How does tooth whitening work ?

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If you're here, you probably know that teeth whitening is a popular technique that allows you to have white teeth quickly so that you can feel as comfortable as possible in your daily life. However, you are afraid that it is not for you and you want to know what the recommendations are regarding its use.

Here is a guide that will help you know in detail how tooth whitening works.

Teeth whitening : What is it ?

Tooth whitening is a process whose main objective is to give an artificial white color to a dark tooth. The process is simple: it involves modifying the external structure of the enamel and dentin through the use of hydrogen peroxide. Its components act on the molecules that are responsible for the dark color of the teeth to allow you to have an almost instantaneous bleaching. However, it is important to know that tooth whitening is recommended for almost everyone except pregnant women, hypersensitive people or people who suffer from gingivitis, periodontitis or toothache.

The dental surgeon uses a specific material for teeth whitening:

  • The tray : It allows the correct application of the hydrogen peroxide gel
  • The lamp : the cold light will activate the peroxide by breaking it down into ions that will attach to the stains and break them down

The whitening virtues of baking soda

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a chemical compound. It is an excellent soft abrasive. It is its abrasive power that effectively removes surface stains from teeth and makes them appear whiter. However, to remove older and deeper stains, baking soda is not as effective. For this, you must consult your dentist or use a product designed to whiten teeth. The most effective is not to use it in homemade recipes but rather to use it in commercially available toothpastes. It has many benefits.

Here are the main advantages of baking soda toothpastes:

  • An action on dental plaque : It removes up to 5 times more dental plaque than a conventional toothpaste.
  • Neutralization of plaque acids : It is the most appropriate care to avoid the erosion of tooth enamel.
  • A more delicate whitening of the teeth : it allows to whiten the teeth by being much less abrasive than the whitening toothpastes.

Techniques to whiten teeth naturally at home

To whiten your teeth at home with natural techniques is much simpler to start a dental bleaching. Indeed, on the one hand it doesn't cost you anything and on the other hand it is particularly effective to whiten your teeth. It will only take you a few minutes. 

Crushed strawberries


Strawberries are an acidic fruit that acts as a particularly mild whitening agent. The principle of use is simple: You just have to crush one or two strawberries, dip your toothbrush in them and brush them normally. Be sure to clean your mouth with a pinch of baking soda to neutralize and protect your teeth.

Mouthwash with coconut oil


Coconut oil is a natural tooth whitening agent. It has many benefits for oral health. In fact, coconut oil mouthwashes are known to help reduce the formation of plaque and the onset of gum disease. You should swish the oil around in your mouth for a few minutes.

Orange peel


The white part of the orange peel contains limonene. This is a compound that contains a natural solvent that is found in many commercially available whitening products. You must rub your teeth with the inside of the orange to obtain a good result. This is a natural and safe way to whiten your teeth.

Apple cider vinegar


Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties but also whitening virtues. It's easy to use: just brush your teeth with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and gargle with a sip to kill all the plaque-causing bacteria around your gums.

You can also brush your teeth with a sonic toothbrush such as the Y-Brush. It is a toothbrush that simplifies brushing all sides simultaneously thanks to the filaments that have the right inclination. It allows you to have an almost immediate result of whiteness.


Products or tools to whiten your teeth

The use of a whitening toothpaste

A whitening toothpaste is composed of active principles that allow to whiten teeth. The main ingredients are: hydrogen peroxide, phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid, vegetable charcoal, bicarbonate, fluoride, silica and essential oils. All these ingredients are whitening agents that allow to whiten teeth in a natural and progressive way.

The use of a dental whitening gum


The dental gum is used like a classic eraser that you just have to pass over the stains to remove them. It removes all superficial dental stains caused by coffee and tobacco. These are stains that are related to poor oral hygiene. The tip of the gum is made of natural rubber in which tiny particles of carborindum are inserted. This instrument will allow you to eliminate discoloration of your teeth independently without calling a professional.

 
One of the best accessories: the dental bleaching kit

You don't have to go to the dentist for a tooth whitening: there is the tooth whitening kit. It allows you to whiten your teeth directly from home. It is less expensive than products sold in stores. The whitening gel in the kit lightens the color of the enamel and dentin. The bleaching gel is often based on hydrogen peroxide. Its concentration is lower than the one used by dentists for health reasons. The gel is applied with strips, pens or pipettes. This makes the kits different by their application time. The price varies from 10 to 100€. You will get good results.

However, there are also smile bars. It is a technique that comes from the United States. The client begins by cleaning his teeth with a compress soaked in a whitening activator. Then, he must put on his teeth a silicone tray filled with a whitening gel that contains 0.1% of hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide or sodium perborate. Finally, you should put yourself under a cold light lamp for several minutes.


Tooth sensitivity related to tooth whitening

There are always side effects associated with whitening your teeth. However, there are a few little tricks you can apply to reduce your tooth sensitivity during your teeth whitening treatment.

    Here are the tips that are most recommended by dentists:

    • Use a toothpaste with a good fluoride content : it is recommended to take a toothpaste between 1350 and 1500 ppm.
    • Have a toothpaste for sensitive teeth : the toothpaste should not be too abrasive.
    • Avoid using whitening toothpaste : It is harmful to use one because you already have tooth whitening.
    • Reduce your consumption of sugars and soft drinks : these are products that cause enamel erosion.

    All of these tips will help you reduce the sensitivity of your teeth caused by the use of hydrogen peroxide on your teeth. However, it is important to get the proper treatment from a dental surgeon.

    Benefits of dental bleaching at the dentist

    If we compare whitening at a health care professional to home whitening kits, smile bars or whitening products such as toothpastes, strips or whitening pens, we can see that in-office whitening has many advantages:

    • Dentist's supervision : He is able to recommend the dosage of the whitening agent used
    • Performance : the use of high-dose whitening products is reserved for dentists
    • Durability : dental whitening can last up to 6 months


    We hope this guide has helped you understand that teeth whitening is not a technique to be taken lightly. It is important to understand what it is and its positive points but also what precautions to take when using it in order to avoid side effects.

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