How to Whiten Your Teeth: An Overview

Are you dissatisfied with the color of your teeth? Do you think twice before smiling because you believe your teeth should be whiter? If so, you are far from being alone in this predicament – and it is no wonder that this demand led to the creation of considerable supply. If you want to whiten your teeth but don’t know which method to choose, read on – we will take a look at pros and cons of all the widely used techniques.

1. Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips and Gels

By far the most popular approach. Hydrogen peroxide gels are applied with special brushes directly to the teeth surface – instructions differ depending on the brand and concentration, so be sure to study them carefully. Whitening strips are extremely thin, effectively invisible strips covered with such gels, and you should apply them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. They are usually quick to provide results – effects are seen in a few days. However, these effects are rarely lasting – in a few months you will have to repeat the procedure from the very beginning, and hydrogen peroxide, if used repeatedly, can make teeth hypersensitive, which will make stains the least of your problems.

2. Charcoal

How can activated charcoal and teeth whitening be connected at all? The idea of using this material (usually as a toothpaste component) for your teeth may seem counter-intuitive. After all, one expects a whitening agent to be white, not jet black – the practice has been getting greater and greater popularity in recent years. There is no clinical research yet that would give definite statistics concerning its effectiveness. However, charcoal is known to be able to extract tannins that are primarily responsible for teeth losing their natural whiteness. Also, charcoal has been used for a long time to flush toxins out of human body, and many users report considerable whitening effects when it is regularly used. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals and artificial substances – use it all you want, it won’t harm your teeth and overall health.

3. In-Office Whitening

These methods may vary in a particular way of application but are common in that they are provided by a certified dentist using special bleaching agents and other effects, usually heat, special light and/or laser. One procedure lasts from 30 to 60 minutes, and the results are clearly noticeable after just one treatment – although significant effects are usually achieved after several appointments. This approach is effective but is usually also quite costly and calls for a rather drastic approach.

4. Tray-Based Solutions

With this approach, you apply a special tray (somewhat like a mouth guard) filled with a whitening solution (again, usually hydrogen peroxide-based one) to your teeth and wear it for some time. These trays are available both over the counter and under the supervision of a dentist. The latter method is preferable because a dentist will take a measure of your teeth and prepare a tray that would fit perfectly. One-size-fits-all trays available over the counter are, of course, cheaper, but in some cases can cause gum irritation and other problems. In addition to that, hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching is a rather invasive procedure, and it is a good idea to consult a dentist if it is safe in your particular situation.

Everybody wants to have shiny white teeth to be completely confident in their smiles. However, when choosing which whitening method to use you ought to make a careful and informed decision taking into account a number of different factors like your health, a possibility of causing harm to your teeth, risk of allergies and so on. Don’t jump on the first solution you stumble upon – study them all and choose what you need!