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At Home Dental Whitening

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 21 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
At Home Dental Whitening

As far as appearance goes, healthy white teeth can make a significant difference to a person's overall appearance as well as boosting confidence levels. Professional teeth whitening procedures have become a very popular dental treatment, and can be very costly. However, there are some inexpensive methods that can be used at home to whiten the colour of your teeth.

Why Whiten Teeth?

It's well known that in many walks of life appearances do count. People whiten there teeth for many reasons, either to enhance their appearance socially, to have a more polished professional appearance at work, or to simply to make themselves feel better. Hiding your smile takes a conscious effort, and can make you seem unsociable, even if you're not. Teeth whitening can bolster the natural colour of teeth giving a healthier appearance, and it can also eliminate stains and discolouration that are noticeable when you smile.

There are very few people that have naturally glowing white teeth. For most people their teeth may be white but not the brilliant white seen on celebrities. Everyone is different; some people think that brilliant white teeth look unnatural and other people see them as sign of health and vitality. Consuming tea, coffee, wine and tobacco will all stain teeth, and teeth will become naturally less white with the ageing process. Teeth whitening can help deal with all of these problems.

Professional Treatments or At Home Whitening

At home dental whitening treatments can make a significant difference to the colour of teeth. Some people will use these treatments after they have had professional dental whitening treatments from their own dentists. A dentist will be able to up the whitening quota significantly more than the level that at home teeth whitening products can achieve.

Dentists will have many more types of whitening treatments available than can be purchased in shops. For instance a dentist can use laser whitening or professional bleaching. This is not to say that at home teeth whitening products do not work. But for many people they are an add-on product used after having their teeth professionally whitened.

At Home Dental Whitening Products

Walk into any supermarket and you will see a range of different products designed to whiten teeth. Gels, toothpastes and whitening kits will all have varying degrees of success when it comes to getting those teeth pearly white. Many of these products will not whiten teeth but may be helpful in removing stains. Professional dental advice should be taken when considering any type of at home dental whitening treatment.

Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes have been on the market for a number of years and many are very expensive compared to normal toothpastes. Many will be advertised specifically as teeth whitening products. But the reality of these products is sometimes not up to the advertising hype. However, there are a few that will be very good at eliminating stains on teeth and discolouration.

If you are considering buying expensive whitening toothpastes always make sure that there is an accreditation from the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) marked on the packaging. This will act as guarantee that the claims made on the packaging have been scientifically tested by the BDHF.

Whitening Kits

Whitening kits that are sold in shops are also a very popular method of enhancing the natural colour of teeth. They are very simple to use and the process involves a bleaching agent that is placed in a rubber mould and held over the teeth. The process usually takes around 30 minutes but some are designed to be left in the mouth overnight.

Again, these kits will not be as effective as professional dental whitening procedures. This is due to the levels of hydrogen peroxide found in the whitening product. The amount of hydrogen peroxide is much lower in home kits than that used by a dentist. There may be a small change in the colour of the teeth and it may help to eliminate stains and discolouration.

Side Effects of At Home Whitening Products

Many of these products will contain abrasive agents such as weak acids in order to whiten the teeth. Regular use over a prolonged period of time can damage tooth enamel and in some cases can cause injury to the gums as well causing ulcers and blisters.

In the short term, at home dental whitening products may be a good quick fix procedure to eliminate stains to the teeth and slightly enhance the whiteness level. However, professional whitening by a dentist is the safest way to enhance the appearance and whiteness of teeth.

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