Teeth Whitening

Teeth are white but not usually as white as they could be. One reason could be the dentin, or middle layer of the tooth. It is normally yellow in color. This can show through the enamel, especially when it is thin.

Antibiotics and even dental implants can change the color of your teeth. Fillings can leech into the tooth and darken it.

Most often, the culprit of darker teeth is the foods we eat and the beverages that we drink. Over time, they can stain the outer enamel of the tooth. No, you won’t have a red mouth after a lifetime of drinking red wine, but your teeth won’t light up the sky either.

Here are some options for whitening your teeth. You can do it yourself, use over-the-counter kits or opt for the dental approach.

Home Remedies

* Peroxide - Using peroxide in your home is one way to whiten your teeth. Be careful, though. You are not supposed to swallow it. Peroxide has been used for gargling to fight infections in the mouth or when a tooth has fallen out. Avoid using full strength. Mix with water to cut the percentage of peroxide.

Over-the-Counter Methods

* Teeth whitening trays - These trays contain gel that can be worn overnight or for a few hours a day. It takes about a week to see results depending on the amount of peroxide in the gel.

* Teeth whitening strips - Strips are sold by several different companies. They can be placed on the teeth and worn throughout the day or at night just like the trays. They have greater contact with the teeth. The results vary.

* Whitening toothpastes - All of these toothpastes claim to whiten teeth and they all have peroxide in them. They whiten by removing the stains on the teeth. But, if you have thin enamel, you may not get the results that you want. Even if the stains are removed, the dentin will still show through. Also, some contain abrasive substances that can damage the enamel, creating sensitivities in your teeth.

Dental Approach

* In-office bleaching - This is an option for those who want more instant results. It is not going to be cheap but there are advantages. A dentist knows how to approach your teeth best based on your oral health. The procedure may take about an hour and can last for months.

Facts to Consider

Before you decide on teeth whitening there are a few facts to consider. These products do not work on anything but the natural tooth. They are not guaranteed to do anything on veneers or restorations.