Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
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If you want to brighten your smile, there are effective products available through your dentist that provide fast, noticeable whitening results. However, these treatments are expensive and time-consuming.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to whiten your teeth at home, including:
These products are inexpensive and more convenient than professional teeth whitening but require extra upkeep.
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Tooth discoloration can be attributed to various factors, including lifestyle habits, dental health issues, and natural aging.
The most common cause of yellowing teeth is the buildup of external stains. Over time, your teeth accumulate dark pigments as you eat and drink dark-colored foods and beverages.
This also occurs with tobacco use, especially smoking. External stains that are not removed consistently become deeply embedded in the hard tooth structure, making them more difficult to remove.
You must avoid these dark-colored substances to prevent external stains from accumulating on the teeth.
To reduce external teeth stains, limit your intake of:
If you never eat, drink, smoke, or chew anything dark, your teeth will stay relatively white.
Intrinsic discoloration forms within your teeth. Causes of intrinsic discoloration include:
Enamel is the only structure in a tooth that is naturally white. Even in its most natural state, it is just an off-white color.
The underlying core structure of the tooth is dentin, which is softer and yellower than enamel. As enamel thins, more dentin shows through, causing the teeth to appear yellow.
There are several causes of thinning enamel, all of which can be prevented. You have to take preventive measures against the cause itself. These include:
Acidic pH substances are enamel’s kryptonite. They slowly dissolve the enamel, making it thinner, weaker, and translucent. Avoid acidic drinks like sodas, sparkling water, fruit juices, beer, and wine to prevent this.
See your doctor to treat any problems with acid reflux and dry mouth (your saliva is a base and counteracts damage from acids).
The heavy forces and friction of nighttime clenching and/or grinding lead to a gradual wearing-away of enamel. This is preventable by wearing a protective nightguard to separate and protect the teeth.
Some people feel that using hard toothbrushes and extremely abrasive toothpaste will lead to cleaner teeth. Unfortunately, it will also lead to abrasion or mechanical removal of enamel over time.
Only use soft toothbrushes, and ask your dentist for toothpaste recommendations.
People with gum recession, root exposure, and already-thin enamel should avoid whitening toothpaste, which is abrasive.
Over-the-counter (OTC) whitening strips brighten teeth quickly and effectively. They are applied directly to the teeth.
Typically, you will apply the strips twice daily for 30 minutes for 14 days. These strips are relatively inexpensive and usually whiten teeth one to two shades.
With LED whitening kits, a whitening agent is applied directly to the teeth with a brush. Then, the blue LED light is turned on to activate the whitening agent. The blue light causes a chemical reaction, allowing the whitening agent to safely bleach teeth.
Many brands suggest using LED kits for 8 to 30 minutes for several days. However, all kits have different application times. Always read through the instructions and follow them.
Whitening toothpastes have higher amounts of abrasives and detergents than standard toothpastes. They typically lighten tooth color one or two shades.
This method involves using a fitted tray containing carbamide peroxide gel. The trays are worn for 30 minutes to 2 hours a day or overnight, depending on the instructions.5 Gels can also be applied directly to teeth using a pen instrument with a brush applicator.
See NewMouth’s top 10 teeth whitening products of 2022.
Sometimes at-home treatments aren’t enough to get the results you are looking for. Here are some other, more powerful options:
Professional whitening treatments contain higher concentrations of the bleaching agent, typically hydrogen peroxide.
Dentists also provide gum protection to prevent sensitivity associated with whitening. Treatments usually take between 30 and 60 minutes, and results are instant.4
Remember that professional whitening costs between $500 and $1,000 per treatment. But upkeep is minimal (once or twice a year).
Some dental professionals may use a laser to heat the whitening gel. This increases the rate of the chemical reaction, allowing the gel to work quicker. Research on the effectiveness of lasers in dental procedures is ongoing, but they are generally considered safe for tooth whitening.6
Routine teeth cleanings are recommended to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Regular scaling and polishing can remove extrinsic stains. These are stains on the surfaces of teeth. This treatment also provides an excellent base for any whitening treatment.
Veneers are a great option if you have tooth stains that whitening can’t remove. These thin shells fit over the front of teeth and effectively hide stains and discoloration. They are also used to restore damaged teeth.
The most effective way to prevent staining is to take good care of your teeth and eat a balanced diet. More specifically, to keep your teeth white long-term, incorporate these tips into your lifestyle:
Also, eat more vegetables, pineapple, dairy products, nuts, seeds, onions, carrots, and celery. All of these foods have been shown to improve tooth brightness and strength.
It’s simple to prevent stains, but most people don’t consider it worth the trouble of avoiding their favorite substances. Fortunately, many at-home whitening products can help counteract stains, including toothpaste, mouthwash, strips, and LED kits.
Speak to your dentist before you try any over-the-counter products. Teeth whitening doesn’t work for everyone, and deeper stains often require professional treatment. Results depend on your unique circumstances and level of tooth discoloration.
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