A regular oral care routine and dental checkups may not be enough for some to keep their pearly whites bright and white. For those who love coffee and carbonated drinks, this can be a challenge because their dentitions are stained at regular intervals. Therefore, such people require teeth whitening treatment.
It is a process of bleaching your enamel so it will appear lighter and there are different ways to achieve it. But before considering any, it is good to speak with your dentist about whether you have teeth sensitivity or other dental issues. They will then recommend a method that suits your needs.
This recommendation will determine whether it is better to choose a professional whitener or an at-home teeth whitening kit. Professional whitening might be too expensive if you have a small budget, but a teeth whitener kit is budget-friendly. However, the question most people ask is, “Are teeth whiteners effective and safe?”
How Effective and Safe Are At-Home Teeth Whiteners?
Researching about the best home teeth whitening kits of 2021 may not be a way to check their effectiveness.Besides, each of these products is unique to its brand. But one common attribute they all share is that they whiten the teeth.
Whiteners can clear off some stains from our dentition, but not all. It cannot work effectively on a decaying tooth or one with a cavity. This is why you need to visit your dentist to know if there are underlying dental problems behind the tooth discoloration.
Whitening of teeth is normally safe yet some products may cause sensitivity and gum pain to users. While some people won’t find any issue with using kits, others may not be able to cope with the active whitener concentration. Therefore, it is important to ask your dental hygienist which product will be effective and safe for you.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
An active ingredient in many whiteners is peroxide. It can either be carbide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This compound penetrates the enamel and breaks down the discoloration. It does not make any alterations to the structure either by thinning or softening it.
When this active component is at high concentrations, it is highly effective especially when it is left for long periods on the teeth surface. Toothpaste has a low concentration of this active compound, yet it can work well for cleaning stain after using any other decolorizing methods.
Furthermore, an at-home whitener kit contains a gel and a custom tray. The tray is filled with a peroxide gel and placed on the teeth. At times, the kit comes with a blue LED light. This light is an activation agent for the peroxide to aid faster, effective results on the teeth.
Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?
Although this procedure is quite safe, it has a few side effects.
1. It Results in ToothSensitivity
After whitening, your dentition may experience sensitivity for a short period. This will wear off as time goes on. Your dentist can give you products that will ease this sensitivity.
2. Irritation of the Gum
You could also experience irritation of your gums when theyencountera whitening product. But the side effect will go away as the treatment wears off.If you are experiencing certain dental issues that require treatment, do not go for teeth whitening procedures.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Teeth Whitening Method
Since not all methods are best for you, it is good to consider these factors that will help you make the right decision.
1. Consulting Your Dentist
Talking to your dentist is the most important step to consider before starting any bleaching procedures on your enamel. Your dentist is a professional and can offer professional advice and recommendation that you may not find on the internet.
Also, your dentist knows your dental history. So,they can use that information to recommend a clinically approved tooth bleaching treatment. They can also recommend products that have approval from the American Dental Association (A.D.A) that will fit your dental needs.
2. Degree of Discoloration
What works fast on a mildly discolored tooth will not be effective on a much darker one. The active compound in whiteners, hydrogen peroxide is needed in high concentrations for extremely colored enamels. But keep in mind that at a high dose, this peroxide could be unsafe.
So, when applying it, you should do so under the professional care of your dental hygienist. Additionally, there are cases where even whiteners cannot help a very darkened tooth. Other available options to help such cases include veneer treatment and bonding of the tooth. You may want to read this article to know more about this alternative aid.
3. Underlying Dental Problems
If you are experiencing sensitive or damaged dentition, avoid using decolorizing products on your teeth. Dental decolorizers open your tooth pores andincrease their sensitivity. They also accelerate certain gum diseases. Therefore, you should treat yourself first or try to avoid decolorizing procedures entirely.
4. Dental Restoration
If you have any dental restoration such as cavity fillings, then it is best not to consider whitening your enamel. This is because whiteners only work on natural teeth, not artificial filling. So even after bleaching, your restoration will retain its color while your teeth would be lightened. This can cause an uneven dental coloration which you may not like.
Price is important because various whitening products come at different prices. Some might appear less expensive than others, but you need to check their effectiveness. Whatever your budget is, you will want to get the best out of what you buy. So, choose an effective yet budget-friendly whitening method or product.
Seeking the advice of your dentist is particularly important before making any decision on whether to go for professional whitening or purchase an at-home whitener kit. Ensure you choose a method or product that matches your dental needs and always heed the instructions on how to use it. it is best to contact your dentist if you have any side effects.