Best teeth whitening can take place at home, depending on the reason for the original discoloration.
Have you ever asked yourself why your teeth get stained and discolored? If so, have you wondered about the possible answers?
Discoloration of the teeth should not be disregarded, because it's actually possible to lighten them and achieve a brighter smile.
Although many things can stain or discolor teeth, the most common reasons are listed below:
- drinking coffee, tea, colas and other liquids that can stain the teeth
- tetracycline (an antibiotic) use
- excessive use of abrasives, which can expose the teeths' dentin and cause severe discoloration
- excessive fluoride
- old fillings
Toothpastes that include whitening agents among their ingredients can minimize surface staining, which is also referred to by dental professionals as extrinsic staining. However, whitening toothpastes and professional teeth cleanings will not alter intrinsic staining of the teeth. This is the primary reason why teeth whitening or bleaching has become so popular.
Teeth whiteners are typically categorized into two groups, namely, professional whitening procedures and home-based teeth whiteners.
Professional whitening procedures are usually performed in a dentists' office and involve the use of whitening gels that are activated by light from a laser.
Home-based teeth whiteners, on the other hand, can be performed by anyone, either in between professional treatments or without any other whitening procedures. Home-based whiteners can consist of whitening kits and tray-based whitening systems, or they can be homemade treatments using culinary and medicinal ingredients.
As the name implies, home-based teeth whitening is usually performed in the home, in accordance with a schedule suggested by dentists and/or the particular products instructions.
Tray-based teeth whitening is a four-step process, as set forth below.
- The kit will include a tray that is to be customized by the persons dentist to fit snugly over the persons teeth. An accurate fit is essential.
- The whitening gel included in the kit is poured over the tray.
- The gels active ingredient, carbamide peroxide, breaks down to allow oxygen to enter the teeths enamel and bleach the discolored areas.
- The structure of the teeth is not altered in any way by this procedure. Bonding, fillings and crowns will not lighten but discolored areas on the teeth themselves will.
Some patients who are curious about tray teeth whitening techniques ask the following questions:
Is tray teeth whitening safe?
Most dental professionals agree that tray teeth whitening or bleaching is a relatively safe and easy method to lighten the teeth by two to five shades in only a few days.
How does tray whitening differ from other professional teeth whitening procedures?
Listed below are several of the professional whitening products dentists can choose from for use in their professional whitening services. The bleaching laser or light each product uses follows in parentheses.
* LaserSmile (Biolase laser)
* Rembrandt Sapphire (plasma arc light)
* LumaArch (halogen light)
* BriteSmile (gas plasma light/light emitting diode)
* Zoom! (metal halide light)
Laser whitening typically involves the application of a 35% hydrogen peroxide gel-based solution on the surface of the persons teeth. The laser or other light is then held near the person's mouth and its light activates the hydrogen peroxide. Some dentists and manufacturers claim this method is more effective than tray whitening, but no actual data supports those claims.
As a matter of fact, after a year of returning to old lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking coffee, tea, cola, a persons teeth will be discolored once again, and the laser whitening treatment will need to be repeated. This subsequent treatment could cost $500 or more.
In contrast, once you have a custom-made tray you can follow your old habits for a year and you'll only need to do a touch-up once every three to six months. This will let you remove any new stains without costing much at all.