Everyone wants to whiten their teeth today. Hollywood and magazines teach us that the people with white, bright teeth are beautiful and many people will go to any length to get whiter teeth. While it would be great to just show up at your dentist’s office and leave it all to him, it is best to learn the various methods to whiten teeth before handing over your hard-earned cash.
First of all, there are several answers on how to whiten your teeth. Several are simply over-the-counter options. The easiest, one that many people do already, is to use a whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes work by helping to remove surface stains to the teeth by being more abrasive to the teeth.
Typically toothpastes contain small amounts of silica, calcium carbonate or calcium phosphate, and aluminum oxide to help grind off the stains that are made by the molecules hanging onto the teeth from the food eaten. These gentle polishing or chemical agents aid in the stain removal effectiveness. These toothpastes do not contain bleach; they have a hydrogen peroxide in them that helps remove stains right on the surface of the tooth. There is nothing in them to alter the intrinsic color of the teeth.
At Home Whitening Strips
Another aspect of how to whiten teeth is to use an over-the-counter bleaching kit. These whitening strips are thin, flexible shaped strips that are coated with a whitening gel that is peroxide-based. The strips are worn on the teeth for about half an hour at a time, for several days. Many people get visible results using this method. Crest Whitestrips are a popular option.
Tray-based Bleaching at Home
Another way to whiten teeth is to use a tray-based product. These are similar to what is done in a dentist’s office, though it can also be done at home, almost as effectively. The tray is made to fit in your mouth, over your teeth, then they are filled with a peroxide-bleaching agent and worn in the mouth for a significant amount of time over several weeks. This is one answer to how to whiten teeth.
Professional Teeth Whitening
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money, you can go to your dentist and let the dentist determine how to whiten your teeth. They can usually do a great job, one that is quicker and very effective. The dentist applies a protective gel to the non-teeth areas, particularly the gums. Then the bleaching product is applied right on the teeth. The process usually lasts upwards to an hour, and will often need to be done over several visits for maximum results.
If you want to know how to whiten teeth the easiest and fastest way, a similar process can be done in a cosmetic dentist’s office, using a special laser. The gums are protected, the bleaching agent is applied, and the laser is aimed at a few teeth at a time, for about 15 seconds at a time. In total, each tooth receives about 2 to 4 minutes under the laser, and results can be seen after just one visit.
Teeth Whitening Risks
There are a few risks involved in the process of teeth whitening. Basically the treatment may make your teeth sensitive for a brief period of time.
This is a feature seen in the early stages of the teeth whitening process. Again it may gently irritate the soft tissues of the mouth like the gums.
Mostly, a mouthpiece tray which does not fit properly is responsible for the irritation of the soft tissues. But both these conditions and discomfort do not persist for long and last only for a temporary period of one to three days of the completion of the treatment.
In case of acute sensitivity one can follow a few simple measures to reduce or get rid of the teeth whitening risks:
1. The mouth tray can be used for a shorter period of time for example, instead of two 60 minute sessions it can be worn for two 30 minutes sessions.
2. The process can be stopped for a few days to allow the teeth to get adjusted to the teeth whitening treatment.
3. The dentist or the pharmacist can be asked to
prescribe a product containing high fluoride to restore the mineral content of the teeth. This product should be applied to the tray and be worn for four minutes before starting the whitening process.
4. Brushing teeth with toothpaste meant for
sensitive teeth containing potassium nitrate helps soothe the nerve ends of the teeth.
Such steps might alleviate the teeth whitening risks and irritations to some degree.
Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you keep
your teeth as white as possible after you have invested in teeth whitening.
– Avoid food and drinks that stain the teeth. Avoid black tea, strong coffee, blueberries, etc.
– Try to brush your teeth after consuming eating and drinking. Sometimes, that is not possible, so at very least, rinse and gargle after you consume teeth-staining food and beverages.
– Daily and regular oral hygiene is critical. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once or better still, twice daily. This will help keep your teeth white and healthy.
– Use a teeth whitening toothpaste.
– Ask your dentist about touch-up treatments or use an OTC whitener once or twice a year.