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Whiter teeth are something many of us want to achieve but there are so many products out there how do you know which one to choose? Some products can seem like you are wasting your money and not achieve the results you desire. There are several reasons for this, and while not commonly thought of effect the outcome of your whitening. Type of stain, the color of natural teeth and the amount of active ingredients are all necessary for whitening to give you the best results. When it comes to whitening, no one knows this better than dental professionals. While there are many over-the-counter products nothing can beat a professional whitening. This is because dentists will be able to guide you through the process and make sure you are not wasting your money on whitening products that don’t work.
When teeth become discolored and yellowed it might be time for a whitening. The discoloration is due to several factors; the age of teeth, genetic makeup or most commonly, due to the build-up of plaque (the sticky substance that accumulates on teeth). If regular oral hygiene is maintained by brushing, flossing and bi-annual dental cleanings, the plaque is kept in check and it is much harder for it to accumulate. If oral care is not maintained the plaque will turn into tartar. Tartar is very hard, in fact, it is so hard that it cannot be removed from brushing, but rather only from a dentists teeth cleaning tool, such as an ultrasonic scaler. This also means that any amount of teeth whitening product you use will be of no benefit to you until the tartar is removed.
The color of your natural teeth also plays a role in teeth whitening. Natural teeth are never really pure white but rather a shade of white. Also, heavy staining from smoking or composite fillings can alter the degree of whitening. Composite fillings are not affected by the whitening ingredients, only the natural tooth enamel is. When whitening comes in contact with the fillings it will not change their color but rather the color of the tooth around it. This could result in your teeth looking “spotty”.
The active ingredients in over-the-counter whitening products are not always enough to whiten your teeth. The active ingredient in whitening is Carbamide Peroxide, which is a mix of Hydrogen Peroxide and Urea. Common whitening strips contain anywhere from 10 to 14 percent Carbamide Peroxide, and over-the-counter products are rarely over 16 percent. While the price for these products is fairly inexpensive, they will not have the same results as professional dental whitening, as professional products are between 15 and 30 percent Carbamide Peroxide. Over-the-counter products work great for in between dental visits rather than standalone uses.
There are many facets to teeth whitening and your dental professional will be able to help you in three distinct ways. First, a simple cleaning will make your teeth look several shades whiter, just by having all of the tartar removed. If you maintain bi-annual cleanings, it is much easier for at home kits to keep your teeth white in-between dental visits. Secondly, a dentist can use a device called a “tooth shade scale” to measure your tooth color and find your natural tooth color. This way, when they are whitened, your teeth won’t look fake and the dentist will be able to match your teeth to a lighter shade of your natural color. Thirdly, while dental whitening is a little more expensive than at home kits, the quality will be much better. The active ingredients are much higher than over-the-counter products which will allow your results to be better. If you desire whiter teeth, talk with your dentist today. You can also visit our website for more information on teeth whitening.