With the number of people who want whiter teeth increasing by the day, many have questions about whitening teeth at home. It is safe? In what ways can it be accomplished? Should I always consult a dentist before I go ahead and buy a kit?
To answer the first concern, whitening teeth at home can be a safe procedure, provided you take certain elementary precautions. First and foremost, make sure you visit your dentist before you purchase any commercially available whitening kit. If there is any reason why using these kits might not be suitable for you, the dentist can point this out.
Second, you must follow the instructions on the whitening kit correctly. Failure to follow instructions is the major reason why people end up with burned gums and other problems. Provided you follow the above two guidelines, there is no reason why whitening teeth at home should not be about as safe as getting it done at the dentist’s office.
Apart from using commercial kits or popular in-office techniques such as laser teeth whitening, there are some traditional remedies for teeth whitening that you might want to try out. Here are a few.
Create a paste of salt and lemon juice and rub it on to the teeth. This is known to help reduce the yellowish tint on the teeth.
Similarly, the white inner part of an orange peel is said to be useful in lightening the appearance of discolored teeth. You can also try combining dried orange peel with bay leaves to create a better whitening effect.
All the above remedies should be used frequently – it takes some time to see results.
There are commercially available whitening products and kits on the market. One thing to keep in mind is that bleaches using hydrogen peroxide (a very commonly used bleaching agent for teeth whitening) are not suitable for many people. Pregnant women should avoid using bleaches at all costs.
Likewise, heavy drinkers should avoid hydrogen peroxide because of the damage it can do to the body. People with sensitive gums or gum infections should not use these solutions either. The gum condition should be treated before attempting to whiten teeth.
While experts recommend that the percentage of bleach should not exceed 0.1%, many products contain as much as 3% bleach. Repeated use of such products may be dangerous.
When whitening teeth at home, leaving the tray with bleach on the teeth longer than recommended can result in damage to the teeth. The teeth may become extra sensitive because of nerve damage and cause considerable pain.
Those with sensitive teeth may find that whitening procedures make the teeth even more sensitive. It may be useful to brush with a medicated tooth paste after the bleaching process to remove any residual bleach in the mouth. This will lessen the pain and sensitivity, although the pain usually goes away on its own in a few days.
For all these reasons, it it best to consult a dentist before whitening teeth at home. He can assist you in choosing the right teeth whitening system and instruct you on how to use it correctly so that the risks associated with it are truly minimized.
Common alternate terms and spellings include: teeth whiting, teeth whiteing, teeth whitning, bleaching teeth, yellow teeth, teeth whiter