saving the tooth leaving extraction as the only option.

Gum Disease

Untreated gum disease is just as damaging as tooth decay. When plaque builds upon the surface of a tooth it eventually spreads below the gum line where a toothbrush cannot reach. The plaque buildup under the gums will start to become inflamed, infected, and start to spread deeper. As gum disease continues to go untreated, the gums will get more swollen creating a space between the tooth and gum line. This area of space promotes further plaque buildup and the bacteria will eventually reach the tooth’s supporting structures, destroying the ligaments and bone. This deterioration will cause the tooth to become loose where it will either fall out on its own or need to be extracted.

Overcrowded Teeth

Children, more so than adults, commonly experience extraction due to overcrowded teeth. When a patient’s mouth is not large enough to accommodate all of the teeth that are growing in, the permanent teeth will grow in unaligned from pressing against each other. Once a child starts to consider braces, their orthodontist might deem extraction necessary if the overcrowding is preventing orthodontic treatment from being effective. Extracting adult teeth will create more space in the mouth for the rest of the teeth to move and align properly.

Impacted Teeth

When a tooth partially grows in or does not grow in at all, it is considered impacted. There are several reasons why a tooth may become impacted including overcrowding or teeth that just grow incorrectly. The most frequent cause of impacted teeth, however, is wisdom teeth. They often get impacted because the jaw is not able to accommodate them, especially because wisdom teeth grow in much later than the rest of the adult teeth. Impacted teeth are usually discovered through x-rays and need to be extracted to prevent damage to the jawbone and adjacent teeth.

How long does it take to get a tooth pulled?

The entire tooth extraction process is fairly quick and generally takes 20-40 minutes. The surgery will be longer or shorter depending on the complexity of the removal and number of teeth being removed. Your dentist should be able to give you a rough estimate of how long it will take just by examining your x-rays. At the beginning of your surgery, an anesthetic will be administered to limit discomfort during the procedure. After you are anesthetized, the tooth will be pulled and the area will be cleaned. The surgeon will either place gauze in the socket where the tooth was or use a few stitches to stop the bleeding.

Are you put to sleep for wisdom teeth removal?

The level of anesthetic for a tooth extraction depends on a few factors. In most cases, a local anesthetic will numb the area plenty to prevent discomfort during the removal. Other situations, like severely impacted teeth or the removal of multiple teeth, will present the need for a general anesthetic to put the patient to sleep. Feel free to ask your dentist or surgeon what type of anesthetic they plan on using for your procedure so you can feel prepared.

How long does it take to heal from getting your teeth pulled?

On average it takes somewhere between 7 and 10 days to heal from getting a tooth pulled. As the extraction site is healing, you will want to eat soft foods like apple sauce, soup, and yogurt so that the healing is not disturbed. Your dentist or surgeon will be able to provide a more individualized healing plan as it could take longer or be more complex depending on your procedure.

How common are dry sockets after a tooth extraction?

Dry sockets seem to be talked about a lot for how infrequently they occur. When you consider tooth extractions as a whole, only about 2% of patients develop dry socket after an extraction. The occurrence increases to about 20%, however, when wisdom teeth are involved.

After a tooth is extracted and healing starts, a blood clot will form to protect the jawbone. A dry socket happens if the blood clot does not form or gets removed, exposing the jawbone. Sometimes the blood clot may not form or may break down due to preexisting bacteria in the mouth. Other factors like smoking, using straws, spitting, hormones, and blood supply can hinder the formation of the blood clot. Dry socket can prolong healing and create infections if they go untreated but they are generally easy to catch.

What are the symptoms of a dry socket?

The symptoms of dry socket are easily recognizable which allows patients to get treatment quickly. The most obvious symptom is if you can see that your socket does not have a blood clot or only partially does. If the blood clot is missing, the tissue in the area of the socket may appear gray signaling a healing disturbance and your jawbone may even be visible. Other symptoms include an increase in pain or swelling a few days after the extraction, pus, and bad breath. Any pain or discomfort should gradually decrease after the extraction, and if it starts to get worse it is important to contact your dentist or surgeon.

One of the best ways to ease the stress of procedures is by going to a dentist you can trust and where you can ask questions and express your concerns. At Cavanaugh Dental we try to make procedures, like tooth extractions, as comfortable as possible for our patients by making sure they know exactly what to expect.

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