Is Teeth Whitening Guaranteed to Work?
No one wants to go through life with yellow teeth. Thus the high demand for teeth whitening treatments. Whether sought from a dentist or purchased over the counter, millions of Australians purchase dental whitening treatments every year.
But are all teeth whitening routines created equal? Are they guaranteed to work in the first place? Consider this your guide to the wild world of teeth whitening. We’ll be taking a look at popular over-the-counter products and dental procedures to give you an idea of how successful these popular, and often necessary, treatments are.
The Secret Behind Every Whitening Treatment
There is one thing many whitening treatments, whether over the counter or procured at the dentist, have. Enter carbamide peroxide. This compound, often applied as a gel, converts to hydrogen peroxide when applied to the teeth. The hydrogen peroxide breaks down large staining molecules on your teeth into smaller ones, which are then able to better reflect light, making your teeth appear whiter.
You’ll find these compounds with, for example, whitening trays or whitening treatments from your dentist’s office. Carbamide peroxide is effective at whitening your teeth but how effective it is often depends on how much carbamide peroxide is present in the solution. Over-the-counter whitening treatments are limited to 6% hydrogen peroxide (the equivalent to 18% carbamide peroxide) solution while a dental solution often contains 25% hydrogen peroxide.
Things to Keep in Mind
No whitening solution is ever really permanent. Your teeth can become discolored or stained thanks to the kinds of food and drinks you consume, such as berries or red wine. Smoking and certain medications can also stain your teeth as well. If you seek out whitening treatments, know that you’ll probably have to go back in a few months or so and repeat the treatment .
When using carbamide peroxide treatments, there’s a few other things you’ll also want to keep in mind. Applying hydrogen/carbamide peroxide to your gums or tongue can be an uncomfortable experience as well, due to the compound’s acidic qualities. This is why, when you visit a dentist for your whitening treatment, they cover all your gums, lips and cheeks so the whitening solution only touches your teeth.
You’ll want to be careful when using an over the counter solution. Often times, patients run into trouble because they leave the whitening solution on too long or use more than they are supposed to, causing undue tooth sensitivity. It’s always best to consult a dentist to talk about over the counter solutions they recommend or seek whitening treatments directly from a professional.
Whitening treatments have a high success rate, depending on the product and the sort of treatment. Always talk to a dentist before considering a whitening routine and always follow package directions if using an over-the-counter solution.
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