Teeth Whitening Articles and Videos
Everybody wants and loves a bright smile and the “teeth whitening” industry is thriving today. There’s a lot of discussion about whether you should visit your dentist to have this done or can you do it yourself with acceptable results. There is no shortage of treatments and programs available for you that will brighten your smile either all at once or over a period of time. Most people, however, before they undergo a program such as this would like some background information – that’s what this page is all about. Below you’ll find a treasure trove of articles and videos about teeth whitening to help you in your quest to better understand the how’s and the why’s of this process before you make a decision.
So take a look at what we have below before you make a decision – we think we’ve gathered and created just about the best library of teeth whitening information around.
If your teeth are properly whitened, you should be able to maintain a pearly white smile for about 1 year before considering a touch-up. You’ll get more mileage, however, if you avoid the root causes of teeth discoloration to begin with. Cut back on coffee, dark wines, tea, sodas and colored processed food. Brushing your teeth often and rinsing your mouth after eating acidic or coloring foods or drinks will help as well. Eating crunchy fruits or vegetables like carrots or apples will help as well.
How much does it cost?
Teeth whitening can be either cheap or expensive. It all depends on your budget, the condition of your teeth and what kind of results you want to get. Home kits and products can cost from $6-40, while a visit to your dentist for a whitening treatment can cost about $400-500 per session. Home kits are cheap but the results take time to see, while a dental visit can get you a pearly white smile in less than an hour and successfully whiten even the worst of stained teeth.
What are the best products to use?
There are lots of whitening products on the market and it’s often confusing as to what’s best. For the most part, look for well-known brand name products you’re familiar with and find out what other consumers are saying about their experience with the product. If in doubt, consult your dentist who will advise you on the best products for your teeth.
Do I need to visit my dentist or can I whiten my teeth at home?
Either option is alright but in certain cases, a trip to the dentist will do you well. If you have had dental problems in the past or have fillings, veneers, crowns or braces, then you definitely need to consult your dentist. Also if you have very dark brown stains or your tooth appears to be gray, then home treatments will not whiten your teeth much and you will need in-office treatment. Finally, the dentist route is best if you want quick results, but if you have the patience to wait things out, you can do it at home.
Will teeth whitening treatments damage my teeth?
If used correctly, no. Tests have shown that the 10% peroxide level doesn’t damage your tooth enamel or any dental work such as fillings or crowns. The only effects are tooth sensitivity which usually disappears after a few days.
When will I see results?
If you use home whitening products then you should see results after 2-4 weeks. If you choose a professional treatment at your dentist’s office, your teeth should be whiter in 45minutes to 1 hour. However if your teeth are badly stained, you may need to attend another teeth whitening session.
If you have ever undergone teeth whitening treatment whether at home or at your dentist’s office, your teeth have probably experienced either a slight tingle or an acute hypersensitivity. As much as teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment that can greatly improve your appearance, one it’s key pitfalls is teeth sensitivity.
Statistics show that about 45 million Americans or 1 in 5 adults suffer from teeth sensitivity.
Teeth sensitivity is caused when the hard enamel that covers the inner porous layer called the dentin is stripped away. The dentin layer is where the nerve endings are present, so when the enamel is eroded, your nerves are exposed to the elements and this painful exposure is what is known as teeth sensitivity.
There are a number of reasons why the tooth enamel gets eroded leading to sensitivity:
- Tooth decay
- Chipped, Broken or cracked teeth
- Broken, splintered or worn out dental fillings
- Using too much force when brushing your teeth
- Using a very hard toothbrush everyday
- Grinding or clenching your teeth very often
- Overeating acidic foods like pickles
- Cracking hard candy in your mouth
- Teeth whitening
Teeth whitening leads to teeth sensitivity because the active ingredient, which is hydrogen peroxide, bleaches the teeth and removes both surface and deeper level stains. A couple of ideas of how to deal with teeth whitening sensitivity:
- To decrease the chances of experiencing sensitivity in the first place, use whitening products that have lower levels of hydrogen peroxide
- Apply teeth whitening treatments for a shorter period of time
Although mild sensitivity for a few days during whitening treatments is common, if it should persist for longer than a week and is very painful, then stop using the whitening treatment product at once.
It is wise to then consult your dentist as he can recommend the best way forward.
A few more recommendations that you may find helpful:
- After a whitening treatment session, avoid eating or drinking very cold or very hot foods and drinks. Exposing your whitened teeth to these extreme temperatures triggers painful sensitivity.
- Make sure your foods and drinks are at room temperature.
- You should also avoid acidic foods for a few days after whitening your teeth.
The oral care product section in local drug stores has become so crowded with so many teeth whitening products, it’s hard for the average consumer to know what the different products do in relation to one another. To clear the confusion, it’s important to understand the 2 types of teeth whitening and the relevant products.
Bleaching is one way of whitening your teeth and as its name suggests involves changing the color of your tooth (more specifically your tooth enamel). Bleaching is a more intense form of teeth whitening because it deals with both the outer stains on the surface of your teeth and also the deeper stains below the surface. With bleaching, you can whiten your teeth by several shades of white depending on the type of product. The main bleaching ingredient in products is known as carbamide peroxide and various products have different concentrations of it.
There are 2 ways to go about bleaching your teeth:
- Visiting your dentist for a professional in-office bleaching treatment. Dentists use stronger bleach, are able to shield your gums and oral cavity for protection and use laser and light to help speed things along. Your teeth can be whitened by a dentist in as little as 30 minutes to 1 hour and get your teeth whiter by 7-12 shades. If you still want to bleach your teeth at home, your dentist can prepare a home kit for you that contains your custom tooth mold and less- potent peroxide bleach and also instruct you on how to apply the treatment.
- You can also bleach using over-the-counter home treatment kits that are readily available in your local drug store. They are usually less potent, require use over several weeks before you see any results, and lighten your teeth by 1-2 shades. These products include teeth whitening strips and dental whitening trays.
The second way to whiten your teeth apart from bleaching is to use the abrasive treatment technique. This involves the use of abrasive products to remove the stains on the surface of the teeth by scrubbing them off. This method works best if you have slightly yellow teeth, but if you have dark brown or grey teeth then bleaching is a better option. Abrasive treatment products include electric toothbrushes and teeth whitening toothpastes.
Preventing tooth discoloration from occuring in the first place is the best course of action. To this end, there are easy to find references along with common-sense dental hygiene everybody should take into account. Here are 5 simple daily habits that can help you prevent or greatly reduce the chances of discoloring your pearly whites.
Rinse – Get into the practice of rinsing out your mouth with clear water after drinking or eating. This practice will help dislodge any particles that would stain your teeth. It is especially important to rinse out after consuming dark colas, red wines, coffee, tea and processed foods.
Use a Straw – Using a straw to drink liquids is one of the ways to prevent your teeth from getting discolored. When we drink the normal way without straws, the liquid comes into contact with a larger surface area of our teeth, whilst when we drink through a straw that contact is minimized. This therefore reduces the chances of discoloring your teeth.
Raw Vegetables and Fruits – You have heard the saying- “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Well you can bet that it also keeps the dentist away too. Fresh and crisp fruits and vegetables are like natural toothbrushes and help to clean your teeth and mouth. So have a few bites of an apple, celery, carrot or pear after your meals or snacks and reduce the chances of your teeth yellowing.
Dental Visits – Paying regular visits to your dentist at least once every 6 months is a great way to catch any dental problems such as tooth discoloration in their infancy before they become a bigger issue. Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth and help you get treatment early.
Basic Dental Hygiene – One of the reasons so many people suffer from teeth stains is because they don’t observe basic dental hygiene that could save them heartache and dollars down the road. You ought to be brushing your teeth in the correct manner at least twice a day. Flossing your teeth and using a whitening mouthwash daily provide extra oral health benefits and guarantee a white smile.
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