DIY is huge these days. Anyone and everyone is DIY-ing something, and tooth whitening is at the top of the list. With all the over-the-counter tooth whiteners on the market today, it’s simpler than ever to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home. But what about DIY tooth whiteners? Sure, they’re inexpensive and convenient, but are they effective? If you use one of those over-the-counter DIY tooth whiteners today, how long will it be before you have to use it again? And what about DIY tooth whitening home remedies? Do they work? Most people throughout the country have probably thought about using a DIY tooth whitener at one time or another. If you’re someone who’s considering do-it-yourself tooth whitening, here’s more information on the different methods and what to expect.
Over-the-counter tooth whiteners
There are quite a few DIY tooth whiteners that can be purchased at drug stores, grocery stores, and superstores today. The most popular of these are whitening strips and whitening toothpastes. The most important thing to keep in mind when using over-the-counter home whitening systems is to look for one that contains the seal of the American Dental Association (ADA).
Home whitening strips
Over-the-counter whitening strips are a type of tooth bleaching system. These systems typically use a gel solution. Whitening strips usually come in a kit that contains disposable strips to be worn by users for varying periods of time, typically about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. The kits need to be used every day for an average of 14 days in order to lighten teeth by one to three shades. Some of these products need to be used with caution because they contain acidic ingredients that can damage to teeth and gums. It’s also important to note that, because the kits are a kind of ‘one-size-fits-all’, their trays are not custom-fitted, which lessens their effectiveness because the trays often do not fit snugly.
Whitening toothpastes can ‘whiten’ teeth over time, typically about one or two shades at most. However, the important thing to remember about whitening toothpastes is that they are not ‘whiteners,’ per se, because they don’t actually bleach teeth. They merely remove surface stains. They sometimes can be safer than over-the-counter whitening systems because of this fact, but they are not as effective at removing a tooth’s discoloration, i.e. whitening it. Additionally, some whitening toothpastes can be abrasive.
Some people still do opt for home remedies when it comes to attempting to whiten their teeth. Two of the most common of these include a combination of strawberries and baking soda and a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and whitening mouthwash.
Strawberries and baking soda
Strawberries contain a type of acid that helps to remove minor surface stains from teeth. When combined with baking soda, which acts as an abrasive to scrub stains from teeth, this mixture can help to lighten teeth. The mixture must be used often, however, sometimes up to three times daily for at least a month in order to lighten teeth. Again, this method does not ‘whiten,’ but it can help to remove stains.
Hydrogen peroxide and whitening mouthwash
Hydrogen peroxide has long been used to remove surface stains from teeth. When combined with a whitening mouthwash, this method can help to lighten teeth by a shade or even two shades. As with the strawberry-and-baking-soda mixture, this combination only removes surface stains and typically needs to be used at least two or three times per day for several weeks in order to be effective. It’s important to note, however, that many dentists say if the hydrogen peroxide used in this mixture is not properly diluted, it can cause tissue damage.
Like it or not, we all have to face the truth about the color of our teeth. In fact, when people were asked in recent surveys the things that top their list of turn-offs, nearly all participants checked discolored teeth in their top three. Home tooth whiteners can help to lighten or whiten teeth, but it’s also important to note that, although DIY tooth whiteners may be among the least expensive, they also top the list for most ineffective, considering how often you have to repeat the process. If you’re thinking about home tooth whitening, contact a cosmetic dentist in Northern New Jersey for more information on how to optimize over-the-counter whiteners.