Do Teeth-Whitening Kits You Use at Home Really Work?
5 things to do before using bleach or chemicals
Most of us wouldn’t mind making our pearly whites a little brighter. Teeth can get discolored from tea, coffee and wine stains, smoking or simply from growing older. But if you want to whiten your teeth at home with a teeth-whitening kit, here are five things you should do.
- Know the risks of using teeth whiteners
“Whitening is very safe, but you should use it judiciously,” says Hadie Rifai, DDS. “Overuse can cause tooth pain or sensitivity. You should consult your dentist before using prescription dental whitening products.”
Additionally, the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs has monitored the development of tooth-whitening products for roughly two decades, as they continued to become more popular.
However, Dr. Rifai cautions that if you have periodontal disease, you should not use the home whitening products without first consulting a professional.
- Be aware of the different types of whiteners
The ADA worked to define exactly what “whitening” means and how the process of making teeth appear whiter works. You can whiten your teeth with peroxide-containing bleaching agents or whitening toothpastes that rely on abrasive agents.
A bleaching product contains peroxides that help remove deep and surface stains on your teeth, actually changing the natural tooth color.
A non-bleaching whitening product contains agents that work by physical (abrasion) or chemical action to remove only surface stains from your teeth.
You should be aware that over-the-counter whiteners contain only up to 10 percent peroxide versus the prescription strength whiteners that contain 20 to 40 percent peroxide.
“Just because the OTC doesn’t give you good results, that doesn’t mean the higher strength whiteners won’t work for you,” Dr. Rifai explains.
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Shared from: cleavelandclinic.org