The natural color of human teeth is light grayish-yellow shades. You will find your teeth tend to darken with age and their appearance can be affected by surface stains from tobacco products and the consumption of certain foods, or drinks like coffee.
Making your teeth appear whiter in color is often as easy as visiting your dentist for a teeth whitening treatment consultation (See cosmetic dentistry below), or buying and/or creating your own homemade product. Whitening toothpastes or mouthwashes, whitening strips, pens, or trays are other ways to make your teeth whiter looking.
NOTE The majority of tooth-whitening products use various strengths, measured in percentage, of peroxide based bleaching methods. Home based products usually contain between 3% - 20% peroxide. Whereas, dental office whitening methods can contain anywhere from 15% and up to 43% peroxide (carbamide or hydrogen peroxides).
These are among the cheapest - though not always the best or longest lasting - way to whiten your teeth at home.
Many people simply use a teeth whitening toothpaste or scrub their teeth using baking soda. The downside? Well, most of these just taste awful!
If you've already heard about this, you're not alone. These have been around for the longest time. It was pioneered by big brands such as Colgate and has been among the most widely accepted teeth whitening methods.
These strips contain a whitening substance and you place them onto your teeth using the attached adhesives for up to one hour before removing them.
While these strips are among the cheapest option, the downside is that they are not the most effective way to whiten your teeth. It will take at least a few strips to see any noticeable results.
There is also the process of laser bleaching.
A dentist uses a laser along side a whitening gel. The gel is applied to the teeth and a laser light is used to activate the crystals to absorb the energy from the light and penetrate the teeth enamel to increase the lightening effect on the teeth.
This is one of the most expensive remedies, but is usually the quickest.
These have been popular since the last couple of years. These gels work by fitting a teeth tray filled with whitening gel onto your teeth.
Most people will find these uncomfortable as you have to wear them for a few hours before you see any results. Whitening gels used to be the favored teeth whitening product...until the revolutionary and far more effective whitening swabs come onto the market.
A home whitening procedure accomplished by using a special mouth tray you wear at night. As the tray-based whitening method is so simple to use, safe, and comparatively lower costing, more dentists use a tray-based approach with their patients than any other whitening method.
You can usually find these teeth bleaching trays at any drugstore however, store purchased bleaching kits do not use a custom teeth fitting tray which may not contact your teeth evenly. And, they often do not have the same concentration of bleaching agent. The professional whitening trays provided by your dentist are custom designed to mold to your teeth and mouth shape. Dentist supervision when using a teeth whitening tray is also advised.
Among the newest whitening products available are whitening rinses.
Like most mouthwashes, they freshen breath and help reduce dental plaque and gum disease. But these products also include ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide in some, which whiten teeth. Manufacturers say it may take 12 weeks to see results.
You just swish them around in your mouth for 60 seconds twice a day before brushing your teeth.
These do-it-yourself whitening kits are becoming very popular, simply because they are highly affordable and produce lasting results. Each of these handy kits comes packed with a six-day supply of disposable application swabs containing liquid formula and a separate container of whitening powder. They are designed to use with ease and best suited for those who want a fuss-free way to whiten their teeth.
Many users have testified that these are among the best teeth whitening products they have used. These disposable applicator swabs contain a patented liquid formula combined with a special whitening powder. They are easy to apply at home in just minutes and brighten your teeth in just a few days. Home teeth whitening kits are among the most affordable products that actually produce long-lasting results.
This is certainly one of the proven ways to whiten your teeth professionally, however, clinics that specialize in cosmetic dentistry often charge anywhere between $500 to $800 for the service. Plus, multiple visits are often required, which means you need to take time off from work or home to make the trips.
Teeth Bleaching by Dentists:
Zoom! - Using a procedure such as the Zoom! In-Office Whitening procedure, which is safe, effective and very fast, a dentist can usually get your teeth much whiter in around an hour.
Lemon juice is a natural bleach and whitener, and a very good general purpose stain-remover. However it should never be used on teeth as the high Vitamin C content will strip the teeth of calcium and damage the tooth enamel faster than anything else. In fact avoid using any acids, even it is from relatively harmless ingredients such as strawberry's or other fruit. You do not know what quantity of acid you are applying, so it is difficult to calculate a safe level of usage. If you must use these methods, then rinse the mouth thoroughly with water, then brush with a fluoride toothpaste about 20 minutes later, when the enamel has hardened.
There are many ways to help you get a brighter whiter smile. Use your head and make sure you are not actually doing more harm than good. Look after your teeth in the traditional sense, with regular brushing and avoiding sweet, acidic foods, and staining foods. If you have more serious stains, then visit a dentist, or buy products from a reputable dealer. Be very careful when using the common household remedies, such as hydrogen peroxide, acids, baking soda and salt. They could cause you more harm than good in the long term.
NOTE: Teeth whitening systems do not lighten porcelain crowns or fillings. You may need to get these replaced if they are prominent.