3 Common Teeth-Whitening Methods

3 Common Teeth-Whitening MethodsWhite teeth are a sign of a clean and healthy mouth. Not all stains are signs of decay or damage, but white teeth still offer a more attractive smile than teeth that have turned brown from coffee and black tea. There are many ways to whiten your teeth, but each one works a little differently.

Whitening Toothpaste

There are several whitening toothpastes that promise to remove stains immediately or after a few applications. Toothpaste normally includes an abrasive that helps scrape plaque off your teeth, but these kinds of whitening pastes use a stronger abrasive that can scrape off surface stains, too. These toothpastes can be very effective at what they do, but they can’t do anything about deeper dentin stains below the enamel and they can cause tooth sensitivity and gum damage if you use them too often. Still, using whitening toothpaste instead of your regular brand once per week is a good way to protect your smile.

OTC Bleaching Agents

Hydrogen peroxide can whiten your teeth the same way it lightens your hair color, and it bleaches dentin so the tooth whiteness goes beyond the surface. The problem is that peroxide is a dangerous chemical, and so the whitening strips and gels you can get over the counter aren’t very strong and need several applications to get you to the whiteness level you want. They can also lead to tooth sensitivity if you use them too much and can damage your gums if you aren’t careful.

Professional Tooth Whitening

Dentists at places like Community Dental Group offer tooth-whitening services that are much more effective than the stuff you apply at home because here it’s done under the watchful eye of a professional. We also use a laser set to a special frequency to make the peroxide gel work much faster than it does at home. The cost is higher because of the extra supervision and equipment, but it’s a good idea for when you need white teeth in a hurry.

Teeth whitening doesn’t last forever no matter what technique you use, since dentin continues to yellow with age and the foods and drinks you consume will continue to stain the enamel. Still, good oral care and consistent whitening sessions will keep your teeth gleaming for decades to come.