If you go inside in any drugstore and go over to the dental hygiene section, you’ll see a host of teeth whitening products such as whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, whitening gel, and more. Teeth whitening products have become big business nowadays with a lot of vendors and a lot of consumers.
Most of these products contain hydrogen peroxide that acts as the bleach to whiten your teeth. Professional tooth whitening done by dentists usually uses a more concentrated peroxide tooth whitening product. Only dentists have the expertise to bleach your teeth quickly in an in-office procedure and at the same time protect your gums because of the high-powered bleaching agent.
It’s another story for over-the-counter products. They are typically weaker and are less active in whitening but also less risk to the gums. Most of these products are safe to use. However, they can cause teeth sensitivity and can irritate the gum tissue. In this case, you should see your dentist.
Dentists usually make sure that you’re mouth is in a healthy condition before performing a teeth whitening procedure. You must have a thorough exam first and have plaque and tartar removed first before having your teeth whitened.
The effects of a professional teeth whitening procedure is usually immediate and lasts for years. This can then be supplemented by using home teeth whitening products which are not as effective as the professional ones but are also less risky.
Home teeth whitening products work by surface type bleach whitening enamel with stains. These whitening products also dehydrate the tooth but re-hydration returns after a few weeks.
What these products are bleaching is the enamel- the outer layer of the tooth and beneath this is the dentin. As you age, the dentin is gradually exposed, showing yellowish colored teeth for most older people. This is because the outer enamel layer has become thinner after years of wear and tear. Dentists don’t apply whitening products on the dentin.
There are plenty of natural home teeth whitening ideas if you search on the internet such as the use of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar as a mouthwash. You may also want to use activated charcoal products to scrub your teeth into a brighter smile. But there are downsides when it comes to using these products. They can either erode the tooth enamel or wear it away exposing the dentin which you don’t want to happen.
You can prevent further staining to your teeth by avoiding foods and drinks that cause discoloration. These foods and drinks include coffee, red wine, tea, and many others. You can search on the internet for a complete list of these food and drinks. But if you can’t help it, try rinsing with water after eating. Regularly brushing your teeth is much even better and using dental floss. Have regular checkups with your dentist too. If we know how to care for our tooth’s health and avoid food and drinks that stain them, so much the better.