Surely you have wondered if you should use teeth whitening .
The state and color of your teeth can remove or put a few years on your face. A white , bright and well-groomed smile can serve to boost self-esteem, improve personal confidence and transform the way you project yourself and how they perceive you. Therefore, it is not surprising that teeth whitening is one of the most requested cosmetic procedures for dentists.
The smile is one of the first things that other people notice, so having stained or yellowed teeth can detract a lot of confidence and have a negative impact on the way you feel and how others see you.
In this digital world, where photographs, selfies and publications on social networks are everywhere, it is normal that procedures for teeth whitening have become popular, but not all offer the same results .
This is why it is important that you know the types of bleaching , its cost and characteristics , so that you can choose the perfect treatment for you.
Types of teeth whitening
There are 2 basic types of teeth whitening:
- One that uses abrasive products , which are responsible for physically removing the most superficial stains of tooth enamel
- And another that uses bleaching substances such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to remove more stubborn stains .
We could compare it to the use of a brush to rub or the use of bleach to remove a stain on a piece of clothing.
Within these basic methods we can find a great diversity of products for teeth whitening:
The whitening toothpastes use abrasives or chemical ingredients which are responsible for polishing the surface of teeth and stain removal.
They usually require several uses and constancy to see results.
Its cost is not usually very high , especially compared to other methods.
These kits with dental bleach include everything you need to do a chemical bleaching treatment at home .
You can make them with buckets and a liquid or whitening gel , which may contain carbamide peroxide or other bleaching ingredients.
They usually act in the period of 2 to 3 weeks and you can see results after a couple of applications.
LED teeth whitening kits
These teeth whitening kits include a quick-acting treatment gel , which is complemented by the application of LED light . The LED lamp is included in the kit.
They act in a period of between 1 to 2 weeks , depending on the concentration of the bleaching agent in the gel formula.
This method is ideal for those who want a fast, simple and effective treatment . The whitening strips adhere to the surface of the teeth , leave on for a few minutes and are removed.
They are perfect for more superficial stains and as a maintenance reinforcement for more aggressive whitening.
Do not be fooled by appearances. Although it is easy and quick to use, it can make a big difference, depending on the brand you use .
Whitening done by the dentist
This is professional whitening , made with products with greater concentration / power of whitening and supported with the use of laser and LED lights .
It offers immediate results , although it is usually much more expensive than home treatments.
How much last a dental whitening?
The duration of teeth whitening depends on the habits of the person.
There are 2 main causes of dental stains.
- Intrinsic causes , which are produced during the formation stage due to excessive use of fluoride, tetracyclines, fractures or blows to the teeth, in addition to the normal aging process .
- Extrinsic causes are more common and refer to the consumption of food , beverages and other habits that can leave stains on the teeth.
From this perspective, a person who smokes, drinks coffee, tea, carbonated cola drinks, wine, among others, and does not have adequate dental hygiene, has the possibility of needing a teeth whitening before a person who does not have these habits.
Whitening should be followed by a series of care and hygiene measures that will extend its duration.
A very simple way to prolong the results of teeth whitening is to use a whitening toothpaste once a week or when deemed necessary.
How much does a teeth whitening cost?
Teeth whitening is much more than an aesthetic treatment , so it must be done with professionals or quality products.
This means that an investment must be made in order to obtain an effective and quality treatment that does not affect dental health.
There are so many types of teeth whitening treatments that it is difficult to establish a standard cost, as it will depend on the method you choose .
A teeth whitening done by a dentist can cost between169$ and 562$ , depending on the method used by the professional, the number of sessions among other things. If you are looking for a homemade teeth whitening treatment , the price can range between 15$ and 70$ .
Among the treatments done at home you can choose kits LED whitening to toothpaste whitening , which are quite effective.
The big difference between these treatments and the facts in a professional way lies in the time in which you will see the results .
The treatments done in the dental office offer dramatic and immediate results , while the landlords need to invest a little more time and patience .
Are there products for teeth whitening at home?
There are very accessible , easy-to-use home whitening products that offer real results.
Some time ago this type of treatment was based on mild abrasive products, which although they could eliminate some superficial stains, were not enough to attack more widespread problems or older stains.
The good news is that thanks to technology it is possible to acquire complete kits that include up to an LED lamp to accelerate the work of the bleachers, so you can achieve professional results by making a smaller investment of money.
How to make a homemade tooth whitener
The tooth whiteners Homemade usually work as a mild abrasive , so do not expect to see dramatic results as they are made to polish the surface of the tooth enamel gently.
For deeper and older stains, chemical bleaching will always be necessary.
Homemade teeth whiteners have another advantage : they promote and improve dental hygiene habits , so in the long term they will prevent the appearance or worsening of stains caused by food or tobacco.
It is important that you remember that most of the products used to make homemade whiteners (bicarbonate, vinegar, lemon, peroxide, etc.) can be very abrasive if used in excess , so they could cause tooth sensitivity and even weakening of tooth enamel . It is better to use products formulated for this, which have no undesirable side effects.
A good and effective homemade tooth whitening recipe is to mix baking soda , table salt and coconut oil until you have a smooth paste. If you don’t have coconut oil you can use some of your usual toothpaste .
Brush your teeth for a few minutes and let it act for 2 minutes . Rinse and enjoy your brightest teeth.
Does LED teeth whitening work?
The short answer is: yes , LED teeth whitening works, but only if combined with a suitable whitening gel .
The LED light alone has no bleaching effect . Its effectiveness is that it acts as a catalyst that accelerates the bleaching process when used with an agent such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
The blue LED light is within the ultraviolet spectrum , similar to sunlight, but it is safer. Scientific studies have shown that this light is an excellent activating agent for bleaching agents , without offering the risks of UV light, which was used in the past and that, being a type of ionized radiation, could cause a cell mutation that could become cancer.
LED whitening is safe , as these devices consume little energy , do not heat up and are easy to use even in home treatments.
Teeth whitening tips before and after
Before doing a teeth whitening
- It is important to assess your oral health from a professional . You are welcome to undergo a whitening if there are teeth compromised by decay, tartar or if they are fractured or splintered.
- In case of having reconstructions made with resin (especially in the front teeth), implants, crowns, porcelain veneers or any other treatment, it is essential to consult with the dentist before using any whitening treatment, as some components can discolor or weaken these materials You should also know that the bleaching does not act on crowns, reconstructions or veneers, so there will be a difference in color.
- Once you have the approval of your dentist, if you decide to do a teeth whitening at home you should read the product instructions carefully and follow them to the letter, it is the only way to guarantee the promised result.
- Clean your teeth very well before treatment.
- The best time to apply a bleaching treatment is just before bedtime , as you will not consume food or drinks for several hours, so the product will act for a longer time.
After teeth whitening
- It is recommended to avoid drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, cola, or fruit juices for several hours .
- Avoid eating staining foods , such as tomato sauces, soy sauce, red meat, chocolates and fruits (except bananas)
- Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours.
- If you want to prolong the effects of teeth whitening, once all the sessions are completed you can use a whitening toothpaste a couple of times a week to avoid the accumulation of stains.
- Teeth whitening is not definitive. The teeth will gradually become stained again, although improving your hygiene and eating habits can delay the process.
- If you smoke you should know that the effect of bleaching will be lost faster by the action of tar. It is an excellent time to quit.
Teeth whitening and sensitivity
One of the great myths surrounding the topic of teeth whitening is that this procedure causes tooth sensitivity , which is not true; but if you already suffer from tooth sensitivity it is possible that some of the components used for teeth whitening exacerbate the sensitivity you already suffered.
The tooth sensitivity may be caused by exposure of the dentine by gingival recession, because there caries has produced a tooth wear or because suffer from bruxism.
For this reason it is important to be sure of complete dental health before starting a whitening treatment . Your dentist can help you solve any of these problems, so you should consult.
If your teeth are sensitive, you can still opt for less aggressive teeth whitening treatments , such as the use of whitening toothpastes.
The best teeth whitening products
The best teeth whitening products will always be those that adapt to the specific needs you may have , your budget , time availability and particular characteristics.
For those who want a radical result in a very short time, it is best to make a major investment and go to a dentist .
If you have no problem in doing a home treatment, you can take advantage of the products that are in the market, which will not only allow you to save a significant amount of money , but will help you control the bleaching process , as this will happen gradually .
Tips for buying a tooth whitener
Choosing a dental bleach with so many options available in the market may seem difficult. Also, some methods may not work as well as others or they may not be right for you. Therefore, before buying a dental bleach it is necessary that you consider some aspects.
First, choose a method that is easy to use and always consider the time it will take to see results. Some products require you to use them for a few minutes, but it may take several sessions until you start to see that your teeth are whiter. There are kits that offer instant results, but these generally require you to spend a longer time using the bleaching product.
Remember that no treatment will make your teeth shine white, if they are already too stained. Also, a denture that is too white may look unnatural. Start the treatment with realistic expectations, so that the result does not disappoint you.
Something that is generally overlooked when buying one of these products is the taste. Bleaching products may have an unpleasant taste, but companies generally add artificial flavors to make them more acceptable to users. Choose a bleach with a flavor that you will not dislike, for as long as you will have to use the product in your mouth.
Is it safe to use a homemade tooth whitener?
Homemade teeth whiteners are safe as long as they have a medical license or approval from a dentist. Hydrogen peroxide is the active element present in most bleachers on the market, but it can also be found in many of the oral hygiene products . Some toothpastes and rinses, for example, use it as a disinfectant and to protect the denture against plaque and gum inflammation. So it is safe but should be used according to the product instructions.
However, a product that is safe for most people may not be for you, if you suffer from tooth sensitivity or other problems. Therefore, it is advisable to attend a dentist before whitening your teeth at home. He will determine if this type of aesthetic procedure is safe for you and may even recommend or suggest a product that is efficient and provides results.
Follow these tips before buying any dental bleach on the market:
Never do a whitening on a denture that is not completely healthy. If you have cavities, exposed roots, fractured teeth, gum recession, mouth wounds or other dental conditions, the bleaching treatment could cause you a lot of pain and cause more serious problems.
Choose a product with a medical license or that is approved by a dentist. Do not experiment with anything that looks or feels unprofessional.
Follow the product instructions to the letter. Never apply the product for longer than suggested because you could significantly damage your teeth. Measure the application time suggested in the instructions with a stopwatch or timer.
Avoid homemade pasta with natural elements such as strawberry or lemon. These homemade whiteners could work but at a great cost, since the acid in the fruit will wear down the top layer of the tooth enamel, making your teeth weaker and more prone to disease and even causing tooth sensitivity.