A sparkling smile gives self-confidence, helps to establish social contacts and even promotes work progress. Beautiful teeth in most people are associated with their whiteness, but the natural shade of enamel differs significantly from such representations. It can be adjusted, and there are several methods for this.
How to whiten teeth?
All options for changing the color of enamel are divided into 2 groups – home and professional. The most effective methods of teeth whitening are practiced only in dental clinics, but their cost is significantly higher than with independent procedures. When choosing a technology, it is important to be guided not only by the end result, but by its safety and aggressiveness towards enamel.
How many shades can you whiten your teeth?
There is no universal answer to the question posed. Teeth whitening is performed only on an individual basis. Its effectiveness depends on several factors:
- applied methods;
- experience and qualifications of the dentist;
- current shade of enamel;
- quality of teeth, their susceptibility to whitening;
- causes of darkening;
- the presence and number of fillings;
- a person’s lifestyle;
- genetic features.
If necessary, and the correct use of the most effective technologies, it is possible to whiten tooth enamel by 14-15 shades, but such drastic measures are extremely rarely required. The standard approach involves lightening while maintaining naturalness to avoid the “toilet” effect. In most cases, a color shift of 2-5 shades is considered sufficient.
Teeth whitening – harm
The natural tone of the enamel is close to light brown or yellow. Any, even the most gentle and professional teeth whitening damages it. Enamel becomes thinner, which increases sensitivity, increases the risk of developing caries and other diseases of the oral cavity. The harm of teeth whitening when using modern and soft methods is minimal, but present. For this reason, hygienists advise not to abuse the procedure.
How often can teeth be whitened?
Do not confuse the manipulation in question with professional cleaning, which should be performed regularly. Teeth whitening is recommended no more than once every 2-3 years. It is better to contact the dentist less often on this issue, but simply monitor the preservation of the result by consuming less coloring foods and drinks, using special pastes and rinses. Whitening of sensitive teeth is performed even less frequently. The optimal frequency is 1 time in 5-7 years.
Teeth whitening at home
It will not work to achieve pronounced results on your own, you do not need to believe in marketing tricks. Home cosmetic teeth whitening provides enamel lightening by 0.5-1 tone maximum. There are safe color changing techniques, and aggressive options. It is better to refuse the latter, because irreparable harm will be done to hard tissues.
Teeth whitening strips
This is the most popular, inexpensive and simple method of home enamel lightening with average efficiency. The strips are thin and very flexible plates for teeth whitening, impregnated with a special liquid. It contains mainly hydrogen peroxide and urea. When placed on the surface of the tooth, oxygen ions begin to be actively produced, which destroy organic pigments, penetrating into the enamel. The concentration of peroxide is gentle, so little harm is done to hard tissues.
Whitening strips for teeth are attached to the enamel 1-3 times a day for a certain period of time (according to the instructions). For a noticeable result, it is important to complete the entire course, which lasts 2-4 weeks. The plates help well to get rid of the darkening caused by external conditions – the consumption of tea, coffee, smoking. In such cases, whitening up to 5 shades can be expected. In other situations, the enamel brightens by 1-1.5 tones maximum.
Caps for teeth whitening
There are 3 types of described devices:
- Individual caps. They are made in the dental laboratory after taking impressions from the patient. In parallel, the doctor selects the individual composition of the gel for filling caps, with the optimal concentration. This is the best technology for whitening your teeth at home, because the appliances adhere perfectly to the enamel without affecting the surrounding tissues. Clarification occurs evenly and correctly.
- Thermoplastic caps. In this case, the gel is also selected by the dentist, but universal devices are used. Thermoplastic caps are pre-placed in hot water. They soften, and after putting on, they take the form of a dentition. The principle of operation is similar – a person puts on caps for a certain time (up to 8 hours), during this period the enamel is lightened. The course is up to 1 month.
- Pharmaceutical products for teeth whitening. Standard inexpensive set, including mouthguards and active gel. Cheapness is its only advantage. Such caps may not fit snugly against the enamel, because the dentition is different for everyone. The gel may leak out, not reach the surface of the teeth, have too low or high concentration. Complications of using these products can be chemical burns, uneven lightening, damage to the enamel.
Teeth whitening system
For home use, special kits are also sold. Examples are teeth whitening Smile, Global White and others. They include toothpaste, retractor, brightening gel with a brush or cap, strips, sets are variable. This is an effective option for whitening teeth if the cause of darkening is excessive use of tobacco, tea, chocolate or coffee. For 1-1.5 months of the course, you can lighten the enamel by 1-2 tones. In other cases, the efficiency of the systems is low.
Before using the presented kits, it is advisable to consult a dentist. Teeth whitening with a system is fraught with a significant increase in the sensitivity of enamel, an acute reaction to cold and heat, and sweet foods. During the course, it is necessary to choose high-quality basic care, it may be necessary to change the brush and daily paste, a therapeutic soothing rinse.
Tooth whitening powder
The described type of oral care products is minimally popular due to inconvenience in use. Powder for teeth whitening is advisable to use if you need to slightly lighten the enamel. Its limit is 1 tone, often less. Tooth powder scratches the surface, so it is better to use it 1-2 times in 7-8 days. It is undesirable to use this remedy continuously.
Teeth whitening pencil
The name of the device in question is not very accurate. Teeth whitening is provided by applying the gel, which is placed in a tube, like a felt-tip pen, with a dense elastic brush at the end. Such pencils are inexpensive, easy to use, but produce a weak effect. Teeth whitening at home using this technology will help to lighten the enamel by 0.5-1 tone.
The method of application is simple – you need to carry out oral hygiene, smile broadly, apply the gel with a brush and wait a few minutes, then rinse the surface with clean water. During a course of teeth whitening, their sensitivity may increase. It is important to limit the consumption of cold and hot, buy a gentle care product and a soft brush.
Teeth whitening paste
Most manufacturers of oral products produce this product. The paste is positioned as home teeth whitening without harm to enamel, because it contains only gentle components that do not destroy hard tissues. The tool will help lighten the enamel by 1-2 tones, but the result will have to wait for several months. There are pastes for daily use and occasional use (1-3 times a week). Before buying, it is better to consult a hygienist and choose the best option.
Folk remedies for teeth whitening
On the network you can find many recipes that promise a pronounced lightening of the enamel after the first procedure. No folk methods of teeth whitening produce such an effect, and some methods are even dangerous. Professionals do not advise “handicraft” enamel clarification, because it often does more harm than good. When deciding on such whitening of darkened teeth, it is important to take precautions and not abuse the procedures. Options:
- Hydrogen peroxide. It is strictly forbidden to apply pure peroxide, as indicated in some recipes, as this will cause burns to surrounding tissues. It is permissible to rinse your mouth daily with a 3% peroxide solution.
- Teeth whitening with activated charcoal. Brushing with a powdered tablet will help remove surface stains from coffee, tobacco, tea, chocolate. This is an aggressive technique that scratches the enamel, so you can use it no more than 1 time per month.
- Lemon juice, vinegar, malic acid and the like. The options under consideration can lighten the enamel by 1-3 tones, but they will do much more harm. Acids act aggressively on tissues and can lead to burns. It is better to refuse such recipes.
- Teeth whitening with baking soda. Another scratchy way to lighten the enamel. Soda does a good job of removing dirt, but it is better not to be zealous with it. It is permissible to mix the product with toothpaste once every 2 weeks and carry out thorough oral hygiene. Enamel cannot be treated with pure powder.
- Essential oil of tea tree. Gentle technique that does not harm the enamel. You just need to moisten the brush with 1 drop of ether and brush your teeth with it after basic hygiene, rinse your mouth well. The only negative is that allergies can occur.
Professional teeth whitening
Modern hygienists offer effective ways to lighten the enamel even with severe darkening. Teeth whitening in dentistry will help remove congenital and acquired (for example, after antibiotics) yellowness, change the color by 10-15 shades. With the right technology and concentration of active substances, the procedure will cause minimal damage to the enamel and surrounding tissues, and the result will last a long time.
Mechanical teeth whitening
The described technique slightly brightens the enamel, but is not cosmetic. Specified teeth whitening by a dentist is a professional cleaning. With the help of a high-pressure soda solution, the specialist removes hard and soft plaque. Particularly “stubborn” deposits are removed with a tool. This manipulation should be performed once every 6-12 months, it is included in the list of mandatory hygiene procedures. There will be no strong lightening of the enamel, up to 0.5 tone.
Laser teeth whitening
The most expensive and effective way to achieve the desired result. This is a safe teeth whitening, because the active ingredients work exclusively with the pigment, without affecting the mucous membranes, gums, hard tissues. A special composition with an oxidizing agent is applied to the enamel, which is activated by laser irradiation. Oxygen molecules are released, penetrating into the deep dentine layers and removing the pigment. Teeth whitening is performed separately for each element, professional cleaning is preliminarily carried out.
It takes 1-2 treatments to achieve the desired result. If you follow all the recommendations of the hygienist, the effect will last about 5 years. Sometimes additional correction is required, for example, if there are old fillings of an unacceptable shade. Contraindications for laser whitening:
- minor age;
- inflammation in the oral cavity;
- enamel erosion;
- enlarged pulp.
Zoom Teeth Whitening
An ideal choice if we consider the ratio of quality, result, safety and cost of manipulation. Zoom 4 teeth whitening is performed using a special gel based on a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide. After isolating the mucous membranes and gums from exposure, the substance is carefully and evenly applied to the enamel. To activate the gel and release oxygen, it is irradiated with a special lamp, a source of “cold light”.
Zoom 4 whitening is considered one of the most gentle, but it produces a pronounced and lasting effect that lasts for several years. If there are fillings in the treatment area, they will have to be replaced due to the difference in color. Contraindications to the use of this technology are similar to laser manipulation. It is undesirable to use such teeth whitening with chips and cracks in the enamel.