There are many teeth whitening systems and products on the market today. Teeth whitening is ideal for people who have healthy, unrestored teeth (no fillings) and gums. People with yellow tones to their teeth respond best, but this cosmetic procedure is not recommended for everyone.
Find out if teeth whitening is right for you by talking to your dentist. All toothpastes help remove surface stains, because they contain mild abrasives. And some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal. Let’s look at some of the products available.
SOME GUIDELINES FOR WHITENING YOUR TEETH
WHITENING STRIPS AND GELS
Whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based gels applied with a small brush directly to the surface of your teeth. Whitening strips are very thin, almost invisible strips that are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. Results are seen in a few days, and final results can last for about four months.
These products include ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide which whiten teeth. You just swish them around in your mouth for 60 seconds twice a day before brushing your teeth. It may take 12 weeks to see results.
TRAY-BASED TEETH WHITENERS
These trays (like a mouth guard) are purchased either over the counter or from a dentist. You fill the tray with a whitening gel and wear it for a period of time, generally from a couple of hours a day to every day during the night for up to four weeks and even longer (depending on the desired level of whitening).
SHOULD YOU WHITEN YOUR TEETH?
Whitening is not recommended or will be less successful in the following circumstances:
- Bleaching is not recommended in children under the age of 16. Children’s teeth are not yet fully developed in the nerve.
- Whitening is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
- Whitening is not recommended for those with sensitive teeth and allergies.
- If you have sensitive teeth and gums, receding gums, and/or defective restorations, you should talk to your dentist.
- Anyone allergic to peroxide (the whitening agent) should not use a bleaching product.
- People with gum disease or teeth with worn enamel are generally discouraged from whitening teeth. Cavities need to be treated before undergoing any whitening procedure.
- People with numerous restorations
Usually, people who expect their teeth to be a new “blinding white” may be disappointed with their results. Smokers need to be aware that their results will be limited unless they refrain from continued smoking, particularly during the bleaching process. A healthy guide to is to achieve a shade slightly whiter than the whites of your eyes.