With teeth whitening becoming more and more in vogue these days, you no longer have to resort to costly trips to the dental surgery to achieve those much wanted pearly whites.
And while teeth whitening was once limited to the well off amongst us, now it is more accessible and affordable to whiten your teeth and in an even more convenient manner.
And there are various means of achieving this.
You can purchase special whitening toothpastes to brighten your smile, these can help to eliminate some superficial stains on the outer layer of the enamel (extrinsic stains) caused by the drinks and foods we eat, also the stains caused by smoking.
While these toothpastes do not contain bleaches, the abrasives used can be rather caustic, so it is advised to use whitening toothpaste that contains fluoride which strengthens teeth and protects against damage to the enamel so you can use this in place of your regular toothpaste to maintain whiteness everyday.
Although generally speaking, most teeth whiteners of this kind are not strong enough to penetrate the deeper level of staining (intrinsic stains) and it is important to remember that whitening toothpastes will not change the natural colour of your teeth. But it is an ideal option for those who want to improve the overall appearance of their smile with minimum effort at very low cost.
Whitening Gels and Whitening strips
Whitening gels are peroxide-based gels, transparent in appearance that should be applied with a small brush directly to the surface of your teeth. It is recommended that this process is repeated twice a day for around 14 days; results can be seen within in a few days and are said to last 4 months.
Strengths of the gels vary, some are not safe for home use and can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. The use of whitening gels can be a bit fiddly and it can be tricky to apply the gel on all of the teeth totally evenly.
Whitening strips are just that, thin usually transparent adhesive stripes that have a peroxide-based gel coating that are applied to the upper and lower teeth for 30 minutes at a time twice a day. Results can usually be seen within a few days and continued use for at least 14 days is required although this varies from product to product.
The results can last up to 4 months. The strips do not always stay in place and some can cause irritation and sensitivity, although it is still an inexpensive, non time consuming way of whitening your teeth.
Teeth Whitening Kits
The best and surely most effective way to whiten your teeth in the privacy of your own home is to purchase a home whitening kit. These kits give the dental surgery a run for its money, as they can be every bit as good as having the same process carried out in the dentist chair (and are significantly cheaper!) Just make sure your kit is approved by the FDA.
Typically the kits consist of the whitening gel Carbamide Peroxide; strengths vary although it is recommended that any whitening gel over 16% should be avoided as it is thought to be not safe to be used at home.
We recommend Dr. George’s Dental White as our teeth whitening kit of choice as it is fully FDA approved and very effective.
The kit comes with a customisable mouth tray for both upper and lower teeth, a syringe applicator and the whitening gel itself.
These kits enable you to achieve full teeth whitening of anything up to 11 shades whiter usually within 30 minutes and results can be seen from the first application, getting more intense each time you whiten.
Results can last up to 2 years depending on your diet and lifestyle.