With the advent of over-the-counter remedies to stained teeth, teeth whitening has become much easier. It is important to know what to look for in teeth whitening kits.
How much time it takes to do due diligence could make the difference between a beautiful Hollywood-type smile and pain from chemical burns in your mouth.
Previously it was only possible to lighten the color of your teeth by paying several visits to the dentist. Now you can do it yourself, without too much involvement from a dentist. Read on for important facts if you want to do it at home.
The Cause of Teeth Discoloration
Teeth discolor over time. This is because of food, coffee or cigarette smoke. Naturally, teeth are made up of two layers, but with each day of eating and drinking or smoking a third layer forms. This is what causes the discoloration; something many find unattractive.
The solution to this is to get rid of that third layer. Daily brushing may not be enough to get it off. Whiteners use chemicals to remove these stains.
The most common chemicals agents used are carbamide peroxide, urea peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. These chemical agents are used in the products used to bleach hair. In high doses, it can cause burning of the mouth.
It is estimated that a third of the whitening kits misrepresent their capabilities. So it is very important to know what to pick and what to steer clear from when choosing teeth whitening kits.
What To Look For In A Teeth Whitening Kit
Most whitening kits come with a syringe filled with whitening gel. Another syringe may be included that contains desensitizing gel. If you buy one with a gel, it will come with teeth whitening trays (known as “Sbiancamento Denti” in Italian) that are used when applying the whitening agent. Kits that include whitening strips do not come with syringes or whitening trays. They contain thin strips of plastic; one side is coated with hydrogen peroxide.
In both cases, manufacturer instructions come with the kit. Following the directions exactly as they appear in the instructions minimizes the chances of getting chemical burns in your mouth. You will be instructed on how many times to bleach your teeth and for how long each time. It will also give you an estimate on how long it will take to show results. Make sure any kit you buy comes with a set of clear instructions.
Before buying any kit, look at the list of ingredients to spot which chemical agent it has. Hydrogen peroxide is more potent than carbamide peroxide or urea peroxide. The legal limit of hydrogen peroxide that these products should have is 0.1%. Anything more is not only illegal, it is potentially harmful.
The more commonly used agent is carbamide peroxide. Whitening agents in kits have a higher percentage of this chemical agent, say 18%, or 23%. These percentages indicate the strength level of the whitening agents.
If you have sensitive teeth, it is advisable to pick one that has a low percentage of peroxide. Those with high sensitivity levels should also consider picking a tooth whitener that contains no peroxide. As a general rule, the lower the concentration, the longer the application time.
Over time, teeth discolor because of foods and drinks that make up the diet. This discoloration can be unattractive. Fortunately, there are many solutions that can be bought over the counter and used at home.
It is advisable to know what to look for in teeth whitening kits. Picking the right product could save you the pain of chemical burns and the cost of having a dental health care professional do it, and let you enjoy a beautiful, bright white smile.