Your Options To Whiten Teeth
Maybe there aren’t QUITE 101 ways to whiten teeth, but there are a lot of them, for certain. Some systems may be familiar to you. You may have seen advertisements on the television for different home or professional ways to whiten teeth, or you may know someone who has had his or her teeth bleached. This may be something you have thought of doing yourself or having done. With so many ways available to whiten teeth, one is sure to provide the experience you want for a price that you find acceptable.
Before even considering the different ways to whiten teeth, people should think about why they want their teeth whiter in the first place. There are two main reasons to consider teeth whitening products. The first is obviously cosmetic. We would all love to have those gleaming white teeth we had in our youth. Many things contribute to the fading glory of teeth. Staining, bacteria, poor hygiene, smoking, and even some medications will alter the whiteness of teeth. Sometimes it is just a matter of the teeth changing with age. Bringing back that shining white look and the winning smile is the first and foremost reason people consider ways to whiten teeth.
However, there are some health benefits, also. As alluded to before, bacteria is one cause of discoloration in the teeth. Many of the ways to whiten teeth will peel this bacteria away from the tooth’s surface to make a more brilliant smile. While there are good bacteria, generally the ones found on the surface of our teeth are not good. There are over seven hundred species of bacteria in the human mouth. The pigment that they leave behind on our teeth is unsightly, but certainly not the biggest detriment of bacteria in the mouth. There is also halitosis, gingivitis and other dental and periodontal diseases to consider. On top of ridding the mouth of bacteria, some ways to whiten teeth are also bolstered with potassium fluoride, which also works to strengthen enamel in the teeth.
Whether you are considering teeth whitening for cosmetic or health reasons, you still have a lot of ways to whiten teeth from which to choose. Teeth whitening methods come in two very basic forms: professional and over the counter. There are pros and cons to each of these ways to whiten teeth, including cost, safety, tooth sensitivity, chemical burns, and of course, the results. Selecting the one that is right for you and your smile is a matter of doing some research and maybe asking around. It is also important to have a regular dental check-up before undergoing any sort of treatment to whiten teeth.
There are many professional ways to whiten teeth, but most of them involve bleach. Some ways to whiten teeth are purchased at the dentist’s office, but are applied in the comfort of your own home. Some can only be acquired in the dentist’s office. For example, laser teeth whitening can only be done by a teeth whitening professional. While the peroxide used in the treatment is fairly standard, the laser light used to accelerate the process is part of a professional’s job. Other types of professional ways to whiten teeth include the standard bleaching, which uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide teeth whitening gels in trays. This way to whiten teeth is usually done in stages, unless the laser acceleration is used. Internal teeth bleaching can also only be achieved with professional application since it involves altered teeth, and also drilling into the tooth, itself.
Some dentists will recommend professional products that you can take home and apply on your own to whiten teeth. Opalescence teeth whitening gels, for example, are prescribed for you by your dentist. You are given a custom tray that is made to align perfectly with your mouth and the opalescent gel is offered to you in the strength that best suits your needs. This is one way to whiten teeth that allows for a lot of flexibility, since it is a professional, custom product but still allows easy application in the comfort of your own home. There are many other whitening gels and bleaches that you can purchase from your dentist and use at home to whiten teeth. Whitening trays and whitening strips prescribed by a dentist can give you the same revolutionary smile as in-office treatments. They sometimes take a little longer, but the results are comparable. You can also look into ways to whiten teeth naturally.
The final way to whiten teeth is the over the counter product that you can purchase at the local drug store or specialty kiosk. There are literally rafts of these and their success rates are as varied as their methods. You can purchase whitening gums at just about any gas station or convenience store. This is a type of low-concentration whitening that is very cost effective, but also offers less noticeable results. We have all seen the toothpaste that advertises a whitening formula or the rinses and mouthwashes that do the same. Many of these methods to whiten teeth feature baking soda as a key agent. Here is one example of home teeth whitening:
You can also purchase tray-based gels or a whitening strip without seeing a dentist. These ways to whiten teeth apply the bleaching agent directly to the teeth, either by drenching the teeth in the solution within the tray or by using a brush-style applicator. These are actually good and proven ways to whiten teeth. The two main advantages of home trays and gels (outside of the fact that you can do the procedure yourself) are the facts that they are usually pretty inexpensive and that you can gradually whiten your teeth over time for a more natural look. They are also great for maintaining that winning grin once you have bleached your teeth to the desired shade of white.
Regardless of the method to whiten teeth that looks best to you, teeth whitening just isn’t for everyone. It works best on teeth that have not seen a lot of dental work and will not work at all on dentures, partials, crowns and other unnatural teeth. Some staining, often associated with the antibiotic tetracycline, is also not reachable with standard teeth bleaching systems. People with sensitive teeth are often wary of teeth whitening and some people will have allergic reactions or receive chemical burns from the process. While these reactions are rare, they do happen. Be prepared and be informed, no matter what way to whiten teeth you select.