8 treatments to whiten your teeth

There are several teeth whitening options that can be done at the dentist’s office or at home, such as laser treatment, use of whitening toothpastes or use of trays, for example, in which substances such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide are used to whiten the teeth.

The yellowing of teeth can be attributed to several factors such as genetics, age which can lead to the wear of tooth enamel exposing the more yellow dentin, use of antibiotics, high levels of fluoride or developmental disorders, as well as smoking or dark drinks such as coffee or soft drinks.

Regardless of the method used, effective and safe teeth whitening should be recommended by a dentist, because it is important to evaluate each person’s teeth individually, as they can pose risks such as increased tooth sensitivity, gum irritation or softening of the tooth surface, for example.

How to whiten your teeth

Some of the most popular options for whitening teeth include:

1. Laser whitening

Laser whitening is performed by the dentist, in the office, and is done by applying highly concentrated whitening substances to the teeth, which are much stronger than home kits, and then the laser is applied in the form of pulsed light, generating heat, accelerating and intensifying the whitening process.

This treatment is the fastest way to whiten your teeth and the results are instantaneous, as your teeth become whiter from the first session, but 1 to 3 sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired results.

2. Whitening with a tray

Teeth whitening with a tray can be done at home, using a silicone tray, created by the dentist, so that the person can use it with a whitening gel based on substances such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.

This treatment produces excellent results, but slower, requiring the use of the mold for a few hours a day or night, for about 2 weeks, and should be guided by the dentist who should indicate the quantity of product to be used and the treatment time.

3. Whitening with toothpaste

Teeth whitening with toothpaste can be done at home, daily, with each brushing, allowing the color of the teeth to be lightened by about one or two shades.

Whitening toothpastes typically contain low amounts of whitening agents such as carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide or sodium citrate, which react chemically with the teeth, or they may contain silica, calcium carbonate or alumina, which help remove stubborn stains, but in a more abrasive way.

These toothpastes should be recommended by your dentist, who should also advise you on how to use them and for how long.

4. Teeth whitening strips

Teeth whitening strips dispense a thin layer of hydrogen peroxide gel onto plastic strips molded to fit the surfaces of your teeth, resulting in teeth whitening of one or two shades.

Generally, the strips are used for 30 minutes after brushing your teeth, and their use should be done under the guidance of your dentist, as they can cause sensitivity in the teeth or irritation or inflammation in the gums.

5. Whitening gel

Whitening gels contain peroxides, allowing teeth to be whitened by one or two shades and can be applied with a toothbrush directly to the tooth surface.

Other ways to use whitening gels are in the form of a tray, strips or dental whitening trays, which should be used individually according to the dentist’s instructions.

6. Whitening mouthwashes

Whitening mouthwashes contain oxygen sources such as hydrogen peroxide, which whiten teeth more slowly than other treatment options, and can take up to 3 months to see teeth lighten by one or two shades.

Generally, whitening mouthwashes can be used by swishing the solution around your mouth twice a day for about 60 seconds after brushing your teeth.

7. Whitening trays

Teeth whitening in tray form involves filling a tray with whitening gel containing carbamide peroxide, worn for 2 to 4 hours a day or overnight.

Generally, teeth whitening can be observed in a few days by one or two shades and the treatment time can be up to four weeks, as instructed by the dentist, depending on the degree of whitening desired.

8. Application of porcelain or resin veneers

Another form of treatment performed by the dentist that allows teeth to be whiter is the application of porcelain or resin veneers, also known as ‘contact lenses’, used to cover the teeth, which improves their appearance and covers imperfections, providing excellent and permanent results. Find out who can use them and the essential care for dental contact lenses .

Care during treatment

During teeth whitening treatment, some precautions are important to help achieve or maintain results, such as:

  • Brush your teeth normallywith toothpaste that does not contain dyes. See how to brush your teeth correctly ;
  • Use dental flossdaily;
  • Use the dye-free mouthwashrecommended by your dentist;
  • Avoid foods that stain your teeth,such as coffee, black tea, green tea, chocolate, red wine, sports drinks, soft drinks, or sauces such as tomato, soy, or curry, for example. For people who drink a lot of coffee or tea, a good tip is to mix the coffee with milk, or drink a little water right after to remove any traces of coffee that may be on your teeth;
  • Avoid consuming citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, tangerines, kiwis or strawberries, for example, as they can cause discomfort during treatment and your teeth may become more sensitive;
  • Avoid smokingto avoid staining your teeth;
  • Avoid using lipstickswith strong colors immediately after treatment as they can stain your teeth.

In addition, it is important to see your dentist regularly, have your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office once a year, called scaling, or use an electric toothbrush.

Possible risks

The risks of teeth whitening treatments include:

  • Increased tooth sensitivity;
  • Irritation or inflammation of the gums;
  • Roughness or softening of the surface of the teeth;
  • Increased demineralization of teeth;
  • Degradation of dental restorations;
  • Change in color of dental restorations.

Therefore, before using teeth whitening products, you should consult your dentist, who should indicate the most appropriate type of treatment for each person on an individual basis and advise you on how to carry out the treatment.

Who cannot have their teeth whitened?

Teeth whitening is contraindicated for pregnant women or people who have a build-up of plaque, tartar or gum inflammation. These are some of the reasons that reinforce the importance of consulting a dentist before having your teeth whitened.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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