As time goes by and people age, teeth become discoloured. This can be attributed to several reasons. First, teeth naturally lose their natural lustre as people grow older. And there are food and drinks like berries, sweets, wine and tea that stain the teeth. Cigarettes and some medicines are also culprits for discoloured teeth.
As such, people have turned to various remedies to whiten their teeth. These can range from home remedies like strawberries, baking sodas and other concoctions, to over-the-counter solutions like toothpastes, mouthwashes and white strips, to professional teeth whitening Sydney dentists offer. Teeth whitening remedies are an entire industry on their own, generating billions of dollars for several companies which take advantage of the natural desire of people to regain a confident, white smile. But how do these remedies stack up?
What works and what doesn’t? Here’s a quick rundown.
Contrary to popular belief that acids in berries can help whiten teeth, they can actually damage the enamel of your teeth. Baking soda, on the other hand, can help to remove food stains. However, it should be used sparingly as it can also erode the tooth enamel. Hydrogen peroxide is an active ingredient in various teeth whitening products. However, when people utilise them as a home remedy, they might be doing themselves more harm than good because they are not aware of the optimal level of concentration to use and it can be dangerous.
Over-the-counter remedies like toothpaste and mouthwash offer minimal whitening. At best, they should be used as part of a maintenance regimen when undergoing professional teeth whitening treatment. White strips that can be bought over the counter or online do work as they utilise the same ingredients that are used in professional treatments but usually in lower concentration. The problem, however, is that consumers who purchase these products overlook the instructions. Also, they can be uncomfortable to use.
As for professional teeth whitening, there are three main options for patients:
- Light-activated bleaching
Bleaching is a type of treatment that can be done at home or at the dentist’s office with the same results. Results are basically the same and can last up to three years.
Light-activated bleaching utilises light as a patient receives treatment at a dentist’s office. Companies often say that the light helps speed up the bleaching process. However, the results are essentially the same.
Veneers, on the other hand, are used only for teeth that have been severely discoloured or chipped. Porcelain veneers are attached to each tooth and need to be replaced after five to 10 years.
If you are concerned about the colour of your teeth and would like to talk to a dentist or hygienist about options for teeth whitening, please contact us or book an appointment.