People may wonder how someone could have perfectly white teeth with no stains, discoloration or abnormalities or how much they paid for veneers or teeth whitening to get that TV look. As with many advancements and medical technologies though, a sparkling, bright white smile is now accessible to everyone.
Teeth whitening is now a common service at the dentist as well as being a take-home product anyone can use safely to whiten their teeth. We are even seeing an abundance of whitening products such as strips and pastes you can buy at the drugstore. Ultimately though, not all teeth whitening is created equal.
Teeth whitening is a pretty simple idea, even if that doesn’t always mean it is easy or cheap. The outside of everyone’s teeth has a protective material on it called enamel. This material protects teeth from damage, temperature changes and other things that might hurt or destroy your teeth. Unfortunately, enamel tends to stain over time. While all teeth will stain, these food items are the worst offenders if you want to keep your teeth bright and white:
- Red Wine
- Dark juices
- Soy sauce
- Other dark foods
How to Whiten Teeth?
When you get your teeth whitened, regardless of the application method, you are applying hydrogen peroxide to your teeth. This hydrogen peroxide reacts with the stains on your enamel and removes them which brightens your teeth by several shades. All teeth whitening products work on the same principle even if the applicator is different. The only difference between these products is the amount of hydrogen peroxide gel and the method. These are the most common ways to apply hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth:
- Whitening strips
- Direct application by a dentist
- Whitening toothpaste
- Mouthguard mold with gel inside
The Difference Is In The Details
While teeth whitening works for most people, it is important to stress that not all teeth whitening is created equal. The main reason for this is that hydrogen peroxide, when used irresponsibly, is dangerous to your body. High concentrations and amounts of the gel will hurt your teeth and gums. This is why you cannot purchase high concentrations of the gel on your own. The products you can buy in the store, such as at home strips or whitening toothpaste, contain lower concentrations of whitening gel.
In comparison, the products you can get from a dentist such as a take-home kit or the in-office whitening process contain much higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide gel which are more effective. Since these are used and distributed under the professional care of your dentist, there is less risk with using higher amounts.
For those of us who don’t want to sit in the dentist’s chair or don’t have the time during the day, the at-home whitening kits are a great option. With a quick visit, your dentist will provide you a fitted mouthguard mold that you can put the gel in and use at home. This way, you can apply the gel multiple times a week for the prescribed time and do your whitening before bed or another time that’s totally under your control. While the in-office whitening is the most effective method, at home whitening from your dental office is a strong second place for effectiveness.
What Happens Next?
Unless you’re willing to give up staining foods forever, chances are your teeth will stain again over time. Luckily, outside of a few people whose teeth cannot handle the product, you can get your teeth whitened again. While your dentist will recommend you don’t get professional whitening multiple times a year, you can maintain with at home products.
If you’re interested in whitening your teeth and brightening your smile, contact us today at Wooten Dentistry. Our dental professionals understand how important it is for your confidence and oral health to have clean, bright teeth of which you can be proud.
You can contact us today to make an appointment over the phone, email or online and schedule your teeth whitening for you and your family!