There are many teeth whitening methods and varying opinions on which ones work best. Daily brushing and a healthy diet are the best teeth whitening tips for young teeth, but for us aging baby boomers, our dull teeth are going to need a lot more than a whitening tooth paste.
As we get older, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears down exposing the underlying layer, dentin, that is yellower. In addition teeth stains from food and drink as well as smoking occur more easily on thinning enamel. Certain medications can also cause staining. There are a number of methods to whiten your teeth and they can be done at home or by your dentist. All methods last between from one to three years, depending on dental habits, what you eat and drink and whether you smoke or not.
Laser whitening can only be performed by a dental professional. The
teeth are first cleaned to remove any plaque. A peroxide solution is
applied to the teeth and a laser light activates it. Laser whitening
produces faster and more dramatic results than other whitening methods
and is more costly. Only one visit is usually required, but
occasionally an additional visit might be required to remove deep
stains. On the down side, teeth and gums can become more sensitive and
if the procedure is repeated too many times it could cause teeth to
The patient is custom fitted with teeth whitening trays in which a peroxide based whitening gel is filled. Instructions are given as to how to apply the gel in the tray and how many days and how long it should be left on the teeth. This teeth whitening method is potentially the safest for 2 important reasons: 1) it is monitored by a professional, 2) because the trays are custom fitted, there is less chance of gel coming in contact with gums.
Most of the do-it-yourself whitening kits use a low percentage of hydrogen peroxide to bleach your teeth, so they usually require many repeat applications in order to be effective. They come in different forms, strips, trays, and paint-on whiteners.
Strips are convenient and wrap easily around the teeth, but sometimes they slip and touch the gums creating irritation. Trays are filled with a peroxide gel and placed on the teeth. Because the trays aren't custom fitted, gel can ooze out and come in contact with gums causing irritation.
Paint-on whiteners let you choose exactly what areas you want to whiten. The problem with them is that there's no guard protecting the peroxide solution and it is easily washed away by saliva. There are some paint-on whiteners that have a built in film that protects the peroxide from dissolving as fast.
With the popularity of over the counter teeth whiteners increasing, there are many products available, all claiming to give you the whitest teeth in the shortest amount of time. Although many of them work really well, there are others that are ineffective, expensive and even damaging.
Before you purchase any product, I strongly urge you to read the information in TeethWhiteningReviews.com , an unbiased and comprehensive source for information about whitening products, methods, benefits, dangers, long-term implications and more.
It is generally agreed that whitening teeth is relatively safe if done by a competent dentist. Most do-it-yourself kits are also safe if instructions are followed. There is danger if the whitening agents are used incorrectly. These are chemicals and they can cause real damage.
For additional cosmetic solutions for aging teeth read about Teeth Veneers and Teeth Bonding .