Types of Tooth Whitening

by admin on October 8, 2008

Tooth Whitening is just one of man’s many innovations to fulfill his cosmetic desires. No wonder, it is the most sought after cosmetic dental procedure. Tooth whitening has dawned in various forms and procedures (infact every possible form you can think of).

This article outlines the various methods of tooth whitening that are commonly used by people.

Tooth Whitening Gums: This has been extensively seen via advertising media in recent times. They contain bicarb soda which is also employed in the commercial tooth whitening toothpastes. However, they do not containing any bleaching agent which are regularly employed in most commercial tooth whitening systems which are effective.

You need to be chewing these gums for 20 minutes each four times a day for it to show any affect. Any visible whitening signs can take up to four weeks to appear.

Tooth Whitening Pastes: These are available over the counter and cost slightly above your normal toothpaste. They are to be use just like normal toothpaste and claim to have whitening effects.

However, many dentists have pointed out that they do not have any significant whitening and are just as good as normal toothpastes. People brushing with whitening pastes many times a day might be doing more damage than good to their teeth.

Tooth Whitening Strips: Most of these are available over the counter (except a few) and they contain peroxide (bleaching agent) in low concentrations (generally around 6-15%).

You have to wear these in your mouth for about an hour once/twice a day for a specified number of days. Different brands produce different results. Achieving 3 shades improvement is generally seen.

They are comfortable to wear, produce only slight discomfort upon talking and a good economical option for those who wish to achieve whiter teeth.

Tooth Whitening Trays: These come as the one-size-fits all whitening trays or custom fitted trays for the patient. The custom fitted trays are preferable since they tend to be more effective and easier to work with. This method requires wearing of the trays with whitening gel in the mouth for a fixed period and number of times each day. The gel contains a Carbamide Peroxide concentration of around 10%-15%. They have been shown to be reasonably effective in many cases although the one-size-fits-all has been often shown to be ineffective due to the improper contact of whitening gel and teeth.

In-Office Tooth Whitening: This is the most sought after cosmetic treatment for whitening teeth and also the most effective. In-office tooth whitening is carried out by professional dentists and includes popular procedures such as Zoom Whitening System and Britesmile. The dentist cleans the mouth and applies a protective gel around your mouth. A special gel containing peroxide is then applied on your teeth. A special light is used to activate this gel and it penetrates enamel and bleaches it turning your teeth white and hence this is also known as laser teeth whitening. There might be initial side effects which subside in a few days.

(Continue Reading: Pros and Cons of Tooth Whitening)

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