Who would not want to look and feel young and healthy for just a few years longer? From moisturizing creams to nail polish the list of beauty products is long. Tooth whitening is just a small piece of the puzzle. At-home whitening products make a whiter smile possible for many of us. People who else can not afford expensive dentist visits can whiten their teeth for a little more than a haircut.
But there is a big difference between tooth bleaching kits and other cosmetic products. Teeth do not heal. No matter how many times we hear – "Teeth whitening is safe" – we remain cautious. That is why health conscious men and women spend more time learning about different teeth whitening options. The reward is a brighter smile; the tools are powerful bleaching chemicals. However more whitening power usually means higher risks. Life is a balancing act and tooth bleaching is no different.
The goal is to find a happy compromise; a product that provides sufficient whitening power and ensures safety at the same time. Balancing whitening power with safety is not an easy task. There are many things to consider. Oral health is the first and probably the most important factor. Individuals with less than perfect dental health should take less risk. It can mean less powerful whitening gels or a visit to the dentist. Teeth whitening strips are less effective but are considered safer than tray based whitening methods.
However there is good news to those who want maximum safety. When it comes to tooth whitening time can substitute power. In other words the same whitening results can be achieved with less powerful gels and longer application times.
The following is a list of at-home teeth whitening methods starting with the safest option:
- Whitening toothpaste
- Tooth whitening strips
- Custom fit whitening trays with low concentration gel
- Thermoform whitening trays with low concentration gel
- Custom fit trays with high concentration gel
- Thermoform trays with high concentration gel
Teeth whitening is a common procedure in the dental field today; this is sparked by the increasing need for people to look their best. While the procedure is definitely meant to give you that million-dollar smile that makes you feel like a Hollywood star, it’s also true that teeth whitening is not for everyone. As such, before you decide to go for the procedure, ensure that you consult your dentist to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. Proper assessment is the only way to rule out any permanent side effects that may occur.
Whitening should only be done on a healthy set of teeth with healthy gums, which is why a thorough assessment is necessary. During the assessment, your dentist should check for things such as enamel thickness, sensitivity, receding gum, tooth decay and existing restorations including fillings, crowns and veneers. Note that teeth whitening only works on natural teeth and has no effect on caps, crowns, dentures and veneers. This means that should you choose to go for teeth whitening anyway, your natural teeth would become whiter but may not match the color of the caps and crowns.
Oral diseases and conditions could also disqualify as a suitable candidate for teeth whitening. This is because they increase your susceptibility to the possible side effects associated with the procedure, including damaged or inflamed gums, blistering and severe tooth sensitivity. Your dentist should also assess the cause of the discoloration to determine whether it’s only on the surface or inside the teeth. Once the assessment is done, he or she would be able to determine whether teeth whitening would work for you as well as recommend the most suitable treatment for you.
Teeth whitening is generally not recommended for people under the age of 16. During this stage, a person’s dental nerves are enlarged and the procedure could irritate them and result in hyper-sensitivity. Severe pain might be experienced and the future health of the person’s teeth would be compromised. Pregnant women are also advised against teeth whitening since the active ingredients contained in the bleaching products may be absorbed in the mother’s body and harm the unborn child. In fact, the procedure should be completely avoided until the baby is born and weaning is complete.
When whitening is done by untrained individuals, this could easily result in serious side effects. This is as a result of the products used during the procedure, which usually contain oxidizing agents like hydrogen peroxide. When this is used incorrectly and repeatedly, it could cause irreparable damage to your teeth. In fact, products that contain more than 6 percent concentration of the active ingredients used in whitening should only be handled by professionals. It is therefore critical to ensure that you the procedure is done by a registered dental practitioner should you choose to go for it.
For most people, whitening does not pose serious risk if done correctly. However, it is important to take the right steps in ensuring that the procedure does not cause more harm than good.[Top]
Whether or not you choose to admit it, people are paying huge amounts of money to get whiter teeth. Discoloration occurs as we age and some people will do whatever it takes in order to have a smile worth showing.
But do you really need to visit a professional or would buying a name brand dental whitening system be better, in order to achieve good results? If you consider the cost as well as the results, you may change your mind about paying out thousands of dollars to a cosmetic dentist.
A dental whitening system works through the use of a special bleach or hydrogen peroxide gel. The substance is applied to the surface of each tooth and then left on for a predetermined amount of time. Unlike their predecessors, modern systems are quite easy to use.
At one time you had to mold a plastic tray and then sleep with the tray in your mouth overnight. The downside was a terrible tasting goo running down your throat while you slept, however, the upside was that you could not grind your teeth all night.
Items such as Crest White Strips have eliminated the need for the bulky whitening trays and bleach that stayed on overnight. These strips are applied to the teeth and then left on for fifteen to thirty minutes twice a day.
Some of the new lines are only applied at night. The reason is that most people, after brushing their teeth at night, do not eat or drink anything until they wake in the morning, therefore leaving the whitening gel on the tooth surface longer.
Teeth whitening kits also are produced in generic versions such as Equate found in Wal-Mart. Truth be told, they are just as effective as their brand name counterparts. If you are unsure if the kit is of the same quality as Crest, then take a look at the ingredients list. Chances are the active ingredients are the same for both brands and you may actually save a few dollars.
A home dental whitening system is a great product provided you do not have any problems with your teeth and gums. If you are allergic to certain types of bleaching gels, then the kit could put you at serious health risk. If you have open spots on tooth surfaces from tooth decay, then the whitening gel could make the condition worse and cause pain.
Before beginning any teeth whitening system, you may want to consult with your dentist. He or she can make a recommendation that best suits your particular oral needs.[Top]
With the advances it the cosmetic dentistry industry, teeth whitening procedures have become very popular. More than 80% of all dentists offer them. Studies have shown that people with white teeth are considered to be more attractive and successful.
There are different ways of teeth whitening or bleaching procedures but not all work the same. Prices vary and the results are different as well. First of all you should know that you can only whiten teeth which got stored by age, smoking, food or drink. Gray teeth do not react well to bleaching, so do injured teeth. You also can not bleach crowns, porcelain veneers, braces or fillings.
Before you decide for a cosmetic whitening you should have your teeth professionally cleaned. Also, if you still have metal fillings, have your dentist replace them by tooth colored composite resin or porcelain materials.
The cheapest method is to get one of the many over-the-counter bleaching sets at your local drug store but do not expect too much from them. The concentration of the whitener, hydrogen peroxide, is very low. You have to use it often to see an effect and it's also not easy to apply them perfectly.
If you want a better solution then visit your cosmetic dentist. He can offer you solutions that work very well. Both are equally effective, just that one takes longer and is cheaper and the other one gives you white teeth instantly but for a higher price. Your dentist has access to much stronger whitening products like Brutesmile or Zoom which can not be obtained over-the-counter. The hydrogen peroxide concentration lies between 10% and 30%. The stronger the brighter your teeth. You should consult with your dentist. Stronger is not necessarily better because when your teeth get too white then it may look very unnatural.
Your dentist has two options now. He could make a special tray for you which you use at home. You must wear it for about two hours a day for several days. The tray is custom made for your teeth and contains the bleaching gel. This costs about $ 300 to $ 400.
If you do not want to mess around with it but want an instant solution then your dentist performs a power bleaching in his praxis. This takes about one or two hours and costs up to $ 1000. First your gum gets protected by a gel or other kind of shield. Then he puts the bleaching gel onto your teeth and uses a special strong light, laser or ultraviolet, to increase the effect. When he is finished you are leaving the chair with teeth which are several shades lighter.
If this is still not what you are looking for, then you can go one step further. Porcelain veneers are the latest in cosmetic dentistry. They give you a movie star like smile but one veneer for just one single tooth costs as much as your whole power bleaching procedure. But you get much more from it. Veneers last up to twenty years and can also give you a complete smile makeover.[Top]