As we get older, those nice white teeth we remember having as children start getting more and more yellowed. This happens naturally as the mineral structure of tooth enamel changes, but it can also be speed along by bad habits and certain types of medication. Not everyone is content to let nature take its course. Some prefer to turn to teeth whitening methods to regain their former brilliance. Some methods can be done at home in your “, others need to be performed by a dentist.
The most common over the counter tooth whitening products are gel strips impregnated with a bleaching agent that you apply over your teeth for a certain amount of time. The chemicals in the bleaching strips – usually carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide – work by penetrating into your teeth and oxidizing the stains. Some strips only take a few minutes or hours to work, so you can put them on while your kids are at their ” or before you go to bed.
Depending on the concentration of the bleaching gel, it can take several weeks to appreciably alter the whiteness of your teeth. If you want a quicker solution, you can visit your dentist for a high-concentration bleach treatment or laser bleaching. Some types of stains which do not respond to these methods (such as staining from medication) so you might have to save up the proceeds from your ” to pay for veneers or dental bonding if this is the case with you.
If your teeth only need a little bit of whitening or if you’re only interested in maintaining the current level of tooth whiteness, there are a variety of low concentration products such as toothpastes, mouth washes, and chewing gums that help to whiten teeth. You can help your teeth along by avoiding products that cause staining. This means refraining from drinking the red wine during your “, cutting back on your coffee and tea drinking, avoiding heavily dyed foods like berries and candy, and quitting smoking.
Before you decide to do any sort of teeth whitening, you should talk to your dentist. He or she will need to examine you and ask you questions to see if your body or the chemicals you’re exposed to at ” will cause you to have a reaction to the bleaching. The risks associated with tooth whitening include sensitive teeth, receding gums, reduction of tooth enamel, and oral irritation.