A lot is being written about teeth whitening on the internet. Many of those things are true, and many others go from inaccurate to merely irresponsible. In this article, we plan to address teeth whitening: What works and what doesn’t.

Yellow teeth

Your teeth can lose their pearly white shine because of everyday use. From drinking beverages with a dark color such as tea, coffee, sodas to chewing any kind of food. Let us explain: The reason teeth turn yellow is because of how thick or thin the enamel in the tooth is.

The thicker the enamel, the more pearly white teeth, because the more it will cover the dentin (which is yellow and just below your enamel). So aging, genetics and everyday use can wear out your enamel, making it thinner, and in turn making your dentin start to show a bit more.

Although it might sound shocking, it’s completely normal and can be easily taken care of. Good dental health that encompasses the adequate technique of brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, flossing, and visits to the dentist will do wonders to keep your teeth healthy and as white as possible.

Teeth whitening methods

As for teeth whitening, the American Dental Association considers two methods:

  • The use of a bleaching product that penetrates through the enamel and bleaches the yellowy dentin.
  • The use of abrasive methods that remove the superficial stains on the surface of the enamel.

The latter is to be used with care and consideration because the use of chemicals that produce a long-lasting and effective whitening should be recommended by dental professionals.

The basis of using abrasive based whitening comes with a problem: It only works on superficial stains and the chemicals won’t touch the dentin below the enamel. Incorrect application of these substances can result in gum disease.

Whitening toothpaste does not work

Very few dentists recommend whitening toothpaste, mainly because of the fact that they don’t work. They have little to no impact in the whitening of your teeth. Effective and professional whitening substances are applied to the teeth for longer periods of time (from 20 minutes to two hours) while brushing your teeth is usually done in a quick manner.

Whitening strips

Whitening strips contain carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. These chemicals produce side effects like tooth sensitivity, as they must penetrate the enamel and reach the dentin to do their work from the inside-out. Strips can be applied in an incorrect manner and result in gum irritation, so experts recommend whitening trays instead of strips.

Do not use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash

Experts in dental health warn against this practice because when this substance comes in contact with teeth and gums, they create a chemical process called “free radical reactions” that make living tissue age faster.

In summary

If you want pearly white teeth, you can either do it by yourself with the consultation of a specialist during your routine check-up in a slow process, or you can have a more expedite pathway to an impressive white smile by visiting a dentist with the sole intention of whitening your teeth.