For many, having white teeth is very important, especially when they continuously have to face many people daily. As we age, our pearly whites can become faint yellow. This discoloration is due to factors like medication, smoking, drinking and eating habits. Even people who take special care of their teeth are not exempt from getting yellow stained teeth.
If you are thinking about whitening your teeth to improve your smile, you are probably wondering whether teeth whitening methods are safe. What makes people question about this is due to the accessibility and affordability of products sold in the market. Many brands claim to whiten your teeth for as short as ten to fourteen days, but are they safe?
The teeth whitening approaches are toothpaste-containing hydrogen peroxide as anti-staining agents, home-bleaching kits which also include a hydrogen peroxide solution and teeth whitening procedures which are offered at the dentist’s clinic.
These techniques all target the stain particles trapped at the surface of your tooth enamel. The active ingredient in whitening toothpaste is used to try to remove them whereas hydrogen peroxide solutions from stronger kits bleach them.
According to a report about a recent study by the British Dental Journal, whitening tubes of whitening toothpaste may slow the staining process, but the claims that these products make your teeth whiter are doubtful. They also said that bleaching products containing hydrogen peroxide solution can be very effective but should be applied with caution.
Though there is little evidence to support that hydrogen peroxide demineralizes and weaken your teeth, some researchers claim that the chemical is a potential carcinogen and should be avoided. But according to an article published in deardoctor.com, many toxicology studies were conducted and concluded that there is no connection between teeth whitening products and cancer. The main risk involved in products like these is that it can irritate users who have sensitive gums.
The question now is, what are your options for whitening your teeth? To help you decide, here is a rundown of the different whitening methods you can choose.
Whitening at the Dentist’s Office
Whitening procedures offered by your dentist uses an activated chemical that can whiten your teeth in thirty minutes. A typical bleaching procedure is administered in a safe and supervised fashion. Your gums will be protected by a rubber dam to prevent the whitening solution from damaging your gum line.
Professionally Supplied Whitening Kits
Many effective teeth whitening products are often professionally manufactured for a patient. These are administered at home by yourself. A typical kit contains whitening gel or whitening powder that comes in syringes and delivered by trays that are custom made in your dentist’s clinic. These trays are inserted into the mouth.
Professionally supplied whitening kits are usually given to patients who have recently undergone bleaching procedures. The kits are presented to them as a follow up at-home bleaching techniques to achieve the desired results.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whiteners
There are many over-the-counter teeth whiteners sold in pharmacies or grocery stores. They come in paint-on applicators or strips. Because these are relatively cheaper, it is expected that the gel or solution used is less potent than what you get from your dentist’s clinic.
It is also assumed that inconsistent results from these products are common as no professionals are administering them for you. These kits are also not customized on the level of sensitivity of a patient’s gums, and therefore gum burns are possible.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that if you choose a bleaching product, you should consult with your dentist first. This is a necessary prerequisite especially for patients who have had crowns, fillings and very dark stains. Getting a professional to check your teeth beforehand will help determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of action.