Teeth whitening has become a popular practice to improve the appearance of one’s smile. There are a variety of teeth whitening procedures available, ranging from over-the-counter items to expert treatments.
In this article, we will examine the many teeth whitening treatments available, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to keep your smile bright after treatment.
I. What Causes Teeth Tartar and Tooth Staining?
The main causes of dental tartar are residues on the teeth, combined with poor oral hygiene.
These are the ideal conditions for the appearance of tartar on the teeth. The consumption of certain foods stains the teeth, even more so when they are covered with tartar.
These are mainly drinks, such as red wine or soft drinks. These products can stain the teeth over time.
II. What is Enamel teeth
Tooth enamel is the membrane that covers the teeth. Although it is the hardest part of the tooth, which gives it its pearly sheen, enamel can diminish over time.
It is this loss of tooth enamel that causes tooth sensitivity because it exposes the surface underneath the dentin. Tooth enamel has a high mineral content and can be protected with suitable toothpaste.
III. How Do teeth whitening work?
There are several methods of tooth whitening. You can use toothpaste or products specially designed for this purpose, such as trays. Professional tooth whitening is usually done by oxidation.
The active ingredient used here is hydrogen peroxide. Enriched with oxygen, the peroxide cleans the stains on the tooth enamel. It is also possible to use a tooth whitening kit to do the procedure yourself.
IV. Teeth whitening kit
The tooth whitening kit has several components. The kit includes a tray that emits an LED light, as well as whitening gel sticks.
Once the gel has been applied to the teeth for a few minutes, the tray must be put on. The LED light activates the whitening action and you will have clearer teeth within a short time.
However, you should be careful with these products, as you will not have the support of a professional.
V. Teeth whitening strips
Whitening strips are another way to get your teeth whitened. These are strips that are placed directly on the upper and lower teeth for about an hour a day.
After this time, you simply remove them. This treatment can be done for 2 weeks, but this depends on the manufacturer. Normally, even after the first session, you will notice a difference.
VI. Teeth whitening pen
The teeth whitening pen is an option to achieve whitening of your teeth by yourself and in a natural way. All you have to do is rub the pen over your clean and not-too-wet teeth. Depending on the manufacturer, you may have to press a tip to release the whitening gel onto your teeth.
The application time also depends on the brand, so be sure to refer to the instructions for use. The whitening pen contains an active whitening ingredient, which may be hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate.
Make an appointment with your dentist before using this method.
VII. Ultrasonic Teeth whitening (cleaning)
Ultrasonic teeth whitening is a procedure usually performed by a professional dentist.
Using ultrasound equipment, your dentist can clean your teeth thoroughly. Today there are also toothbrushes that work with ultrasound.
You can buy them in kits, in supermarkets, or on the Internet. The oscillations sent by the ultrasonic toothbrush, combined with the use of a 0% abrasive toothpaste, loosen the dirt on the teeth, gums, and tongue.
VIII. Teeth whitening gel
The teeth whitening gel is a product that is able to help you gain one or more shades of white. There are different brands.
Generally, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide is used as the whitening agent in this gel.
The tooth whitening gel is used by dentists, but also in home whitening products such as whitening strips or kits with trays.
IX. Whitening toothpaste
To whiten teeth, there is also whitening toothpaste. More and more brands today offer toothpaste that has the properties to make your teeth whiter in the long run.
Some are enriched with bicarbonate of soda, while others have activated charcoal in their ingredients, capable of making teeth whiter. Toothpaste whitening takes longer than whitening sessions at the dentist.
X. Whitening rinses
Whitening rinses are another option for tooth whitening. These are products that whiten your teeth when you rinse them with them.
Simply gargle with the solution, this brings the whitening agent into contact with your teeth and allows you to whiten them easily.
XI. How much does a Teeth whitening cost
The price of teeth whitening varies from facility to facility, both in the US and elsewhere. It also depends on the method used, as well as the facility.
In the US, the average cost of a teeth whitening procedure is around $1000. Having your teeth whitened by a professional will cost you approximately $260 per session, but it can be as much as $600 or even $1000. Home bleaching kits cost between $200 and $500.
XII. Natural Teeth whitening at home
1. Does baking soda whiten teeth
Baking soda is often used as a home remedy to whiten teeth. It is used mixed with water, and the paste is used as toothpaste.
But it is important to be careful with the use of baking soda. Baking soda can whiten your teeth, but mainly because it is abrasive and reduces tooth enamel. In the long run, this can make your teeth more sensitive.
2. Coconut Oil for teeth whitening
Coconut oil is also a natural product that generally shows good results in teeth whitening.
All you have to do is gargle with a glass of water with coconut oil added. Coconut oil has whitening and cleaning properties because it is rich in auric acid. After your gargle, brush your teeth as usual.
3. Does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth
Hydrogen peroxide is an active ingredient often used to whiten teeth. Dentists use it for professional whitening, as it loosens dirt on the tooth enamel.
It is usually called hydrogen peroxide, and it is this concentration of oxygen that allows the peroxide to thoroughly remove stains from the teeth.
4. Brushing and flossing
Regular brushing and flossing of the teeth are imperative to keep the teeth clean and white. When you floss properly, you get rid of the residue between your teeth.
It is this food residue that causes cavities and tartar. This prevents tartar from developing on the teeth, and thus the teeth from turning grey.
Brushing is also the best way to remove discoloration from liquids such as soft drinks and coffee.
XIII. Risks of teeth whitening
There are always risks with tooth whitening procedures, especially those performed at home. Tooth whitening procedures can affect tooth enamel.
If your teeth ever become demineralized and you lose your enamel, then your teeth will become sensitive and painful to hot and cold.
It is also possible that the products used to whiten your teeth may irritate your whole mouth, including your tongue and palate.
XIV. Other Questions
1. How Long Do Whitening Effects Last?
Determining how long tooth whitening is effective is complicated. Firstly, because the effects of tooth whitening already depend on the type of whitening.
In the United States, hydrogen peroxide is used in much higher doses than in Europe, which results in whiter teeth. But also, tooth whitening is more effective if it is done in an office rather than at home.
In addition, oral hygiene and the condition of the teeth before and after whitening are other factors to be taken into account.
If you avoid tooth-staining drinks and have good oral hygiene, your teeth can remain white for years.
Even more so if the whitening was done in a dental practice. With whitening kits, the effects last a few weeks or months.
2. How to avoid darkening teeth
In order to have white teeth and avoid having them stained, you need to adopt good dental habits. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day.
In addition to this, you should also floss your teeth to remove any residue that could later become tartar.
Limit drinks such as coffee and soft drinks if you can, and drink plenty of water. This can only improve the overall condition of your mouth.
Visit your dentist at least once a year.
3. What’s the Difference between Bleaching and Whitening?
Tooth whitening can be said to be the same as tooth lightening. Both terms refer to the process of making teeth whiter, removing stains from the enamel, and restoring the brilliance of the teeth.
However, there is a clear difference between cosmetic tooth whitening and American tooth whitening.
In the first case, the procedure acts on the enamel, while in the second case, the whitening is done directly on the dentine.
There is also a clear difference between tooth whitening and scaling. Although both procedures can restore the brightness of your teeth, they are different.
While teeth whitening makes your teeth whiter by removing stains from the enamel, scaling removes tartar from the teeth.
Because tartar turns teeth grey and can be stained by food, removing tartar will restore your teeth’s natural shine.
4. Is there a substitute for brushing your teeth?
There is no substitute for brushing your teeth in oral hygiene. You can combine this with flossing and/or mouthwash, but brushing your teeth is and remains the best way to keep your teeth clean. It helps to remove residue from between and on the teeth, through the action of the brush bristles.
There are different types of toothbrushes to choose from. The soft toothbrush is suitable, to avoid irritating the teeth. But there are also electric toothbrushes and ultrasonic toothbrushes.
5. Can yellow teeth become white?
Not all yellow teeth are caused by poor dental hygiene or bacteria in the mouth. It can also happen that teeth are yellow naturally, due to genetic inheritance.
Another cause of yellow teeth is medical treatment. Indeed, the use of certain medications can have an impact on the yellowing of the teeth.
In these cases, the use of tooth-whitening techniques does not work.
Tooth whitening can make your teeth yellow again, when poor dental hygiene is the cause, with stains from soda or caffeine.
6. Can teeth whitening damage teeth?
Tooth whitening is not a risk-free procedure. It is still something that can affect the overall condition of your teeth or mouth.
The agents used can cause irritation in your mouth, especially on mucous membranes such as the gums.
But the primary risk is and remains tooth sensitivity. By having a tooth whitening procedure, you run the risk of making your teeth sensitive. This can happen because the procedure involves treating stains on the enamel, which can reduce the enamel membrane.
If the enamel is reduced, then the dentin becomes exposed, which will cause tooth pain, especially when the teeth are in contact with cold or hot.
7. What do dentists use to whiten teeth?
Generally, dentists use the power of oxygen to whiten teeth. For example, they may use a gel containing hydrogen peroxide, also known as hydrogen peroxide.
Another option is carbamide peroxide, at 10% or 16%. This compound uses water and oxygen ions, which enter the teeth and enamel and disintegrate the stains that have remained on them.
This is one of the most commonly used dental techniques, especially in the case of yellow teeth.
8. Why are my teeth so yellow?
There are several possible causes of yellow teeth. You may have yellow teeth because of your lifestyle.
Certain foods can turn your teeth yellow, especially when the enamel has started to deteriorate. Tea, coffee, turmeric-based drinks, and smoking can all turn your teeth yellow over time.
But the causes of yellow teeth can also be linked to genetics. It is indeed possible to have yellow teeth naturally, due to a genetic predisposition.
Another option is to have yellow teeth as a result of medical treatment, such as taking an antibiotic called tetracycline.
Amoxicillin can stain the teeth, causing brown spots to appear on them. When you have coeliac disease, you may also develop yellow teeth.
9. Why are my teeth yellow when I brush them every day?
It can happen that despite regular brushing, your teeth do not return to their original bright color and remain yellow.
This can happen because your enamel has thinned, allowing the dentin underneath to show through. The natural color of dentin is yellow. So if your enamel has become opaque and your dentin shows through, your teeth will be yellow.
Another cause of yellow teeth, despite regular brushing, is that the stains are embedded, due to years of bad hygiene habits.
Cigarette smoke, caffeine-rich products, and soft drinks can also cause your teeth to look yellow.
When stains are too deep-rooted, regular brushing is not enough to remove them. To restore the brightness of your teeth, tooth whitening is often necessary.
If you have always had yellow teeth, it is possible that you have a genetic predisposition. In this case, there is nothing you can do about it, and brushing your teeth often will not change the situation.
If you are taking certain medications, such as an antibiotic called tetracycline, there is a good chance that your teeth will become yellow over time. So brushing your teeth will not change the color of your teeth.
10. Do Crest White Strips work?
Crest 3D White strips were introduced to the home teeth whitening market several years ago.
They are easy to use, as all you have to do is apply them to your teeth with a little pressure to hold them in place. Once this is done, you only have to wait about 30 minutes for the product to take effect. It is said that in only 3 days, you will have a bright smile.
As for the effects, opinions vary. Many users are satisfied with the action of Crest White strips. It appears that only a small number of people did not like the product.
It should be noted that Crest 3D White teeth whitening strips are not available in supermarkets in France, because their hydrogen peroxide content is above 10%. Such a high concentration can cause damage to the gums, and even worse if swallowed.
But the product is still available on some online sites and offers good results.
However, avoid using it too often, and if you feel any tooth sensitivity, then stop using it for a few days.
11. How often do you need to get your teeth whitened?
The frequency of tooth whitening depends on the type of whitening you have done. However, you will need to repeat your teeth whitening, as whitening is not an irreversible procedure.
With time and the use of certain products, your teeth will gradually lose their brightness.
Normally, if you use a whitening kit you will find instructions for your next session. But in absolute terms, teeth whitening can be repeated on average every 6 months. Again, this may depend on a number of factors.
12. What deficiency causes yellow teeth?
If there is one deficiency that can be responsible for yellow teeth, it is mineral deficiency. It should be noted that tooth enamel is made up of minerals.
When you lack minerals, your enamel thins, and shrinks, revealing dentin, which is yellowish in color.
Mineral deficiencies are most often detected by medical, blood, or urine analysis. Urine tests can detect a deficiency of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, or any other mineral.
To combat a deficiency of minerals and vitamins affecting the condition of your teeth, you can use suitable mineral-rich toothpaste. You can also eat plenty of dairy products and green vegetables.
13. Do dentists recommend whitening strips?
Dentists are very cautious about using tooth-whitening products or materials available in supermarkets.
Dental health professionals believe that bleaching strips can be dangerous, especially for the mucous membranes in the mouth, such as the gums.
They also believe that the concentration of the whitening agent, hydrogen peroxide, may be too high and cause damage to the teeth.
It is indeed possible that high levels of hydrogen peroxide can make your teeth more sensitive, by altering the enamel of your teeth.
Obviously, even though you can get good results with whitening strips, it is always best to opt for treatment by a professional dentist.
Be very careful and cautious when using whitening strips on your teeth, especially when protecting your gums.
The product can cause irreversible damage to the mucous membranes of the mouth.
14. What is the difference between plaque and tartar?
When food residues and remnants remain on the teeth and in the mouth, poor dental hygiene can leave a deposit on the teeth, which is called plaque.
Plaque is a kind of residue on the surface of the teeth that is formed by bacteria from food remains.
If plaque is not properly removed by brushing and cleaning the teeth, it calcifies and becomes tartar.
Tartar is a sign that a dental infection is spreading, and scaling in dental surgery is necessary to stop the spread. Scaling is carried out on the teeth, as well as on the root of the gums.
15. Can you scale milk teeth?
Even baby teeth can become covered with tartar. Tartar is not only related to food but also to saliva.
So if you notice that your children have tartar on their teeth, for example, that their teeth have turned grey, don’t hesitate to take them to the dentist.
Scaling on baby teeth gives children smooth, clean teeth and prevents cavities.
Even though baby teeth are temporary teeth, it is important to keep them as healthy as possible, because bacterial spread can also affect the gums and affect adult teeth.
16. How to whiten teeth with sensitive teeth and allergies?
If you have sensitive teeth, tooth whitening can increase your pain. To do this, take a few precautions.
Start by brushing your teeth with sensitive toothpaste before your treatment. This will prevent your pain and sensitivity.
Then reduce the concentration of the whitening product when you use it. This will ensure that the product does not have too much power on your teeth.
Do the same with the exposure time, reduce it.
Don’t use the product too often in a row, and take a break of at least one day during the treatment to give your teeth time to rest and the pain to subside.
You can also use a desensitizing mouthwash after the treatment.
But the most important thing is to see a dentist before you start your whitening treatment. This will help you, even if you have allergies. Your dentist will know how to proceed in this case, to choose products that will not make you sick.
17. Is Teeth whitening recommended for pregnant or lactating women?
Pregnant or breastfeeding women are not advised to undergo tooth whitening at all. The agents and products contained in tooth whitening kits can be harmful to pregnant and breastfeeding women.
During pregnancy and in the months that follow, a woman’s teeth are weakened by the increase in hormones.
For this reason, pregnant women cannot perform certain dental procedures, such as teeth whitening. However, they can take a local anesthetic or have a root canal.
18. Can Teeth Whitening Become an Addiction?
Tooth whitening addiction is known as Bleachorexia. It is a syndrome similar to anorexia, in which the sufferer constantly feels that their teeth are not white enough.
It is a psychological disorder, which can have a serious impact on oral health in particular.
When you are affected by this condition, you constantly use whitening products, which eventually cause your teeth to become hypersensitive and your gums to be damaged.
It should be noted that not all experts recognize this condition. Some believe that you cannot become addicted to dental bleaching products.