Teeth Whitening – Common Treatments For An Uncommonly Brighter Smile

Teeth whitening has become a trendy subject for many people today and is an extremely popular and safe type of cosmetic dentistry. Whiteners are ideal for individuals who have healthy gums and healthy teeth with no fillings. Teeth whitening techniques have been used by dentists for decades to give patients fast results for teeth that are stained and discolored. Dentists offer a variety of options for whitening teeth during a single office visit. There are also natural whitening products and at-home kits available on the market.

Unrecognizable male patient having teeth whitening procedure at modern dental clinic, smiling at camera, dentist hands in rubber gloves with dental tools. Banner for dental clinic, panorama

Whitening Teeth Naturally

Many people prefer to avoid the use of chemicals for whitening their teeth by utilizing products and techniques for natural teeth whitening. Techniques which require herbs and other natural products have been used for centuries, long before man-made products became available on the market. Although natural products may not work as quickly as chemically based products, they are far more beneficial than some of the chemical products that may cause harm.

However, “natural” does not always mean “useful”. For example, some people believe that acidic solutions like lemon juice are effective for cleaning their teeth. But, using acid can cause serious damage to both the teeth and gums. You may have to search the market thoroughly for natural products that are both safe and effective, but they can be found. Just be sure that these products do not include lemon juice or any other form of acid.

Whitening Teeth with Lasers

There are a variety of dental procedures available for whitening, the most popular being laser teeth whitening. Laser whitening is a fast, cost effective, and painless process which can make teeth up to 10 shades lighter in less than an hour. The procedure is quite simple. Most dentists will perform a traditional cleaning before beginning the laser treatment. The dentist then applies a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel to the teeth and shines a laser to activate the solution. A reaction occurs in which the laser breaks down the hydrogen peroxide gel. This allows oxygen to enter the enamel and dentine of the tooth in order to bleach away discoloration. All this is effectively done without changing the structure of the tooth at all. This is perhaps the most effective teeth whitening solution available.

Whitening Teeth from Home

If you do not want to bother with making a trip to the dentist or waiting a long time for a natural product to work, then you may want to try using an at home teeth whitening system. These systems are available either from a dentist or from one of many retail outlets. They vary in quality from simple whitening toothpastes to more complex systems that include solutions and other paraphernalia. At home systems are less expensive than other teeth whitening options, but they typically are not as long-lasting or effective as professional whitening.

Keep in mind that all teeth whitening techniques do not produce the same results on all types of discoloration. However, whitening does not have to be expensive or ineffective. Whether you choose natural methods, laser whitening, or an at home system, you are sure to find an option that works best for you.

There was a time when dazzling white smiles belonged to those who sashay down the red carpet in Hollywood. Today teeth whitening has become the fastest growing type of cosmetic dental procedure performed. Depending on the type of tooth whitening technique you choose the price ranges from a ten dollars for a tube of whitening toothpaste to up to $600.00 for in office laser teeth whitening.

The Cadillac of teeth whitening is the in office laser system. This is the costliest, but fastest way to achieve white teeth. Laser teeth whitening is a very simple procedure. The dentist applies a bleaching gel to your teeth (after putting protection over your gums) and places a laser light in front of your mouth. The cleaning action of the gel is activated by the light. This gel is left on your teeth for twenty minutes. The application is generally applied two more times to your teeth. In about one hour you leave the dentists office with the whitest teeth possible.

A very popular and mid priced tooth whitening technique is the tray based system. You can purchase these systems in stores. However, they are best if you have the trays made by your dentist. It takes a very short time in the office to have an impression made of your upper and lower teeth. Within a week the dentist will have a soft flexible plastic mold for you. He’ll give you the gel, which is generally a 10% carbamide peroxide and he’ll instruct you in how to use the tray and tell you how often. Results are seen quickly with a tray system.

Whitening strips are a recent addition to the market, introduced in 2001. They are quite inexpensive and do work, but may not deliver the exact results that you think. The strips have the advantage of having the exact dose of carbamide peroxide pre applied on them. However, the whitening strips will only whiten the teeth they come in direct contact with. The strips generally cover the six center teeth, eyetooth to eyetooth. Some people find their smile is longer than the strip allows for. You will not achieve a full mouth of white teeth using whitening strips.

Another type of whitening system is whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes have many drawbacks. They take a very long time to show real results. Read their claims carefully. The success of whitening toothpaste is directly related to how long and how often you brush. However, over-brushing your teeth can cause the loss of tooth enamel. Tooth enamel cannot be replaced. Also, whitening toothpastes only affect the outside layer of enamel. This will make the yellowness of deeper layers of teeth more pronounced. Many people will whiten their teeth using an in office laser, or a tray system and then use whitening toothpaste to help keep their teeth white.

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