Dental Care

Homemade Teeth Whitening

Looking for more information about homemade teeth whitening? A couple decades ago, nobody gave much thought to whitening their teeth. 

It was true that you noticed if someone had yellow or stained teeth, but there was no real way to whiten them unless you were a celebrity.  There have always been so many substances that can stain the teeth, such as coffee, tea, or soda.  Smoking certainly darkens them.  Even red wine makes them look drab. 

It's undeniable that whiter teeth make a man or woman look younger and more attractive.  White teeth give the impression of a high-quality person blessed with the wherewithal to take care of himself.  What wouldn't you give to be able to flash your pearly whites, as the saying goes? 

Homemade Teeth Whitening in the Early Days

People have always, of course, made efforts to brighten their smiles.  They scraped and sanded their teeth. 

They rinsed them in horrible solutions made from urine and vinegar.  Most of these home-made remedies gradually caused harm to the teeth, because they wore away the tooth's outer enamel. 

In recent decades our grandparents and great-grandparents learned a few new ways to try to whiten their teeth.  They were certainly more civilized than the ancient methods, and they actually worked a little better.  But they weren't ideal.  If you talk to an older relative you will most likely discover that he or she knows of some concoction involving limes or lemons, baking soda, or even hydrogen peroxide for brightening the smile. 

People have felt confident about the bleaching properties of lime and lemon juice for decades.  Certainly you've read something about how it can fade freckles or lighten someone's hair in the sun!  Unfortunately, this type of citrus juice, high in Vitamin C, has an adverse effect when it's used to whiten teeth.  It contains ascorbic acid, which actually results in loss of calcium.  And you know that calcium is vital for your teeth, for proper dental maintenance and even for remineralization. 

Modern Homemade Teeth Whitening

In recent years, dentists have promoted effective remedies available right in their offices.  Unfortunately, those remedies are cost-prohibitive for most of us.  They put us back into the scenario of only the wealthy celebrities being able to afford them.

Finally, however, there are some very good over-the-counter (OTC) dental whitening products available on the market.  Because you do not need a dentist's prescription to buy them, they are available to any average person. 

And you can bet your boots, they are a huge improvement over the concoctions that your grandmamma tried to use! 

The Procedure of Homemade Teeth Whitening

How do they work?  There are several different types of OTC teeth whitening treatments.  You can use these kits in the privacy and comfort of your home, and you will find that they cost much less money than the procedures available in your dentist's office. 

Most of them utilize carbamide peroxide at 10 to 30% strength.  The carbamide peroxide is reduced by the saliva in your mouth to a weaker strength of hydrogen peroxide.  Usually the kits provide vials or ampoules of the peroxide, which you then mix with other provided liquid or gel additives.  The additives often contain gel-based calcium and phosphate and possibly some fluoride to help your teeth remineralize properly and maintain effective oral pH. 

In order to apply the mixture, you need to prepare a mouth guard or tray.  Some products require that you boil the mouth guard in order to make it more flexible.  The flexibility is vital to achieving a custom fit of the tray against your teeth.  You then trim the mouth tray so that it fits over only your teeth and not your gums. 

Next you apply the gel to the mouth tray and insert it.  If gel reaches your gums, they can become swollen, sensitive, and reddened.  This will resolve given some time, but be certain to trim the tray better before your next use. 

Other Products for Homemade Teeth Whitening

Other products allow you to paint your teeth with a whitening liquid.  It's easy to avoid your gum tissue, but because your saliva washes away the solution rather quickly it's difficult to keep it on your teeth long enough to notice real improvement.

The whitening strips available on today's market are manufactured by a variety of companies, and they are very popular.  The strips are very easy to use.  Most kits come with some strips cut to fit the upper teeth, and some cut to fit the lower teeth.  The disadvantage is that neither size truly fits well over all of the teeth that it's supposed to cover. 

Any of these products is easy to use, however.  You can't beat the convenience!  It's possible to wear the strips while you drive to work.  You can watch television wearing the guard over your teeth.  And many people like to use the whitening paint products, because they believe that the paint, if applied immediately after a meal, protects their teeth from further darkening.

Conclusions on Homemade Teeth Whitening

In today's market, there is almost no reason to have discolored teeth.  Many products include an enamel gel to help teeth recover from sensitivity to the peroxide.  They have been tested for safety and efficacy. 

Just in the last few years, the price of these products has dropped dramatically.  You don't have any messy mixing with an undependable, homemade concoction. 

Using whichever type best suits your needs will save you the hassle of going to the dentist's office and spending a lot of money.  And that's something to really smile about!

Feel free to check out this additional page on natural teeth whitening.

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