At Home Whitening | Dental Treatment Guide

In today's society, there is an increasing demand for a white, bright smile and there is now a way to try and get such a result at home. These teeth whitening products are widely available on the market and are often used to boost self-confidence and improve oral appearance. Whitening merchandise is available using a number of different methods from specialised toothpastes to teeth strips.

The process of at home tooth whitening involves bleaching the teeth to lighten their natural colour. The bleach is generally made up of peroxide and this can be carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. Both act by breaking down dirt and plaque that is present on the surface enamel.

Potential tooth discolouration causes

Surface build-ups are often the cause of discolouration and result from lifestyle choices such as the consumption of coffee and red wine or smoking.

Another cause of discolouration is more natural, and that is age. As people progress through life, the teeth tend to darken. This is often due to longer, accumulating exposure to certain foods and drinks along with other factors. As well as these lifestyle causes fillings, tooth decay and the accumulation of tartar through life are also significant contributors to the discolouration of teeth. Also certain medicinal products or disease can result in tooth discolouration.

How do home whitening kits work?

The fundamental ingredient in most home whitening products is peroxide. This is a safe bleaching constituent that creates small bubbles on the tooth's surface enamel that breaks down and removes stains. The general rule of thumb with whitening products is that teeth will become lighter with a higher concentration of peroxide or if the product is left on your teeth for a longer period of time. However, a resulting problem from these aspects is that the bleach can cause enamel deterioration leading to tooth sensitivity.

Over-the-Counter Whitening Kits

Most pharmacies sell whitening kits without the need for a prescription. The general contents of these kits are a tube of the bleaching gel itself as well as a mouth tray that is composed of rubber to fit into your mouth. Once the gel is placed into the tray and it is inserted, you must leave it for about half an hour.

The whitening process does not show significant whitening after one treatment. Instead, the whitening is gradual and takes a number of treatments over time.

You must be sure to look at how much peroxide is in the whitening product before you use it. Guidelines state that home kits are only allowed to contain 0.1% of peroxide as a maximum concentration. However, in 2008 it was noted that many products contained about 100 times more than this making it vital to choose a reputable product.

At home whitening results

The results that are obtained from at home whitening treatments are extremely variable depending on the person. This is due to a varying extent of discolouration as well as general lifestyle habits. If someone smokes, they will require more treatments that someone who does not smoke. It is also significantly more likely that the whiteness of the teeth will not last if that person continues to smoke.

Generally speaking, better results can be acquired from professional treatments performed by a dentist. However, whichever option you opt for, you should discuss it with your dentist first to ensure you are a suitable candidate.

Further Information about Teeth Whitening at Home

For more info visit the Guide to Tooth whitening