The Safest and Most Effective Way to Whiten Teeth

When it comes to whitening teeth, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends using personalized trays provided by your dentist for the safest and most effective method at home. Poorly fitted trays can cause the gel to come off and irritate the gums. There are a variety of options for whitening your teeth yourself that appear on the Internet, but current studies show that natural ingredients such as strawberries, coconut oil and charcoal can only remove surface stains and not change the color of the teeth. Starting with a whitening treatment that contains 10 to 12 percent hydrogen peroxide (30 to 35 percent carbamide peroxide) is generally considered safe.

Baking soda is a slightly abrasive substance that will remove surface stains from the teeth without damaging the enamel, and it also helps prevent bacteria from growing in the future. Higher in-office concentrations can whiten teeth faster, but the final color of the teeth will be the same with either method. Two categories of whitening treatments supervised by a dentist include the repeated use of trays that wrap around the teeth at home or in the office, with higher whitening concentrations that can also be activated by light. Whitening toothpastes may take time to work, but toothpastes containing blue covarine may be effective after just one brushing, as the chemical makes teeth appear whiter.

People who have recently whitened their teeth are advised to maintain proper care with over-the-counter toothpaste and mouthwashes. A dentist will examine your teeth and provide you with an analysis of the color of your teeth that will include the reason your teeth have darkened, the fact that existing restorations may not change color, and recommendations on a teeth whitening regimen that fits your needs. It is recommended to use whitening toothpaste in addition to one of the other five options above for optimal whitening effects. Teeth whitening treatments may not be right for you to try while you have active cavities or certain dental procedures in progress.

These methods have not been scientifically proven to whiten teeth and should be consulted with a dentist before trying them.

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