Do you wish your teeth were brighter? There are so many products on the market today that can help you have a brighter smile, so much so that it can easily feel overwhelming to know where to start or which product to use. Knowing what options and considerations there are for whitening can help you get started on the right path. Read on to gather tips and knowledge for how easy whitening can be and help determine whether teeth whitening is a good fit for you!
How Teeth Whitening Works
Most teeth whitening treatment works through peroxide ingredients. When whitening gel mixes with saliva, the peroxide works to release oxygen. The oxygen helps to break up food particles, stains, and debris. Whitening can help to remove intrinsic and extrinsic stains on our teeth. Dentin is often slightly yellowish in appearance, while the overlying enamel layer is usually translucent. Extrinsic staining on our enamel or thinning enamel can also create yellow teeth. Everyone’s tooth color is unique; some people have yellow teeth while others’ teeth appear more gray or white. Thus, no one solution works best for all!
Teeth Whitening Will Only Whiten Real Teeth
It is important to note that whitening agents will only whiten real teeth. Crowns, fillings, and dentures remain unchanged by whitening products. If you already have crowns or fillings on your front teeth, you will want to consider that your fillings and crowns may stand out more if you whiten your natural teeth. If you need to have fillings and crown work done on your front teeth, it is a good idea to whiten your teeth to a shade that you are happy with before getting the work done. This way, your dentist can match your crowns and fillings to your new brighter teeth.
Keep in mind that you will probably have to continue whitening in the future years to maintain this brightness.
You May Experience Some Sensitivity With Whitening
It is impossible to predict if or how much sensitivity you will experience while teeth whitening. Some people report sensitivity, while other users report no sensitivity at all. Many whitening gels contain a sedative ingredient to offset tooth sensitivity that can come from whitening. In addition, it can be helpful to brush with Sensodyne toothpaste or another sensitive toothpaste for 2-3 weeks before whitening. If at any time during whitening that tooth sensitivity is too much, it is recommended to stop.
Is Using Teeth Whitening Kit Safe?
Teeth whitening, when done correctly, is a safe option for most patients. The most important thing is that you follow the directions for the specific whitening product you selected. Each product can vary in the way that it works. You might find more success with one product than another, and what works best for one person might not be the best option for someone else.
Overall, it’s best to stick with products that have been tested and are recommended by dental professionals. Seeking out treatment from people who don’t have proper training could cause damage to your gum tissue or enamel.
Are Do-It-Yourself Home Kits Effective?
Yes, at-home teeth whitening kits can be effective. Many people report that they are satisfied with the results that they had with a teeth whitening kit. Do-it-yourself kits often seem like the most affordable way to whiten as they require the smallest upfront investment. The thing to be aware of is that when we look at their lack of reusability, we soon see that they aren’t as “affordable” as many claim to be.
An at-home teeth whitening kit usually comes with plastic whitening strips coated with some peroxide. Most kits come with enough supplies to whitening for 2-3 weeks, as that is about how long it takes most people to get to a shade that they are happy with. Your teeth will continue to pick up stain, so you will need to invest in another home kit when it comes time to do a refresher.
The generic plastic strips can also be tricky to apply as they do not contour to your gum tissue’s shape. This limits the whitening capabilities of strips and can pose a concern for the gum tissue as the strips can easily move around. If the plastic strip overlaps your gum tissue, it can cause the tissue to be burned.
Best Teeth Whitening Kit
Choosing the best teeth whitening kit can be challenging for a few reasons. Most home kits are unregulated as far as what ingredients are used in the strips and gel. Some home kits are very strong, while others are quite weak. Using gel that is very strong can come with some concerns as it may burn the gums or cause more tooth sensitivity.
It can be beneficial to ask your dentist which whitening procedure they recommend. Often dental offices have home whitening kits available at their office. These are often kitsthat they usually have sampled and are happy with the product and its results. Most dental offices make custom whitening trays, which can be an affordable route to whitening your teeth. The great thing about the whitening trays is that they can be used in the future when you need a whitening touch up and they are made to fit your exact teeth and gum contour.
What About LED Teeth Whitening Kit?
Chances are you’ve seen someone laying in a chair with whitening trays in and a light shining above their mouth. Studies haven’t shown any benefit in using whitening with light or LED teeth whitening kits. At this point, it’s something to probably be avoided as who knows if the light can cause damage to gum tissue or teeth. At this point, studies have shown that whitening from peroxide gel will last longer, and these products have also been used for years, so more is known about its long-term benefits.
Will Insurance Cover Whitening?
Most insurance companies do not cover teeth whitening treatment options. Whitening is considered an esthetic procedure; thus, most insurance companies classify it as an uncovered elective procedure.
Keeping up with routine home care and regular dental check-ups are some of the best ways to keep your teeth from discoloration. Still, if you find yourself wanting a brighter smile, you know there are many options and considerations when it comes to whitening. If you’re looking for something long-term, custom whitening trays and gel are a good option. For a one-time special event, whitening strips can be an option, but they come with their concerns. If you’re wondering what can be best for your unique situation, it is a great idea to have your dentist take a look at your teeth and let you know what they think!