Whiten your teeth easily with DIY
Our smiles are the first things strangers encounter when we meet someone new. Of course, a bright, shiny smile will leave a lasting impression. On the contrary, a smile that shows yellowish stained teeth is very unattractive. Let’s take a look at why our teeth aren’t as white and shiny as they should be.
What are the causes of yellow teeth?
Normally, people have white, shiny teeth yet some people have yellow or even blackish teeth. Many have discoloration problems with all of their teeth, while others have the problem on merely certain teeth. Let’s take a look at the possible causes of stained teeth
- Regularly consuming foods and drinks which have color such as tea, coffee, candy, or smoking. These habits coupled with insufficient brushing will allow layers of food and bacteria to accumulate on the outer layer of the teeth. Tartar will gradually compile until discoloration occurs. Teeth may turn yellowish, brownish, or even blackish along the spaces between each tooth
- Discoloration caused by cavities tend to be a darker shade of yellow or brown, especially on front teeth
- A dead tooth is a tooth that no longer receives blood. It often occurs when the nerves die, causing the tooth to extremely darken in color. This is often caused by tooth decay and has been left for too long. The decay spreads to the dental pulp tissue. A dead tooth can also be caused by an accident or injury which was serious enough to sever the blood vessel flowing through the tooth
- The condition of having tooth discoloration since birth is a result of certain diseases or an over-usage of certain types of medication such as Tetracycline. This particular medication will have a direct effect on tooth discoloration, especially taken while baby teeth are being built up by the body during the age of between 3 to 9 months. It also affects the foundation of a child’s teeth between the ages of 3 to 12 years. The result is a yellowish or grayish black coloring of almost every tooth. Aside from this, discoloration may also occur as a result of receiving too much fluoride, which will appear in the form of small brown spots on the teeth, also known as teeth freckles.
So how many ways are there to whiten your teeth?
There are many ways in which someone can whiten their teeth, depending on the cause and nature of the discoloration.
- The first option is very easy. You must thoroughly brush and clean your teeth after every meal and visit a dentist on a regular basis for plaque removal and tooth polish. A common misunderstanding is that tooth polishing causes the erosion of the actual tooth. This is not true. Also, regular visits to the dentist will allow you to take care of any cavities in its early stages. Dentists will remove the rotted tooth areas (which are normally black or yellow in color) and replace them with a material called amalgam which will be the same color as your tooth, making it clean and whiter
- The second option is bleaching. This can be done at almost any dental clinic and you can also do it yourself at home
What is teeth bleaching?
Teeth bleaching is the whitening of every tooth and is very popular. Developments in the methods of bleaching now allow for a quicker, easier, and more efficient way of whitening your teeth. There are mainly two ways to bleach your teeth.
Option No. 1: This option must be done in a dental clinic where a dentist will use bleach, which mainly contains peroxide that has a concentration of 30-35%. Each whitening process will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Option No. 2: You can bring the bleaching materials home and do the process yourself. The dentist will provide you with all the materials you will need, but you, the patient, will have to come back for regular checkups. The bleach used in this method is the same as the one used at the dental clinic. However, the concentration of the peroxide used is much less. For safely reasons, the dentist will provide you with peroxide which has a concentration of around 2-10%. Doing it yourself at home isn’t as difficult as you may think. You merely have to squeeze the bleach into the mouth trays molded especially for you by the dentist. The bleach should fill approximately one thirds of the tray. Place both the upper and lower trays into your mouth and clamp down. Leave it for around one to two hours every day and return for a checkup as scheduled by the dentist.
How long does bleaching take?
This factor mainly depends on how bad the discoloration of your teeth are. If the discoloration is merely a mild yellowish tone, it may take around two to three weeks. However, if the coloring is a dark yellow or gray, it may take much long depending on how white you want your teeth to be. It may take up to four or five weeks.
Does bleaching come with any dangers or have any side effects on your teeth and gums?
In the process of bleaching, there are always risk of some side effects, especially when done in a dental clinic because the peroxide used in the process is very strong. But most dentists are careful and will prevent any possible adverse effects. As for doing the process at home, the peroxide is much gentler so the risk of side effects is less. The bleach used at home can dissolve easily into water so it doesn’t pose any risk to the user.
As for the possible side effects mentioned, there may be a burning sensation of the gums or soft tissue within the mouth cavity if they come into direct contact with the bleach. Another possible side effect is hypersensitivity of the teeth after bleaching. However, our nerves will instinctively protect themselves, so any hypersensitivity will likely lessen and go away completely after the whole bleaching process is complete. In addition, the dentist can coat your teeth with fluoride. But rest assured that bleaching all your teeth will not cause any erosion or weakening in any way.
Once you’ve bleached your teeth, does the process need to be repeated?
Whether or not the discoloration of your teeth return after bleaching depends mainly on the condition of your teeth before the process began. If the color of your teeth were very dark to begin with, there is a possibility that it will return within the span of one to two years’ time. However, if your teeth were merely a soft yellowish tone, the bleaching process will last around three to four years. However, all of this data also depends on how careful you are in preventing food stains to re-accumulate on your teeth. If or when the discoloration returns, you can always go through the bleaching process again.
In the process of permanent bleaching, the dentist will gently drill away a thin layer of your outermost teeth coating first before topping it with a white material normally used to fill cavities. The color of the topping will match the natural coloring of your tooth enamel. The dentist will then retouch the outer appearance, making sure you look your best. This process will ensure a longer, more permanent whitening of your teeth. However, there is always the possibility of decline if there should be a fracture of your tooth or you encounter an accident which causes the white top coating to crack, if you are not careful. But even in the worse case scenario, you can always re-do the process. Keep in mind though that this permanent bleaching will be more costly than any normal bleaching process.
Crowns: Another option in creating a bright, beautiful smile is crowning all of your teeth. In this type of process, the dentist will drill away all of your tooth’s outer coating, leaving merely a core which will serve as a base for an artificial tooth. Once the artificial tooth is placed over the base, a cementing material will be used to secure the tooth in place. Getting your tooth crowned has always been the solution to black or fractured teeth. With this option, the crown can be styled to be any desired color or shape to ensure the most beautiful outcome. It also ensures a permanent solution. However, as many already know, getting your tooth crowned is very costly and significantly more expensive than the bleaching process.
Can children get their teeth bleached?
Children can do it, but don’t really have to. Under normal circumstances, children will start developing their real teeth around the age of 6-7 years. The real teeth which replace their baby teeth will appear to be a much yellower color, but it will be the child’s natural color so bleaching is quite unnecessary. Bleaching children’s teeth should only be done in certain irregular cases.
Are there any restrictions to teeth whitening?
There are no definite restrictions when it comes to whitening your teeth. However, in some cases, the decision to re-bleach your teeth should be made on necessity. For example, some people see their teeth as yellow. However, in reality, the color is not due to stains on their teeth coating, but merely the natural color of their teeth enamel.
Can you brighten your teeth with over-the-counter bleach?
*Results vary for each individual