When you go searching for answers about teeth whitening treatments, you are met with an avalanche of information. There are many myths and rumors about what teeth whitening methods work best and which should be avoided. It can quickly become overwhelming, and you may even make the wrong decision that affects your teeth strength. At Affinity Dental, we always recommend asking your dentist first about teeth whitening treatments before making a plan. Until you can meet with your dentist, we will address a few major questions patients have about teeth whitening below.
What Makes My Teeth Yellow?
While it’s true that regular drinking of coffee, soda, and tea can take away some of your pearly white shine, these stains can often be removed with regular brushing. The most common reason for the yellowing of the teeth is related to the dentin that sits underneath your enamel’s outside layer. As your enamel wears down from aging and other factors, this yellow layer gets closer to the surface.
Two Teeth Whitening Methods
According to the American Dental Association, teeth whitening can be achieved in two ways. First, by using a product that contains bleaching ingredients that penetrate the enamel to reach the dentin. Second, by abrasive methods that remove superficial stains on top of your enamel. This second method is controversial because it only works on surface stains and does not affect your dentin. If these methods are done incorrectly, you can damage the enamel and irritate your gums.
Should I Use Whitening Toothpaste?
Very few dentists recommend whitening toothpaste for lasting treatment. This is because any whitening chemicals present in whitening toothpaste are really only effective if they can be in contact with your teeth for a minimum of 20 minutes. If the toothpaste uses abrasives to whiten your teeth, the toothpaste harms your tooth structure without making a significant difference in your tooth color.
Should I Use Whitening Strips?
Bleaching products contain chemicals like carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. When using these chemicals in whitening strips, you can encounter side effects like tooth sensitivity or mouth sores on the gums. Doctors suggest using custom whitening trays instead to avoid gum contact and reach all curves of your teeth. Whitening strips are better teeth whitening treatments than toothpaste, but you should consult with your dentist on the best strips.
What’s the Safest Teeth Whitening Treatment?
In general, the safest of the teeth whitening treatments is to use whitening strips or gel as directed by your dentist and do it slowly. Extensive bleaching can damage your enamel, but controlled use should not have adverse effects. Using a low potency whitening gel over several weeks can help you get the best results.
Of course, you should always take consistent preventative care of your teeth. Brush twice a day for a full two minutes, and you can help keep surface stains in check.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
While these tips can help with some tooth and gum sensitivity issues, we know the best way of correcting the problem is to visit your dentist regularly. Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.