The Best Teeth Whitening Kits
SMILES are important and studies have shown that people with white teeth are said to be more self-confident in their day to day interactions. This then leads to an increased feeling of wellbeing and happiness! And sometimes, the whiter and brighter your teeth are, the younger you FEEL!
Teeth can discolour due to age (the enamel thins with age), trauma, smoking and because of what you eat and drink. The drinks that are notorious to cause discolouration are tea, coffee and red wine.
Tooth whitening is best carried out professionally by your dentist using custom fit trays in a process that takes on average taking 14 days. However, sometimes this can be out of your budget and there are numerous home tooth whitening kits that produce good results for a fraction of the cost.
Teeth whitening processes work by lightening teeth from the inside out. The whitening gel usually contains either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The peroxide solutions whiten the outer layer of the tooth (enamel) and the inside layer which is the dentine. When both of these layers get whitened, it leads to an enhanced colour of the teeth, making the smile brighter. Certain teeth whitening kits use other ingredients such as activated charcoal, sodium perborate, sodium bicarbonate and even the natural option of holding coconut oil for ten minutes in your mouth. However, these options are considered less effective as they can only remove superficial staining.
To ensure safety and to adhere to EU regulations, over the counter teeth whitening kits contain less than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. Therefore they are not as strong as professional teeth whitening gels. A qualified dentist can use up to 6% hydrogen peroxide legally.
There are so many versions of teeth whitening kits:
- Teeth whitening gel, plastic tray and an LED light
- Teeth whitening strips which contain the whitening gel and are applied directly to the teeth; some strips dissolve in the mouth, others can be removed and disposed of after each use
- Whitening pens which touch up the teeth when needed
- Whitening toothpastes
Please note that professional teeth whitening nor teeth whitening kits work on false teeth such as veneers, bridges and crowns. They also are not recommended for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or under 18 years old.
How do you know which is the best whitening method/teeth whitening kit for you?
While it is great to have so many options, the options can be overwhelming if you’re new to it all. With the recent embargo on beauticians and other untrained persons performing whitening treatments illegally, the public is becoming more concerned about finding a safe (and legal) way to get a whiter smile. We have taken a look into the most popular whitening kits:
SmileTime Teeth Whitening Kit
Hi Smile Teeth Whitening Kit
Harvey & Coco Teeth Whitening Kit Pro Edition
Crest 3D White Whitestrips with Light
Remember, before you choose your teeth whitening kit, make sure you gave a healthy smile to begin with and you must practice good oral hygiene every day. Brushing after meals, rinsing your mouth using antimicrobial mouthwash, and flossing at least once per day helps to keep disease-causing bacteria from reproducing in your mouth, and causing tooth decay and gum disease!
Rapid Tooth Whitening With Blue Light
Tooth whitening can be speeded up by applying a blue light. In the past, Ultraviolet (UV) lights were used. However, due to the growing concerns over the risks of UV light, blue LED lights are used as a safer alternative.
The blue LED light works with the tooth whitening gel to whiten the teeth. The light alone will not change the colour of the teeth. The blue light speeds up the reactions in the tooth whitening process and therefore you get the brighter smile quicker.
Rapid Tooth Whitening Gel
Rapid tooth whitening gel is part of the Rapid White Tooth Whitening System (RWTWS). This technique uses two steps and is based on a gel that allows people to obtain a whitening up to 6 shades in just 1 week. Inside the RWTWS, there is toothpaste allowing an optical lightening, that will make the teeth whiter from the first use. The effects of the toothpaste are temporary.
How To Whiten The Dead Tooth
Teeth die due to trauma. This is because when a tooth is damaged due to getting hit in the mouth, a fall or similar types of incidents, the blood supply to the nerve in the tooth gets damaged. When this damage is severe, the nerve dies as it no longer can receive the nutrients and blood it needs. As a result of this, the tooth gradually darkens.
If the nerve of a tooth has died, then the tooth will likely need a root canal treatment to remove the dead tissue from inside the tooth and then it will need to be sealed off to prevent any infections. Once the root canal is completed, the tooth can be whitened internally by placing a cotton wool ball with strong whitening gel/hydrogen peroxide gel inside the space where the nerve was originally. A temporary filling is placed to hold the gel and cotton wool ball in place.
After a few weeks, the peroxide gel is removed and if the tooth has whitened enough, a permanent filling can be placed. If the tooth is still not white enough, then fresh gel and cotton wool is placed, and this process can be repeated many times until the ideal colour is reached.
Is Internal Tooth Bleaching Safe?
Yes! The hydrogen peroxide gel is only harmful to the soft tissues of the mouth such as gums, lips, cheeks and nerve in the tooth. Once the root canal treatment is completed and this is sealed off, the hydrogen peroxide gel is only in contact with the hard structure of the tooth-the dentine and enamel.
How Long After Teeth Whitening Can I Eat Normally?
It is best not to eat or drink for 30 minutes after you have removed the trays. In general, you should avoid foods that are likely to cause re-staining (such as for instance, tea, coffee, red wine) or irritate sensitive teeth. After a short time, you can resume a normal healthy diet, normally between 24-72 hours.
Teeth Whitening Side-effects, The Truth
Whether choosing home or professional teeth whitening, the ultimate way to protect your teeth from side effects is to pick good quality products/systems and always follow instructions on the box or those given by the professional to reduce the risk of potential side effects.
The most common side effects are as follows:
Teeth can become sensitive during the teeth whitening process and for a short time after as the hydrogen peroxide gel can cause irritation to the dentine. This side effect is short term and does ago away after completing the process.
Soft Tissue Irritation
This can occur when the hydrogen peroxide gel is exposed to the gum during the process. This is caused by ill-fitting trays. Therefore, make sure the tooth whitening trays fit well. This irritation will go away within one to three days of finishing the treatment.
If you have very dark teeth, the results after the process may not be what you were hoping for. This is more likely to be the case if you have a lot of staining or internal tooth discoloration.
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