Let's face it: Straight, gleaming white teeth are appealing. Undoubtedly, many people desire teeth that are straight, white, and healthy. But many things could prevent us from having the most beautiful smile possible.
We consume a wide range of meals and beverages without considering how they may affect our teeth. For example, we don't care if it stains our teeth because of how much we enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the morning.
Our way of life includes more harmful activities than benefits to our dental health. For example, we all have periods of the day when we smoke or consume alcohol, which stains our teeth and causes dry mouth. So, aside from unavoidable factors like aging, our mouths also suffer.
Fortunately, dental technology has advanced throughout time. Nowadays, dentistry develops remedies for our oral issues and assures us of achieving better smiles. Orthodontics aids with dental alignment. Dental cleanings and exams are examples of preventive care procedures that keep our oral health under control.
Additionally, teeth whitening can make our stained teeth appear pearly white. Teeth whitening enables teeth to become lighter and brighter than they already are. Before moving on to the remedy, let's examine the issue of stained teeth first.
What Causes Yellow Teeth?
Our teeth naturally stain over time. Tooth discoloration can be extrinsic, intrinsic, or age-related.
- The tooth's surface has extrinsic staining, which frequently happens when food or beverage residue accumulates in a protein film that covers the enamel. In addition to food and drink, cigarette usage also causes external stains.
- Under the tooth's surface are intrinsic stains. They form because of discoloration-causing substances penetrating the tooth's enamel and building up inside it, darkening or tinting the dentin. The overuse of fluoride during childhood, tetracycline antibiotics as a child, trauma, and other factors are some reasons for intrinsic stains.
- Intrinsic and extrinsic stains combine to form age-related stains. As a result, the enamel becomes thinner as we age, which exposes the teeth's underlying problems, which over time naturally get discolored. In addition to external stains from food, this intrinsic discoloration can cause teeth to appear noticeably discolored.
How Can I Whiten My Discolored Teeth?
Through teeth whitening, you can recover the "whiteness" of your teeth. There are numerous teeth whitening options, including whitening toothpaste or rinses, whitening strips, whitening gels, tray bleaching, and in-office whitening.
- Whitening toothpaste can help reduce discoloration, especially mainly due to extrinsic stains. Whitening toothpaste contains carbamide peroxide or hydrogen, which are bleaching agents. The abrasives in the toothpaste are what help remove stains on the enamel.
- Whitening rinse contains similar bleaching agents to whitening toothpaste and is used similarly to ordinary rinses..
- Teeth whitening strips are applied directly to the teeth and consist of thin, flexible, and hydrogen peroxide-infused polyethylene, the most popular plastic. Typically, they are worn twice daily for 30 minutes each time.
- Teeth whitening gels also have hydrogen peroxide. The gel is regularly applied to the teeth two times daily for two weeks.
- If over-the-counter remedies are unsuccessful, patients may choose tray bleaching, a dentist-offered professional whitening kit. Tray bleaching works quicker and more successfully than over-the-counter whitening treatments. The process of tray bleaching involves applying peroxide-based gel to specialized trays.
- In-office whitening is considered the quickest way to whiten teeth. The in-office whitening treatment utilizes a dental lamp to accelerate peroxide breakdown. This procedure uses more substantial peroxide concentrations exclusively available in dental offices..
How To Set Realistic Teeth Whitening Results
You might have tried experimenting with various teeth-whitening products in the past. This could refer to a kit for whitening teeth with carbamide peroxide, whitening toothpaste, or even a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste. Additionally, you might have been persuaded to test it out by the promise of rapid and effective pearly whites, usually following 30 minutes of treatment.
But occasionally, adopting this mindset can set us up for failure. For instance, we can find that after whitening treatments, our teeth are more yellow than before, rather than dazzlingly bright. Even if having yellow teeth is often the norm, we might beat ourselves up about it.
So how can we set ourselves up for successful teeth whitening?
#1 Be Clear About Your Goals With Your Smile
Consider whether a whiter smile is what you need before setting yourself up for realistic teeth whitening outcomes. Do you have any other options for caring for your teeth? Poor oral health may be the cause of what appears to be a dull smile. A good brush and floss frequently take care of any evidence of dental decay or coffee or tea stains. Additionally, it's always a good idea to examine your oral hygiene routine with a dentist if it becomes apparent that it is no longer sufficient.
Additionally, there may be instances when your teeth are in excellent shape but continue to experience occlusion issues. An appointment with a dentist, especially an orthodontist, is necessary for those situations.
#2 Healthy Is Always Better Than Bright
So, to achieve a whiter smile, you find yourself using one teeth whitening item after another. Perhaps you experimented with some at-home bleaching in the interim, lured in by claims of fast results following 30 minutes of use. You might have used a variety of teeth-whitening products or visited several dentists. While working toward a whiter smile is beneficial, sometimes going the extra mile may not be necessary. It can also be extremely pricey at times.
The condition of your teeth won't ever be more important than your oral health in the end. So no matter how unappealing you may feel your smile, a healthy smile nevertheless has the same allure as the dazzling smiles you see in advertisements.
#3 Yellow Teeth Are Not Your Enemy
When it comes to unrealistic whitening expectations, the promise of a beaming, bluish-white smile is probably the heaviest. It's near impossible—because our dentin is naturally yellow, all teeth have yellowish undertones. So before you subject your teeth to a barrage of bleaching agents, take a step back. To achieve natural teeth whitening results, it's always best to look at the bigger picture.
How Long Will It Take to See Results?
Contrary to popular belief, teeth whitening does not work overnight. Before you notice a difference after receiving a professional whitening treatment, wait for 3 to 4 weeks. The shelf life of whitening gels can range from four days to many months. Additionally, strips can require a little more time. They claim to start working right away, according to supporters of natural whitening. However, some people worry about how harsh these whitening procedures are. So it might be advisable to employ these techniques sparingly if this is your path. Whatever alternative you select, be sure to have reasonable expectations.
What Is The Minimum Age For Whitening Teeth?
Do you think your kid might like to try over-the-counter tooth whitening products? Stay put. If you whiten your children's teeth, it can have a negative effect. The enamel shells of primary teeth are often thinner and lack the dense minerals found in your permanent teeth. As a result, they become more susceptible to bacterial infections in the mouth when you whiten them. Furthermore, since bleaching your teeth might dry them out, your child may develop sensitive teeth. Therefore, this can prevent them from developing normally.
When is the right time for my child to use teeth-whitening products? So, first things first, check to see if all of your child's permanent teeth have erupted. At 12 to 14 years old, this usually happens. Don't use whitening gel on your teenagers just yet, though. They still need time for their teeth to solidify and amass all the necessary minerals. After the last permanent tooth erupts, a process known as enamel calcification follows. So, sixteen may be the optimal age for teeth whitening. One could even say it's the very minimum age for teeth whitening.
However, even if your child turns 16 years old, whitening their teeth aren't in the cards just yet. Teeth whitening has specific side effects, just like everything else. In this instance, it's a factor that might obstruct the growth of healthy teeth. In any event, waiting until they are adults or until their dentist gives the all-clear before receiving a whitening procedure could be ideal.
Why You Shouldn't Use Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening
Why is there a preference for activated charcoal teeth whitening among other whitening products? We can't say for sure, but it might have something to do with a viable natural product choice. And with health scares over potentially harmful substances and concern over rising prices, it's no surprise.
Activated charcoal is a preferred ingredient because of activated charcoal powder's regular use in poison treatment. When ingested, activated charcoal powder binds to the toxins, absorbing them before they could do any severe damage.
Then, proponents of activated charcoal for tooth whitening contend that it operates similarly. Activating charcoal powder applied to your teeth is said to eliminate stains by absorbing the stain-causing particles. But, unfortunately, this kind of whitening could be harmful rather than beneficial, aside from the ugly activated charcoal teeth.
So why not whiten your teeth with activated charcoal?
It Doesn't Work The Way You Think It Does
On the surface, it does seem fair to assume that how activated charcoal absorbs poison is how it whitens teeth. After all, powdered activated charcoal has that characteristic by nature. However, others neglect to note that it can only absorb a limited range of compounds. For instance, the Mayo Clinic lists a few substances that activated charcoal cannot break down, including:
- Strong acids and bases
- Petroleum products
As such, activated charcoal powder can't absorb the tiny particles that stain teeth. Additionally, as we previously mentioned, whitening agents must penetrate the enamel pores and break down the stain-causing particles to give your teeth their pearly white appearance. However, activated charcoal powder lacks this property.
If that's the case, how does it work?
Charcoal Teeth Whitening Can Damage Your Enamel
Like most natural whitening treatments, charcoal teeth whitening eliminates stains by abrasion. But, yes, the charcoal powder does not eliminate stains by absorbing them.
Even though activated charcoal powder can feel relatively neutral to the touch, it nevertheless possesses abrasive qualities that are sufficient to remove any surface stains and remove layers of dental enamel.
The latter is why dentists and other dental specialists frequently discourage patients from using activated charcoal whitening. When you wash your teeth with a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder, you risk developing activated charcoal teeth and gradually eroding your tooth enamel. Additionally, you take a step away from compromising your mouth hygiene and oral health rather than having it eliminate stains.
However, if using activated charcoal powder is not the best option, what is? Typically, having your teeth professionally whitened is the best course of action. Additionally, it's always advisable to speak with your doctor the next time you hear about the newest oral hygiene craze.
Is Laser Whitening Safe?
You might have considered whitening your teeth at some point in your life. Perhaps an at-home teeth whitening kit with hydrogen peroxide seemed most appealing to you. Or maybe a whitening toothpaste suited your groove better. As you looked through the various options, you might have come across the idea of laser whitening and all its benefits. Despite this, you may have wondered if laser whitening is safe.
On paper, laser whitening appears to be quite effective when it comes to teeth whitening. For instance, those who swear by it can mention how laser whitening helps them achieve their goals more quickly. Others may claim it whitens teeth more successfully than other solutions in removing stains. However, the procedure has drawbacks, like different ways to whiten teeth. Some might, for instance, criticize its efficacy by asking if laser tooth whitening works. Others might be curious about the pain associated with laser teeth whitening, raising concerns about its precise level of safety.
Is laser tooth whitening safe, then? We may need to comprehend the operation of laser teeth whitening and the origins of these drawbacks to respond to this query.
Is Laser Teeth Whitening Safe?
Do laser teeth whitening procedures have any drawbacks now that we understand how they work? However, the issues are the same as with other whitening treatments. For starters, due to the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the peroxide gel, your teeth may feel sensitive after the procedure. In addition, despite the measures, some of the gel may still find its way to your gums and irritate them.
Laser teeth whitening is often less harmful to the teeth than other whitening techniques. You receive less abrasive enamel wear than you would with other techniques like act/teeth-whitening-procedure/activated charcoal because it targets the accumulated pore particles. Furthermore, laser tooth whitening is effective. The only drawback is that you must have frequent teeth whitening to keep your smile looking bright.
How safe is laser teeth whitening, then? Calculating your out-of-pocket spending is, in fact, necessary.
How To Maintain Your Whitened Teeth
Avoid acidic foods and drinks: As most people know, whitening procedures can cause patients' teeth to become sensitive and fragile over time. When dealing with acidic meals and beverages, this is particularly true. In addition, following the consumption of such, pain is not unusual. Therefore, for roughly a week or two, limit or stay away from acidic meals and beverages. These examples are lemonade, vinegar, booze, citrus fruits, and tomatoes.
Dark beverages and foods: Alcohol, coffee, dark fruits, and black teas are a few examples of dark, staining liquids that can damage your perfectly white teeth. After whitening, sodas and sports drinks are also dangerous. If you must eat these, choose a straw to limit contact with your teeth as much as possible. Also, avoid meals with deeper hues like cranberries, lollipops, candies, popsicles, and other brightly- or deeply-colored food.
If your teeth whitening treatment lasts as long as possible, you must avoid staining food and beverages.
High sugar: Even though most of us enjoy sugar, avoiding too sugary foods is essential because even after teeth-whitening treatment, the teeth still experience sensitivity. For healthy teeth, it is necessary to maintain a diet that is rich in non-sugary foods. However, everything should always be consumed in moderation, especially if you have sensitive teeth or have just whitened your teeth.
In conclusion, those seeking brighter, whiter teeth will find whitening a fantastic dental therapy. However, adhering to a few easy rules following the procedure is essential to ensure your sensitive teeth are best-taken care of and remain attractive for months to come.
What you eat and drink after the surgery is essential, especially in the early post-treatment weeks. One can quickly resume their regular diet because the sensitivity will probably decrease or go away. Some people, however, avoid staining foods and beverages even after their whitening treatment has started to fade.
It would help if you determined whether the condition of your teeth is significant enough to warrant temporary abstinence from a particular food or beverage.
After Whitening, Do Your Teeth Have Vertical lines?
Have you ever had vertical lines on your teeth after whitening? You're not the only one who worries about it. You don't anticipate getting it after teeth whitening. If anything, you should avoid it significantly if they affect your front teeth. After all, most people who get their teeth whitened fear having unevenly whitened teeth. However, even though they may be ugly, these white lines could provide information about your oral hygiene. So what do your visible tooth lines signify, assuming you have them?
First, it's essential to understand that teeth whitening only brightens teeth to an already-existing shade. And for the most part, the color of our teeth isn't uniform. There may be lighter places than others. Therefore, these more delicate areas tend to stand out more if you whiten your teeth all at once. We also advise having your teeth whitened by a professional for this reason. To ensure that your teeth are evenly whitened, your dentist can keep an eye on the regions that require extra whitening.
But what do they indicate if you notice these vertical lines on your teeth after whitening?
The Visible Lines On Your Teeth Were Always There
Many factors can cause vertical lines to appear on your teeth after teeth whitening. For example, the enamel may be thinner on some of your teeth. Or perhaps the white lines warn that your teeth may be mineral deficient. Whatever the cause, it's evident that those visible lines in your teeth had always been.
So, what exactly happened? We previously discussed how teeth whitening could make the lighter parts of your teeth stand out more. In some ways, this can be a good thing. These white lines can indicate if something is wrong with your teeth. And, as a result, what you can do to fix it.
So, what usually causes these white lines? They are as follows:
- Thinning tooth enamel. Our dentin is yellow by nature. When our tooth enamel deteriorates, it gradually exposes the dentin, giving it a yellowish hue. It's common to notice your teeth turning yellow as you age. If you see that some of your teeth turn white while others turn yellow after whitening, this could indicate that you have thin tooth enamel.
- Hypocalcification. When your tooth enamel loses enough minerals, it goes through a process known as hypo-calcification. This can happen if you do not maintain your oral hygiene routine. Also, post-whitening can make these areas stand out even more because it has a chalky white appearance.
- Tooth dehydration. Your dentist may apply a hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth during professional teeth whitening. The hydrogen peroxide opens the pores in your enamel by allowing the stain-causing particles to be broken down and your teeth to be efficiently whitened. However, post-whitening can dehydrate your teeth in segments, leaving white marks. In contrast to the first two causes, tooth dehydration is a temporary side effect.
Are Your Teeth Sensitive After Whitening?
Teeth sensitivity can result from teeth whitening treatments. Dental professionals recommend desensitizing toothpaste, avoiding sugary and acidic foods and drinks, and consulting your dentist for possible treatment.
How Do I Treat Sensitive Teeth After Whitening?
Teeth can become sensitive following whitening treatments. If this happens to you, you have many options to consider to alleviate your discomfort or pain. Among them are the following:
- Chewing gum. Chewing gum has been shown in studies to increase saliva production significantly. Furthermore, such actions can help distract people with sensitive teeth from discomfort.
- Using toothpaste formulated for people with sensitive teeth. The toothpaste with potassium nitrate has been carefully developed for sensitive teeth. This ingredient is excellent for alleviating the discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity.
- Avoid using whitening products or treatments for a while. Then, if the sensitivity persists, take a break from whitening products.