Tooth bleaching (or tooth whitening, as it is more popularly known) is now the go-to method of making teeth brighter. Decades earlier, tooth bleaching wasn’t as pervasive in the society as it is now, but times have changed and so have dentistry and dental care.
What is it tooth bleaching though, and what does it entail? It’s a medium you can use to lighten your teeth and do away with discoloration and stains. That’s a very simple way to define it but many more factors come into play in the process of tooth bleaching.
There is a reason tooth bleaching is so popular in the long line of cosmetic dental procedures. For one, it considerably changes the look of teeth by improving them and giving them a brightness that can rarely ever be achieved using conventional means.
There are two prime methods of bleaching teeth that are available for you to choose from. Either of these two methods has some advantages over each other, but in the end, they are both great at keeping teeth bight and clean.
The tooth bleaching options at your disposal are in-office teeth whitening and at-home system. The former is performed by a dentist but the latter gives you the opportunity to try home remedies that attempt to achieve as great a result as what can be seen from the in-house method.
Both methods achieve great results though, so it’s up to you to consider the factors underlying them and make a decision on which of the two to choose. Listed below are some of the more important factors.
The Costs of Tooth Bleaching
When it comes to cost, in-house teeth whitening is more of a focus here because as you would expect, it’s considerably more expensive than at-home systems.
One reason why it’s so costly is that in-house teeth whitening is a procedure carried out under monitored conditions that guarantee safe use of bleaching gel. In other words, in-house systems give immediate and visible results.
By way of comparison, in-house teeth whitening on average cost anywhere between $650 to $1000, though the price is not carved in stone. It can be even more expensive, depending on the country or place you go for the treatment.
Tooth bleaching at home is cheaper, with over-the-counter bleaching strips even going for a slow as $70 or less. Take-home trays cost a little more at $400 but that’s still a few hundred dollars less than the in-house alternative.
The Side Effects of Tooth Bleaching
Tooth bleaching has side effects that vary, but they are nothing to be alarmed about. Professional or in-house tooth whitening, in particular, has very little side effects. Patients may experience an increase in tooth sensitivity but because of the use of superior teeth whitening products, any side effects are merely temporary. The main reason for this sensation is because the dentin layer is exposed during the tooth bleaching process.
Some patients prefer at-home remedies or over-the-counter products, and even though there is nothing wrong with such products, the risk of side effects is greater here than the in-house method.
The simple reason for this is because there is a tendency for at-home remedies to applied improperly because they will most likely be utilized by non-professionals.
Using it improperly or applying the remedy and leaving it on for too long can have side effects that range from an increase in tooth sensitivity to irritation.
Sometimes, the side effects could also lead to color or shade of teeth that is not what is desired, mainly because internal tooth discoloration negates any truly noticeable change in color even after whitening; but this is not often the case.
Tooth Bleaching at Home
The more popular in-house tooth whitening method often overshadows at-home remedies, but that’s not to say the latter is to be neglected. Consider this figure and you’ll have an idea of this means. In the year 2015, over $1.4 billion was spent by Americans on at-home remedies.
That’s a very large number and if you consider the fact that at-home remedy is cheaper and easier, that makes it a choice favorite of many people. And you don’t need to have any prior medical experience to utilize it.
What’s more, the availability of natural products makes at-home remedy more accessible. There are also people out there who don’t fancy using chemicals on their teeth. For such people, home remedies are more suitable.
There are many ways to whiten your teeth with natural products. Oil pulling is at the top of the list, having its origins in India. Oil pulling is as simple as swishing oil in your mouth to kill off any bacteria that could worsen to plaque and then yellow teeth.
Sunflower – or sesame oil are prime choices to use here. You can use coconut oil, particularly because of its extra health benefits and pleasant taste.
Brushing with baking soda is another popular and effective home remedy, particularly because of its natural whitening properties. It’s also a mild abrasive, which just means its efficient in scrubbing away even stubborn stains on teeth.
Hydrogen peroxide has to be on this list too because it has been long proven to be a natural bleaching agent that’s very potent in killing bacteria. Most commercial whitening products even contain it.
Best Ways to Bleach Teeth at Home
White strips should be part and parcel of anyone’s dental health care kit. Applying them is very easy, as long as you follow instructions properly. Misusing them means you risk damage to your gums.
1. Brush your teeth to make sure there is no leftover food or bacteria on them before applying the strips. Doing otherwise means you could trap the food particles after you apply the strips.
2. Take the strips out and prepare them. Be sure you are applying the right strip to the right location.
3. Apply the strips by placing the gel-coated side on the surface of your teeth. Be sure the strips conceal your teeth completely. Be mindful of uneven areas too.
4. Be patient until the strips have the desired effect. Different brands list out the amount of time you need to leave the strips applied, but in general, 30 minutes should suffice.
5. Once you peel off the strips and take them out, be aware that this is a process you will have to repeat more than once. Whitening strips need time to work and give you that bright color you seek. Apply the strips at least twice on a daily basis or as instructed. Do this for a minimum of 14 days and enjoy brighter looking teeth.
Tooth bleaching is another positive step taken in the direction of dental care and personal hygiene. The future will most likely reveal even more effective and user-friendly means of keeping teeth clean and bright, but for now, tooth bleaching is the best option available to everyone.