Everything you need to know about tooth whitening

Smile-white-teeth-1024x732Tooth whitening has been a priority for us humans for a long time. Anciently, people wanted white teeth so badly they would use urine and goat milk in an attempt to achieve a brighter smile. Today, the art of tooth whitening includes thousands of different methods. This article is aimed to guide you toward the best whitening method for you.

The first thing you need may want to know is that simply switching to an electric toothbrush, like Sonicare or Oral B, can whiten your teeth more than a couple shades.

While some methods are aimed to restore the teeth to their natural color (tooth whitening), other methods are aimed to whiten the teeth beyond their natural color (tooth bleaching). When people speak of the harmful effects of tooth whitening, they actually are most often referring to the harmful effects of tooth bleaching. Extra care must be taken when bleaching your teeth to avoid damaging your enamel and other oral structures. Please refer to your dentist before beginning any bleaching regiments.

Most treatments involve the use of Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) which works by penetrating your tooth and breaking down complex structures which reflect light and cause a perception of discoloration.

At Home Remedies (Click For Examples/Reviews)

It is difficult to really know which at home remedies are most effective as many have not been tested by the American Dental Association (ADA). These remedies include gums, gels, toothpastes, rinses, etc. We strongly recommend referring to your dentist before investing any money or effort into these methods. It can also be of value to get the opinions of people who have actually tried the product. Click on the link above to see many of the whitening products available along with reviews for those products from the people who have actually tried them out.

In office bleaching

In this method, the dentist typically paints a protective layer over the gums before bleaching to protective them from being burned. Hydrogen Peroxide is then applied to the teeth in a concentration of up to 44%, which is quite high. (The kind you buy at the store is usually about 3%).

Light-accelerated bleaching

This method uses light energy to speed up the process. Halogen lights excite the peroxide molecules without overheating the pulp of the tooth, allowing the peroxide to penetrate and break down the reflective molecules more rapidly.

Internal bleaching

Direct injury or trauma can often kill a tooth. When this happens, blood and other fluids rush into the tooth, causing a discoloration. This is where internal bleaching comes in. A hole is drilled into the pulp chamber, and a whitening agent is sealed inside and replaced as needed.

Natural whitening

Many fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and celery, do a great job at natural removing surface stains without causing harm to the actual tooth surface. They also increase saliva flow which is important in fighting tooth decay. They also get rid of many of the bacteria known to be responsible for bad breath. Malic acid, an acid found in apple juice, gives fruits their pleasantly sour taste and also further helps in the whitening process.

Many factors are involved in determining which tooth whitening system is right for you. These include how white you want your teeth, your budget, and your oral health. By consulting your local dentist, as well as the above mentioned customer reviews, you can make a confident decision on which whitening system will best serve your needs.

Got a dentistry related question? Email us with your question and we’ll build a post just for you, giving a simple, easy to understand explanation. Click here to see basic explanations for many other dental procedures and practices.

Jake the Dentist: thehobodentist@gmail.com