Have you ever wondered about teeth whitening? Here’s the truth about whitening options and how well they work.
What Causes Tooth Stains?
First off, it’s important to stress that the natural color of your teeth is actually off-white or slightly yellow. Teeth naturally yellow with age. To some extent it’s unfortunate that the “bright white” color is so popular in the media because it gives the impression that slightly yellow teeth are somehow unhealthy — this couldn’t be farther from the truth!
But there are a few things that do cause teeth to stain more than they need to — here are some examples:
- Coffee and tea
- Tar and nicotine (tobacco)
- Eating disorders
- Some medications
Do Over-the-Counter Whitening Products Really Work?
This question is likely the most common one that dentists get — after all, who isn’t looking for an inexpensive way to brighten their smile? Given that our natural tooth color tends to be off-white, and Hollywood celebrities seem to have such sparkling smiles, a lot of people ask about tooth whitening.
While over-the-counter products can work to make our teeth a few shades lighter, we get the best results through specialized products. The reason is dentists have the tools and materials to place stronger chemicals on the teeth safely. The over-the-counter kits aren’t as strong, but they can be effective.
Most of these products are made with peroxide, which generally does work to remove some stains, but the ones the dentist uses are stronger.
Are There Any Risks with Teeth Whitening?
Some people simply have more sensitive teeth than others, and this is the main risk that you face if you are getting your teeth whitened. Certain treatments may come with desensitizing agents. Your dentist may also suggest a desensitizing or fluoride toothpaste.
If you do try out an over-the-counter solution, and it’s bothering your teeth, try only using it every few days rather than every day. And if the pain is something you’re worried about, it is temporary and not indicative of damage. If you’re worried about them wearing away the enamel on your teeth, you can rest assured that they’re actually meant to strengthen your enamel.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people who have gum disease or severe tooth decay shouldn’t use whitening products, nor should those who still have their baby teeth. It’s also worth noting that crowns or fillings won’t get any whiter with these products.
What’s the Best Tooth-Whitening Option?
As we’ve seen above, there are a variety of options that you can choose from when it comes to getting a whiter smile. We often recommend one of the most effective and simple kits on the market today, called Sapphire Teeth Whitening.
This system is available either for use in the dentist’s office or as a take-home treatment. It’s quick and efficient and is made of 25% hydrogen peroxide. What’s more, it’s formulated for use on sensitive teeth, and it has the effect of strengthening the enamel as well.
The Sapphire Teeth Whitening system can remove stains from aging, tobacco use, and coffee in about 30 minutes.
If you’d like to learn more about this revolutionary new system, contact your dentist today for more information.