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Teeth Whitening. Dentist or Home? Effectiveness and Affordability
Why have whiter teeth?
A bright white smile is associated with good health. People generally view those with nice white teeth as some one who takes better care of their overall health. Although it may not be really fair, a winning smile with whiter teeth can probably help land a new job more easily.
A good smile can contribute to better emotional health which also affects overall general health. We have better attitudes and generally more happiness when we have better self esteem. Whiter teeth can of course help us look younger. That is always a boost!
Having said all this it stands to good reason: a person with a beautiful white smile is probably happier and more relaxed than some one who stresses about their smile. They just may in turn actually really be generally healthier.
Tooth whitening procedures range from fairly costly ($400 to $1,000) to less expensive over the counter treatments that have increased in number in recent years, all with varying results and prices.
There are even some old home remedies for tooth whitening. Wouldn't it be interesting to conduct your own little qualitative research experiment with those methods? There is a list of them at the end of this Hub, so read on!
It is important to note that a nice smile does not necessarily indicate teeth so white they don't even look real. Sometimes, yes, that old saying, less is best. Thanks to a wide market for tooth whitening products we can pick and choose the one that best fits our individual needs.
The following comparisons represent a cross-sampling of a growing number of available products both in and out of the dentist's office.
What causes teeth to stain and discolor?
The biggest culprits to yellow and brown stained teeth are smoking and the excessive drinking of coffee, tea and colas, and age. Poor brushing habits contribute as well. Left on foods,especially wine, chocolate, and all of the aforementioned will eventually stain teeth. Tooth enamel is porous. Frequent brushing therefore is one preventative measure to assure white teeth. There is also an array of "tooth whitening" toothpastes and mouth washes available that may be subtly effective.
Age is a major factor in duller teeth. As we age enamel becomes thinner and the dentin inside the teeth become more visible. Grayish teeth are caused by genetic reasons or from taking a lot of antibiotics (tetracycline) through the years.
Tooth Whitening Procedures
The most effective method for whitening teeth is from the services of a cosmetic dentist. However it is also the most expensive, and most dental insurance plans do not pay for any cosmetic dentistry procedures.
The laser whitening procedure involves using a translucent bleaching gel applied to the teeth. A laser light activates the crystals in the gel to absorb energy from the light which then penetrates tooth enamel and in turn increases the lightening effect on the teeth. This is the quickest method, the most non subtle, and the most expensive. Unless the teeth are really badly discolored one visit is all it takes. But that one visit will cost around $1000.
Zoom! Brand Whitening
The Zoom! system is an in office whitening procedure that has become popular.A light-activated whitening gel is used along with the Zoom! light. The Zoom! light helps activate the hydrogen peroxide; as it is broken down oxygen enters tooth enamel and tooth color is lightened.
A study has shown that the use of the Zoom! lamp increases the effectiveness of the Zoom! gel by 33% or more, giving an average improvement of eight shades. The entire procedure, which includes a gum protective prep and a final fluoride rinse, will take a little over an hour. Depending on the individual dentist the cost is between $400 and $500.
The Zoom! system is safe and effective. There may be a side effect of increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold for a few days which will disappear. There are afew reports, however, of extreme pain during the procedure to consider.
There is also an in-home Zoom! system available. The same product is used and the same dramatic results can be achieved but at a slower rate of 3-4 days.
BrightSmile is another in-office whitening that uses a light activated gel procedure. Depending on individual discoloration, applications are repeated in three twenty minute increments. The procedure is usually completed in around two hours and the price is $600 which includes a take home after care kit. No tooth sensitivity or complications are reported for BrightSmile.
Over The Counter Teeth Whitening
At home whitening kits are available that can give satisfactory results for those who do not have grayish teeth, overly sensitive teeth to hot and cold, or crowns and fillings on the front teeth. These cases should only whiten under the care of a dentist. The best results for at home whitening are systems that use strips or fitted trays that fit well around the teeth with hydrogen peroxide solutions.
Here are the top rated over the counter whitening systems:
Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening System has a 4 star over all rating for effectiveness and a 5 star rating for affordability. It uses carbamide peroxide with a non listed pecentage. The cost is $8.
Crest 3D White Strips Professional Effects has a 4 star over all rating for effectiveness and a 3 star rating for affordability. It uses 10% peroxide and average price is $78.
Crest 3D White Strips Advanced has a 4 star over all rating for effectiveness and a 3 star rating for affordability. It uses 9.5% peroxide and average price is $35.
Crest 3D White Strips Gentle Routine has a 4 star over all rating for effectiveness and a 3 star rating for affordability. It uses 3 to 7% peroxide and average price is $40.
E Bright LED Whitening System has a 3 and 1/2 star over all rating for both effectiveness and affordability.It uses 6% peroxide and average price is $125.
Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolve Strips system has a 3 and 1/2 star over all rating for effectiveness and a 4 star rating for affordability. The percentage of peroxide used is not given. The average price is $19.
Love That Smile Whitening Foam has a 3 star over all rating for effectiveness and 4 stars for price. listed as "good for those with mild stains." It uses .1% peroxide. The average price is from $24 to $64.
Aqua Fresh Whitening Trays have a 3 star over all rating for effectiveness and 3 stars for affordability. It uses 10% peroxide and the average price is $29.
Best Over -The- Counter Tooth Whitening
Teeth whitening needs vary from person to person. Fortunately there is a wide market of whitening products available.This creates great competition and quality products allowing choices that fit both need and budget.
Keep in mind the health benefits of a nice smile!
- Make a paste of diluted hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Use 2:1 parts with water. Brush twice daily.
- Brush with the sap of an aloe vera plant.
- Strawberries mashed and rubbed on teeth. Brush afterwards to remove fruit sugar.
- Routinely snacking on apples and celery will help keep teeth white.
- Rinse daily with coconut oil.
- Rub teeth with olive oil.
- Rub teeth with the inside of a banana peel.(potassium whitens teeth)
- Use in conjunction: Listerine Pre-Wash Whitening,Colgate Total Whitening Paste and Arm & Hammer Whitening Gel.