People want whiter teeth because it makes a statement about their smile. It tells others that they take care of themselves and prefer an outgoing appearance. But whitening procedures at the dentist can be extremely costly and insurance doesn’t pay for it.
So, how does one go about getting a prettier, more brilliant smile? Well, there are a few options available in today’s popular era of self-improvement. The decision to whiten one’s teeth is a popular way to attract attention and feel better overall.
Options range from whitening toothpaste to whitening strips and they all have advantages and disadvantages in comparison with one another.
This is a discussion about the different teeth whitening options available in today’s market that one can perform at home. They are simple and effective ways to get a brighter smile and boost confidence.
Whitening toothpaste is made to be used twice per day with a regular brushing schedule. It can show noticeable results in just two to six weeks with regular use. It’s not likely that one will notice results after just one application.
Whitening toothpastes have a combination of abrasives and chemicals that polish the teeth and break down stains. They include the following:
- Calcium Carbonate
- Hydrated Aluminum Oxide
- Magnesium Carbonate
These specialty toothpastes might also contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which are key ingredients in teeth whitening.
Make sure to look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance on any whitening toothpaste. This is to ensure that the toothpaste has been evaluated and has demonstrated safety and efficiency.
It’s important to note that whitening toothpastes are heavy with abrasives that can remove tooth enamel in the whitening process. People with sensitive teeth should speak to their dentist before use.
Teeth whitening trays can be purchased with a dentist or over the counter. Over the counter versions are far less expensive than the dentist but can be a cost-effective way to whiten teeth.
Over the counter whitening trays are more expensive than whitening toothpaste but results are 4-5 shades lighter and they last longer.
Trays are moulded to the teeth and used in combination with a teeth whitening solution containing carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. They generally have a higher concentration of peroxide than other options.
The user can wear the trays for as long as two months for approximately two hours per day. They can be worn for two weeks before showing noticeable results.
One of the downsides to wearing a tray is that one cannot eat or drink for the duration of the whitening procedure and should be careful to fill the trays with the proper amount of bleaching gel. Over-saturating the teeth can cause sensitivity and leak onto the gums causing gum sensitivity, too.
Activated charcoal is a very absorbent substance often used in hospitals to remove toxins from the body such as poison. It can also work to actively whiten teeth.
Charcoal works by pulling toxins from the mouth and removing stains. It can change the pH and overall health of the mouth making it an effective option for fighting cavities and killing bad bacteria that causes tooth decay and gingivitis. Activated charcoal can be found at the local drug store or natural health foods stores.
To capsules simply open the capsule onto a wet toothbrush and brush for five minutes. It can also be used in powdered form. Be warned that charcoal does stain, clothes, counter tops and just about anything it touches so it’s important to be careful with the substance. Some dentists also recommend against these products.
The substance leaves the mouth feeling incredibly clean and teeth smooth while whitening at the same time. It may take several weeks to see noticeable results.
As mentioned, whitening trays are available at the dentist but one can also seek laser teeth whitening. This is by far the most expensive method for a teeth whitening procedure and may only be done in a dental office.
The procedure involves the dentist administering peroxide-based gel to each tooth and applying heat that is generated by a laser to enhance the effectiveness and longevity of the whitening. The gel used at the dentist is 25-40 percent more concentrated than other whitening solutions and thus require special precautions to reduce gum sensitivity.
These precautions also protect the lips, gums and other oral tissues from damage and include the following:
- Desensitising pastes to strengthen and harden enamel
- Soft or rubber to dams to cover the gums
- cheek re-tractors
- professional application of fluoride
Laser whitening takes about an hour and several treatments are often necessary. Some dentists will recommend additional whitening trays in between treatments to maintain the desired results.
Whitening strips are an extremely effective way to whiten teeth in a short amount of time and they’re not too expensive either. They’re easy to use and effectively whiten teeth in as much as three shades.
Results are not permanent but neither are any of the other solutions discussed here. A full treatment should last anywhere between six months to one year. It is also recommended to use whitening strips in combination with whitening toothpaste to achieve a full effect.
One treatment of whitening strips includes two strips, one for the top teeth and one for the bottom teeth. The user should wear them for 5-30 minutes per day. One can drink water with some whitening strips so they don’t affect the user’s schedule or routine.
Children and pregnant women should not use whitening strips without first consulting a dentist and physician. Some people find their teeth to become more sensitive with prolonged use and should consult their dentist if this occurs.
Your Questions Answered
There are a lot of options available today for teeth whitening. It’s important to perform research that relates associated symptoms such as sensitivity to the type of whitening strips that are chosen.
Still have questions about teeth whitening and how to do it safely and effectively? Contact us to order your Crest Whitestrips, today!