Many people wish they have whiter or brighter teeth and they want to know what their options are. There are several options when it comes to teeth whitening, and everyone should learn about the options before choosing one, as some of them have certain negative side effects.
One of the safest ways to whiten the teeth is to use toothpaste. A regular toothpaste works just fine for minor stains and for teeth that are just slightly discolored. Special whitening toothpastes are widely available and their manufacturers promise great effects even for significantly stained teeth. All toothpastes contain mild abrasive substances but specialized ones also contain polishing agents for a better whitening effect. Normally, whitening toothpastes do not contain bleaching agents but they do often contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
Whitening strips and gels
Whitening strips and gels both contain certain amount of peroxide. Whitening gels are transparent and they are applied to the teeth using a small brush. Most of these gels are supposed to be applied twice a day for fourteen days.
Whitening strips work similarly as the gel but they are applied twice a day for 30 minutes and then they are removed. The packages usually contain enough strips for two-week treatment.
A whitening mouthwash is very similar to regular mouthwashes, the only difference is it contains peroxide too. These washes or rinses are used two or three times a day until the teeth become whiter and brighter. It may take up to 12 weeks to see the first results. Just like a regular mouthwash, a whitening mouthwash is not supposed to be swallowed.
Bleaching is yet another option for whitening the teeth. Even though there are certain bleaching products that can be bought over the counter, it is best to have it done in the dentist’s office by a professional. Bleaching uses chemicals that whiten the surface of the teeth, sometimes in combination with light or heat. The problem with bleaching is that if the chemical comes in contact with the gums or other soft tissues, it can burn and cause damage, which is why it should be done by an experienced professional. For best results it is required to have several treatments.
Another option is to have a mouthpiece tray made by the dentist. These trays contain a certain amount of the bleaching agent that is gradually released while the tray is worn, which is usually during the night.
A certain level of precaution is recommended for every teeth whitening method. Certain methods are not suitable for certain people, for example for children, elderly, pregnant and nursing women, people who have allergies, sensitive gums and similar issues.