Is Tooth Bleaching Really the Most Effective Way to Whiten Teeth at Home?

Whitening one's teeth is more than just a passing craze; it's a multi-billion dollar industry that will see over ten million Americans spend more than (an estimated) two billion dollars in the coming year.

Whitening of teeth is by far the most common cosmetic service given by dentists all across the United States, and the sales boom in mail-order and over-the-counter products has skyrocketed on an enormous scale in recent years.

But is it ever possible to have teeth that brilliantly white?
Is it safe to whiten your teeth?
Does it hurt?
Which approach is the most effective one?
Can you do it at home?

These are all pretty typical queries, and in general, the responses are going to be as follows:

Yes, Yes, Not typically, no (arguably) Bleaching, you're right.

Is Tooth Bleaching Really the Most Effective Way to Whiten Teeth at Home?

Both at your dentist's office (or at a professional teeth whitening business) and at home, there are a variety of approaches that can be taken to reach the goal of having whiter teeth.

In point of fact, many dentists will execute the initial one or two treatments themselves, and then they will provide you with the necessary equipment to complete the remainder of the procedures on your own at home.

However, those are the techniques known as "bleaching." If you want whiter teeth, there are other options available to you that include making structural alterations to your teeth, such as "bonding" and "porcelain veneers." You can explore these and other routes to achieve your goal.

Teeth whitening products that contain bleach all generally strive to do the same thing, which is to remove stains from as much of your tooth enamel as possible.

Because tooth enamel is porous, brushing and scouring treatments are ineffective at removing stains from teeth. For this reason, bleach-based tooth whitening products are the best option.

You will notice that the treatments that are the most successful actually involve the use of bleaching chemicals that go deep into the tooth enamel.

They begin an oxidation process in the enamel of your teeth, which breaks down the coloring substances and leaves your teeth looking brilliantly white. Although it may sound straightforward, there are a lot of items on the market that don't live up to their promises.

The majority of over-the-counter treatments can only ever whiten teeth to a very slight degree, however the more professional goods may give you with significant alterations to the degree to which your teeth are discolored.

Whitening toothpaste is considered to be the "entry-level" solution for brightening one's smile. Some people have shown a slight improvement in brightness, but because toothpaste doesn't stay on your teeth for very long (you only brush for a few minutes), it typically isn't able to penetrate deeply enough to have much of an effect.

Nevertheless, some people have shown a slight improvement in brightness. Some toothpastes contain very powerful chemicals that are designed to work quickly (due to the short amount of time they are exposed to your teeth). However, these chemicals are not designed to penetrate the enamel and oxidize or clean the stains; rather, they are designed to work as an abrasive that will etch away the enamel.

The whitening strips come in next on the agenda. Whitening Strips are narrow, bendable strips of plastic that have been coated on one side with a thin coating of hydrogen peroxide bleach (usually between 6 and 10 percent in strength).

They are placed in the mouth and forced between the upper and lower teeth for a period of seven to fourteen days. The recommended wearing time is thirty minutes, twice a day.

They are effective; however, because they are unable to reach all of the nooks, crannies, and spaces in between teeth, the results are occasionally blotchy and less acceptable than was initially envisaged.

When things get a little more serious, we also offer teeth whitening treatments that contain bleach and involve the use of trays that have been injected with a "bleaching" solution before being placed in the customer's mouth (hydrogen peroxide).

This process can be carried out in the comfort of your own home, by your dentist, or in any hybrid combination of the two settings. You can get inexpensive 'boil and bite' trays that are practically ready to eat right out of the package if you buy them over the counter.

After heating the tray in a pot of boiling water until it is hot and malleable, you put it in your mouth and bite on it. The finished product is a tray that has been "partially" molded and is now ready for use. This sort of tray has the drawback of not fitting tightly, which can lead to variable results as well as leakage of the bleaching gel into the gums and mouth of the user.

Leaking of the bleach into the mouth is undesirable for obvious reasons, and streaks on or around the gums can result in temporary (and even long-term) bleaching of the gums. Bleaching of the gums can be avoided by preventing leakage of the bleach into the mouth.

When you use a professional system, you will be provided with a tray that is molded specifically to fit your teeth. This tray is vital for ensuring proper bleaching and consistent results. If you use a personalized tray, you will almost certainly notice a reduction in the amount of leakage that occurs into your mouth and gums.

You can get custom-fitting trays either directly from your dentist or indirectly from a variety of online specialists that offer do-it-yourself custom tray kits. When you use a system like this, you will actually have all of the components mailed to you that are required to take an impression of your teeth so that your own custom-made retainer can be fabricated.

You are essentially tasked with creating an impression with the goods that are provided, after which you stuff everything in the pre-addressed packing envelope and send it out.

They will produce your individualized bleaching trays in a laboratory that is accredited, and they will return them to you anywhere from two to seven business days later... Then all you need to do is place the tray in your mouth and apply the gel to it using the instructions provided for the appropriate amount of time.

The gel that is utilized in a teeth whitening system is the component that is considered to be of the utmost significance. You could spend a lot of money on getting a tray (mouthpiece) that is custom-fitted to your mouth, but if you don't have the right teeth whitening gel, you will either have to keep the tray in your mouth for a much longer period of time than necessary or the results will not be as good as you had hoped.

It is recommended that before attempting to appreciate the distinctions between whitening gels and the reasons why gels are thought to be the most effective tooth whitener, one first learn exactly what the gels are composed of and what function they provide.

The majority of gels have either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as one of their primary components; other gels also have fillers and flavors. Carbamide peroxide undergoes a transformation in the mouth that results in the production of hydrogen peroxide.

The primary ingredient in the whitener is hydrogen peroxide, which is also the chemical that is used to bleach your hair. The concentration of the peroxide is what differentiates the majority of gels from one another. These days, the majority of gels have concentrations of 15% and above, with some of the most popular having concentrations of approximately 22%.

The concentration of the peroxide plays an obvious role in determining how long you need to keep the tray in your mouth, and the degree to which your teeth are sensitive can play a significant role in choosing the peroxide concentration you should use.

However, despite what was stated previously, it is not the concentration of the peroxide that is typically responsible for causing teeth to become sensitive; rather, it is the length of time that the teeth are exposed to the chemical. Because of this, there are certain individuals who choose to consume an alcoholic beverage of a higher strength (such as 22%), but they do it for a shorter amount of time.

You can also purchase stronger concentrations, such as 35%, but we only recommend using them for brief "bursts" of maintenance—perhaps once a month for a period of 15 to 30 minutes at a time.

Bonding and porcelain veneers are two other methods of professional teeth whitening that are available. Both of them require an actual alteration in the structural makeup of your teeth. The process of bonding involves the use of a composite resin that is molded onto the teeth in order to modify the color of the teeth and to reshape the teeth.

The material of the resin can become discolored and chipped over time. Bonding can typically be completed in a single visit to the dentist's office and costs between $300 and $700 per tooth. Porcelain veneers are facings that have the appearance of a shell and can be bonded onto discolored teeth. In addition to whitening the teeth, they can also be used to contour and/or lengthen the teeth. The placement of veneers requires at least two trips to the dentist's office, and each veneer can cost between $750 and $1,200.

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