Who doesn’t want a bright and shining row of teeth to show when you smile? But your teeth can darken under the influence of foods, drink, and aging. So how to get your teeth white again?
There are multiple ways to whiten your teeth, and we will discuss your options in this article.
What Causes Your Teeth To Darken?
The layer that covers your teeth, the enamel, naturally has a white color. There are, however, many factors that can give your teeth a yellowish, greyish or brownish color.
Simply by aging your teeth can get darker, but it is most commonly caused by certain habits, like smoking, drinking coffee or tea and taking other drinks that have dark colors in them, including red wine.
Certain medications, such as antibiotics, or conditions like dental calculus, can also cause teeth to darken.
So before you start whitening, it is advisable to visit your dental professional as there might be a medical condition that causes the teeth to get darker.
Types Of Whitening Treatments
There are two main forms of whitening: professional whitening and home whitening.
Depending on the type of darkening your teeth have undergone, you will be eligible for supervised home whitening or you will be treated at your dentist’s practice.
With supervised home whitening, trays will be made to fit your teeth perfectly, and you will be given a solution which needs to be applied to your teeth with a certain routine, usually lasting 2 to 4 weeks.
This process is supervised by your dentist and can be done in the comfort of your home, as it makes use of a relatively low dose of bleaching reagent.
Treatment at your dentist’s practice is a single treatment, usually taking 1 to 2 hours. Special precautions are made to protect your gums during this treatment, after which the teeth are whitened with a special high-dose hydrogen peroxide solution, or with a gel that is activated by light.
This kind of treatment dramatically whitens your teeth but is often quite costly (between $400 and $800, depending on the treatment).
Professional whitening has a dramatic whitening effect but is also quite expensive. There are cheaper alternatives that can be purchased by pharmacies or online stores like Amazon (usually costing anywhere from $20 to $100).
Not to say that none of the commercially available whitening work, but only one has been approved by the American Dental Association to be effective and safe (!) when used as indicated: Opalescence Whitening Gel, which is well affordable as well.
Like other commercial whitening products, you have to apply the whitening gel to the tray and place that on your teeth as instructed. Most gels have hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as an active ingredient, which bleaches the surface of the teeth.
Before starting to use a home whitening system, it is advisable to contact your dental professional and discuss which product to use. Dental professionals can also make a mold of your teeth to create a perfect fitting tray that you can use at home. This is both comfortable and whitens your teeth better because it covers the surface of your teeth perfectly.
A gentler way to generate more natural white teeth is by using a whitening toothpaste. This can also prevent your teeth from staining after undergoing a whitening treatment. Read our review on how to get your teeth white using the best whitening toothpaste.
How To Get Your Teeth White By Making Your Own Whitening Solution?
There are many “Do It Yourself (DIY)” or “homemade solutions” for whitening your teeth. It is strongly advised to not start experimenting with a homemade whitening solution.
The products sold over the counter are often balanced products that do not harm your enamel. Mixing some ingredients together might whiten your teeth, but can seriously damage your enamel or gums, which can damage your teeth in the short and long term!
Read this post on the dangers of using homemade solutions.
Questions & Awnsers
How Fast Will The Results Be Visible? With home whitening, this varies as it depends on the used whitening product and the color of your teeth. With a professional treatment at your dentist’s practice, the results will be instantaneous.
How Long Will The Whitening Effect Last? For professional whitening techniques, it usually lasts anywhere from 3 months to over a year, but this differs per person. Whitening is never permanent, as your teeth are (slowly) stained by foods and drinks.
Can Whitening Your Teeth Cause Damage? Professional whitening is the safest method, as many precautions are made to prevent damage to your gums and enamel. Most home whitening kits do not cause damage, as long as you use ADA approved whiting products.
You can experience sensitive teeth and gums after using a whitening gel. Some whitening products can cause damage to the enamel. The higher the percentage of bleaching ingredient, the higher the risk of damage. Preferably, try products that have less than 10% hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
Do whitening kits always work? With professional whitening, your teeth will become dramatically whiter. The results of home kits, however, vary.
Does the coloring of my teeth matter? Yes. Yellowish teeth are often whitened more easily, whereas brownish or greyish teeth respond less well to whitening.
Can whitening damage teeth restorations? Products with 10% or less hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide have been shown not to cause damage to existing restorations. Teeth restorations are also not whitened by whitening products.
How To Make My Own Whitening Solution? Do not experiment with mixing your own whitening solution at home. Although your teeth might get whiter, it can seriously damage your teeth. It is definitely not worth it!
How to keep your teeth white? Brush your teeth twice a day with an electric toothbrush and use a whitening toothpaste. Also, make sure to floss daily and cut down on the number of sugary drinks and foods.