Teeth whitening and its growing popularity

When we were born without teeth, people around us hoped for healthy teeth growth. We had them white, and before growing into adults, the teeth had turned to other colours we knew nothing about.

When our teeth change colour, it is due to many factors including the food we eat daily. Because of that, many people have taken it upon themselves to whiten their teeth. This has indeed become a popular practice everywhere. 

As much as we're happy that there are teeth whitening options, we should also be concerned that many products are beginning to use ingredients that may be harmful. These teeth whitening brands come up with products that aren't FDA-approved. If they aren't approved, they are potentially harmful to health. But if they are approved, it means that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has investigated all the ingredients to be sure that they are safe for human use. 

Applying the whitener 

Handling your teeth needs professional work. Dentists usually add some peroxide and apply the teeth whiteners on the best surface. While dentists are conscious of the fact that you want your teeth to be whitened, they also want you to be safe. They apply the right amount of whitener so that it can retain your health and make your teeth beautiful. Overdoses aren't proper for the body, so is over-applying a teeth whitener. Professional application is extremely important. 

The right teeth whitener

Apart from identifying how to apply the whitener, the professional would know the right product for your teeth. Over-the-counter whiteners may be good, but you need proper directions on how to use them. If you aren't interested in seeing a professional, it's advisable to consult a reliable website like Dentally or online reviews from dentists. There, you'll have the best tooth whitening kits reviewed by dentists. That way, you'll be sure of what product to use and how to use it. Many whiteners contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. 

Home teeth whitening 

Apart from getting advice on what types of whiteners to use, there are some tips for getting your teeth whitened at home. When you want to try it at home, you need to get the right whitening kit suitable for you. There are different kinds of products in kits that you can use at home. Special products recommended shouldn't be used with products that have a contrary function. If a dentist recommends that you use a certain type of toothpaste, use only that. Here are is your list for a complete teeth whitening kit: 

  1. White strips with light: Apply strips for about an hour and let them stay on your teeth. With a low dosage of hydrogen peroxide in the strips, your teeth would be whitened gently. After this, you apply the blue light for 10 minutes. The lights help you to see the stains properly and help to boost the whitening process. 
  2. Toothpaste and whitening gel combination: This combination strengthens the enamel and fights cavities. It is also possible to combine this with regular toothpaste to clean the surface properly. 
  3. Carbamide peroxide: This is a combination of urea and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the carbamide peroxide to your mouth tray and turn on the LED light. 
  4. Baking soda: Research on baking soda shows that it is safe for dental tissues. It poses no harm to the body, and it is great for cleaning the mouth and whitening the teeth.  Baking soda also fights bacteria in the mouth. 
  5. Tray: Whitening also works when a person wears a fitted tray that contains carbamide peroxide. It can stay on the teeth for up to 4 hours a day. 

The lights used in a whitening kit are for something called "light accelerated bleaching". It is believed that the energy from the light helps to improve the bleaching of the teeth, but research says that it can't stand alone, except with peroxide products. 

Maintaining white teeth 

After you may have whitened your teeth, it's important to maintain their whiteness. These are what you should do:

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice daily. This helps to make your teeth fresh for the day and to brush out all stains that may have settled in. 
  2. Floss regularly. When you notice a piece of food on your teeth, don't just lick it out with your tongue. Take it out with floss. 
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste which is specially made for whitening the teeth. 

Whitening takes a lot more than simply applying some chemicals to make them white. It also involves carefully applying these products with wisdom and knowing what works best for your teeth. 

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.