One of the most sought-after cosmetic dental procedures is teeth whitening. There are a number of ways in which teeth can become stained, resulting in a duller smile. With whitened teeth, you can enjoy additional confidence in social and business situations.
Many trends have developed as a response to the high demand for tooth whitening techniques. Most rely on either chemical or mechanical reactions to remove tooth stains and discoloration. Some are based on do-it-yourself theories, using items you might find at home. While some of these are viable treatment options, others are less useful. There are also many professional treatments available at a dentist’s office or over the counter.
1. Whitening gels
This trend has become very popular in recent years. Whitening gels are now readily available as a cosmetic dental procedure, as well as over the counter. The gels rely on a chemical reaction for the whitening effect.
The chemical reaction is based on peroxide. The chemicals work through the enamel of your teeth, reacting with the stained surface. Your teeth will generally be sensitive after an over the counter tooth whitening gel has been applied, and you may get a toothache.
Whitening gels bought over the counter can be very effective on mild staining and discoloration. However, if you have significant staining on your teeth, you may find over the counter gels are ineffective. They may not be strong enough to remove very dark or very large stains. This means your teeth may be lightened unevenly.
2. Hydrogen peroxide
Current product trends mean that if you use a chemical whitening substance, it will generally contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both of these are effective at brightening teeth and are used in various whitening trends.
Studies have found no difference in the effects of these two substances on tooth whitening. However, their application can differ.
Hydrogen peroxide is stronger and can act more quickly on your teeth. However, the substance breaks down quickly, losing its potency in less than an hour. This means it is perfect for short-term, high intensity whitening. It has a relatively short shelf life.
3. Carbamide peroxide
Carbamide peroxide does not break down as quickly as hydrogen peroxide. It loses half its potency within two hours and can remain active for several more hours. As a result, you are likely to find it in many home-based whitening techniques.
Carbamide peroxide contains hydrogen peroxide, which performs the action of bleaching. This occurs as the carbamide peroxide breaks down on your teeth.
While the more gradual effect of carbamide peroxide makes it more suitable for home treatments, it can cause irritation of the gums in the same way as hydrogen peroxide. If you are concerned about using either of these products, make sure to speak with your dentist beforehand.
4. Custom teeth trays
Although whitening gels have been around for a while, many informed consumers are choosing to use a custom-made tooth tray as well. This is used in conjunction with the gel, for a more effective teeth whitening experience.
Whitening gels, when applied at home, might not cover your teeth evenly. Even if you apply them with great care, certain parts of your teeth may remain untouched. For example, it can be difficult to apply gel to the sides and edges of your teeth. The gel might also rub off certain parts of your teeth during the application time.
A custom tooth tray is made to fit your mouth. This covers the gel, pressing it against your teeth and ensuring it gets into every crevice. At the same time, the tray stops the gel from being rubbed or washed away.
A customized tooth tray can be made for you by your dentist. This additional expense can save money in the long run, as you may end up needing less of the whitening gel for your treatments. The danger of uneven whitening, with yellow lines left around the edges of your teeth, can also be avoided.
5. Whitening toothpaste
This trend allows you to brighten your smile as part of your everyday dental hygiene routine. Whitening toothpaste has been around for a while but have remained popular. This is a gentle approach to teeth whitening that can take a few weeks.
Whitening toothpaste works by scrubbing the stains from your teeth. Ingredients such as silica are used in the toothpaste, resulting in extra abrasion every time you use your toothbrush.
This scrubbing is only effective on surface stains. These are stains that have occurred due to factors such as coffee consumption. Removing these stains allows the natural color of your teeth to show through.
For some, this might not be a strong enough option. Your teeth might have a deeper stain, perhaps as a result of age. They may just be naturally darker. In these cases, you may want a chemically based treatment to change the actual tooth color.
6. Whitening strips
Tooth whitening strips are an application method for tooth whitening gel. They are a popular trend for at-home whitening. The gel is applied evenly along the plastic strip, which is placed against your teeth for a specified time.
It is important to note that the strips are flat and do not conform to the contours of your teeth. Additionally, as with whitening gel, the chemicals will not affect the color of a filling or dental crown.
It is important to note that the strips are flat and do not conform to the contours of your teeth. Additionally, as with whitening gel, the chemicals will not affect the color of a filling or dental crown.. those who only need to lighten their teeth by a few shades. Because the strip might not cover the entire surface of the tooth, there can be some areas left unaffected. For darker stains, another method might be required.
A recent rise in DIY tooth whitening trends is the use of fruit. Many have claimed strawberries, lemons, or banana peels can help to whiten teeth.
There is some science behind this thinking. Strawberries contain a substance called malic acid, which can help to clean and brighten teeth. Banana peels contain various beneficial minerals such as potassium. Many of those seeking to whiten their teeth might also see the natural acids in fruits such as lemon to be a good alternative to expensive products.
However, fruit is not generally considered a viable option for tooth whitening. While the substances in the fruit are good for your teeth, the acid in the fruit pulp or peels can affect the tooth surface and cause decay.
It is important to note that home remedies often mean using substances that have not been measured. You will have no way of knowing how much acid, or other substances, you are applying to your teeth. You can risk your dental health as a result.
Oil pulling is another recent home-based trend in tooth whitening. Coconut oil is commonly used, although other oils may be suggested as well. The principle behind this that swilling the oil in your mouth will pull dirt and bacteria from your teeth. The oil and dirt can then be spat out.
While there does not seem to be any risk to oil pulling, there is little show its effectiveness at changing the color of your teeth. The fact that this is a recent trend means there have been no long-term studies performed on it yet, which would be required to prove its efficacy. However, it might still be useful for cleaning.
9. Bicarbonate soda
This trend has been in use for a while but is still recommended by many who prefer DIY methods. Although it is a home remedy, bicarbonate soda can be effective against stains on your teeth. You might even find bicarbonate soda as an ingredient in over the counter dental products.
Generally, people use bicarbonate soda in the same way as whitening toothpaste, mixing it with water and brushing it onto their teeth. The rough texture of the powder scrubs your teeth, removing lighter and more recent discoloration and stains. Because it is a base, it can also chemically clean your teeth.
This method should be used with care. Scrubbing your teeth with bicarbonate soda can damage the surface of your teeth if done too frequently.
You cannot use bicarbonate soda as a replacement for toothpaste, as it does not remove bacteria or contain fluoride. It may be added to your dental hygiene regime for extra whitening power.
10. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a trend in more than just tooth whitening. Many people are using it in food, as skincare, and elsewhere. A number of personal claims have been made as to its effectiveness at whitening teeth. There could be an argument behind this, as it may act as an abrasive scrub in the same way as whitening toothpaste or bicarbonate soda.
However, the high abrasiveness of activated charcoal means there could be some risk involved. You might cause some damage to your tooth enamel and gums through frequent use. Traditional whitening toothpaste may be safer and provide more reliable results.
11. Home light systems
Using lights to whiten your teeth is a relatively new trend and one that has become widely available with the use of home technology. There are a few different lights that are advertised for teeth whitening, including LED lights and UV lights.
No matter the type of light, you cannot use a light treatment by itself for teeth whitening. Lights must be used in combination with a chemical component on the teeth. The lights are used to speed up the whitening process by activating the chemicals in the gel through heat.
The light is not as important as the gel. Light systems affect short term whiteness, while the chemicals in a gel can have long term effects.
You can purchase kits that provide gels and lights along with instructions to use at home. The light will often come in a mouthguard shape so that you can hold it in place more easily. The chemicals used should be similar to those in a typical whitening gel.
12. Professional light treatment
Although light treatment can be performed at home, it will generally take several sessions.
As a result, there is a trend of professional light treatments rising among those who wish to obtain brighter teeth as quickly as possible. A trained dentist can use a stronger, faster system safely.
A particularly popular version of this treatment is Zoom! which can provide results in as little as an hour. The quick initial result is combined with the convenience of home care, as the treatment can be followed up with the application of touch up gels.
Having this treatment performed professionally means your teeth and gums are protected. The treatment will also be tailored to your needs, and your dentist can advise you on any dental work you need before teeth whitening treatment, so the procedure does not cause any harm to your teeth or the soft tissues in your mouth.
13. Lifestyle changes
In caring for your overall dental health, your dentist will recommend the trend of holistic dental care.
Many foods and drinks can darken or stain your teeth. While you can use treatment for damage that has already been done, making lifestyle changes is also vital. Your dentist will speak with you about any habits you have that could affect the brightness of your smile.
Some areas to consider are how much coffee or sugary beverages you consume. Smoking or drinking red wine can also result in heavy staining. By helping you make positive lifestyle choices, this trend links health and wellness to the appearance of your smile.
14. Prior consultation
Despite the rise in popularity of DIY whitening products, many customers are realizing the potential benefits of a professional consultation.
Booking a consultation with your dentist means you are given access to all whitening options. Your dentist can also assess your teeth and tell you whether there are any tooth whitening trends you should avoid.
This trend can be seen as a result of the increasing availability of effective professional whitening procedures. The importance many patients place on a brighter smile also means they are willing to invest in a reliable result.
If you are seeking a teeth whitening solution, please contact Owens Cosmetic and Family Dentistry at (248)-716-8623 for an appointment or more information. Our practice offers in-chair and at-home Zoom! Whitening treatments for a dramatically white smile.
Our in-chair procedure takes about an hour and lightens your teeth by at least 6-8 shades. Our take home kits are customized for your smile and use professional strength gel for effective and safe results. The kits also include gel for sensitive teeth.
Whether you desire whiter teeth for an upcoming milestone event or simply want a brighter smile, Dr. Owens will work with you to determine the right type of treatment, in-chair or at-home, and treatment length to help you restore your brilliant white smile.