Monday, February 15th, 2010

How To Whiten My Teeth

White teeth can greatly enhance and improve your appearance and self-confidence.  Unfortunately with so many options available how do you know what really works and what the dangers of teeth whitening are.  In the article below we take a brief look at the main methods that can be used to whiten your teeth.

At Home Methods
Teeth whitening toothpaste is a fairly expensive and a relatively ineffective method to whiten your teeth at home.  Some people may report a slight whitening of teeth but most experts agree that teeth whitening toothpaste is no better than ordinary toothpaste.  Teeth whitening toothpaste generally makes people’s teeth more sensitive.

Teeth whitening gel is another option.  To use teeth whitening gel you generally apply the gel directly onto the tooth using a pen or brush.  You need to be  careful to avoid the gumline as the gel will cause irritation to your soft tissue.  One of the main problems with teeth whitening gel is that it generally is applied incorrectly and washes off when saliva mixes with the product.  Most people end up with irritated gums and splotchy results.

Teeth whitening strips are another way of using whitening gel.  The strips are brought with the whitening gel pre-applied to them for ease of use and application.  However all mouths are not created equal and most strips will fit incorrectly causing leakage of the whitening agent on to the gumline.

At The Dentist
Laser teeth whitening is probably the most effective form of whitening your teeth.  However it does not come without its negatives.  First of all the pain you will feel when you get your teeth professionally whitened is high and sensitivity and pain will remain for several days to weeks later.  The results are not permanent either and you will need to return for further treatments.  Secondly the cost of laser tooth whitening makes it fairly inaccessible for most people.  Costs begin from around $300 to up ward of $1000.  As with anything in life you get what you pay for.  The cheaper options of laser teeth whitening may not be given by a qualified operator which can and has caused extreme damage and pain to many people.

Take home teeth whitening kits. Many dentists provide take-home tooth whitening kits to their patients for quite a high fee.  The dentist will generally take a mold of your teeth to take home for use when applying the whitening product. These kits usually contain a higher percent of whitening agent and if used incorrectly can cause damage to the teeth.

Natural Teeth Whitening Methods
The Internet is abound with natural methods to whiten your teeth.  However many of these are not very effective and can actually be damaging to your teeth.  The most common methods for whitening teeth naturally are using natural foods such as strawberries or lemons.  With this method you generally apply and rub the fruit directly onto your teeth.  Strawberries and lemons are highly acidic and can cause permanent damage to your tooth enamel.

Baking soda is another common method for natural teeth whitening at home.  The problem with baking soda is, in its pure form it can actually be too abrasive for your teeth.  People tend to overuse it and brush their teeth too forcefully which causes the enamel to be rubbed off the teeth.

Lastly, hydrogen peroxide is also used a lot at home.  The problem with hydrogen peroxide is the formula that most people use on their teeth contains other chemicals.  These other chemicals can cause problems to your teeth.  If you buy the correct formulation of hydrogen peroxide, that is pure hydrogen peroxide which you then dilute and mix yourself you must make sure that you dilute it to a 3% mix.  If you use a higher concentration you can seriously damage your teeth as anything higher than a 3% solution has been proven to destroy teeth enamel and gum tissue.

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Category: Whiten My Teeth
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