Whitening Your Teeth At Home
Having beautiful pearly-white teeth has been the ambition of the American citizen since early in the 20th century, and techniques for achieving this goal have varied widely. From complex regimens involving the use of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to hokey snake-oil treatments like oil pulling, there’s never been a shortage of ideas of how to best achieve the perfect white smile. To help clear the air we’ve put together this guide on whitening your teeth at home to help ensure that this is done safely and without causing damage.
First: Why Are My Teeth Discolored?
The first step to helping maintain beautiful white teeth at home is understanding why your teeth become stained in the first place, a piece of information that can also help you determine if whitening your teeth at home is the right approach. Teeth become stained when the enamel is exposed to agents like coffee, tea, or other substances that impart a stain into the surface of the teeth. This kind of staining can be reversed with the use of over-the-counter cleaning agents, or in severe cases, with the help of your dentist. If the stain is actually forming inside the tooth, usually as a result of decay, the only way to reverse it is with the help of your dentist. If you’re suffering from a surface stain, read on! Otherwise, make an appointment with your dentist.
What Are My Home Whitening Options?
The first thing to understand is that the majority of whitening agents you can buy at the store all contain one central ingredient, peroxide, an agent known for its bleaching powers. Whether you’re buying whitening strips, a whitening gel, or a whitening toothpaste, you’re essentially buying the exact same thing in different forms. This isn’t to say there isn’t a difference in technique, however. Whitening toothpaste is great for maintenance, but not for already embedded stains, while strips and gels are best used for dealing with stubborn stains that have formed over time. Another option that exists is to get a stronger at-home whitening agent from your dentist, these are sent home in forms that you place on your teeth for a designated amount of time. It’s essential that you not go over the time indicated by your dentist as these are strong agents that can damage your teeth if you leave them on too long.
What About Deeper Stains? Can I Treat These At Home?
If the stain in your teeth has gotten into the root or into your dentin at home options are not going to be sufficient to restore color to your teeth. In some cases treatments, your dentist has available will be able to treat these and restore a healthy color to your teeth, in others it may be necessary to get cosmetic dentistry to handle these concerns. Veneers are one example of cosmetic dentistry that may be used when your stains are too severe for whitening methods.
If you have stained teeth and are looking to return to a bright pearly smile, and you live in the Lees Summit area of Missouri, then contact Jacob Laudie Dental and make an appointment with Dr. Laudie. They have extensive experience in teeth whitening procedures and will be able to advise you on your best approach after a consultation.