You’ve seen the ads—whitening kinds of toothpaste, whitening strips, whitening pens, even whitening gum. They all claim to be able to make your yellow teeth several shades whiter in just a few short weeks. But can they really deliver on that promise? Can yellow teeth become white using only at-home whitening methods, or do you need to see a dentist for professional teeth whitening? Let’s take a closer look.
How Do Teeth Become Yellowed or Stained?
To understand whether you can really whiten your yellow teeth at home, it’s important first to understand how teeth become yellowed or stained in the first place. Two types of stains can develop on teeth: extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic stains are those that develop on the surface of the tooth enamel and are usually caused by foods, drinks, tobacco use, or ageing. Common extrinsic stains include coffee, tea, red wine, and berries. These types of stains are generally easier to remove with at-home teeth whitening products because they are only tooth stains on the surface of the teeth.
Intrinsic stains are those that develop inside the tooth itself and cause tooth discolouration.
They are usually caused by certain medications (tetracycline antibiotics), injury or trauma to the tooth, excessive fluoride exposure during tooth development, or ageing.
Intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove because they are embedded in the tooth enamel.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Products vs Professional Teeth Whitening Procedures
Now that we know how teeth become yellowed or stained let’s compare the two whitening treatment options, at-home teeth whitening products vs professional teeth whitening procedures.
At-Home Whitening Teeth Products
The most popular at-home whitening teeth product is whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste uses abrasives and chemicals to remove surface tooth staining. While they can slightly whiten teeth, they aren’t going to give you significant results.
Whitening strips and gels
Whitening strips and gels are also popular at-home teeth whitening treatments. These products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which bleaches the surface stains on your teeth. These products can give you better results than whitening toothpaste but won’t give you dramatic results.
Professional Teeth Whitening Procedures
If you want dramatic results, you must see a dentist for professional teeth whitening procedures like laser bleaching or power bleaching. Laser bleaching uses a concentrated beam of light to activate a bleaching agent, which then breaks down the stains on your teeth. Power bleaching involves applying a bleaching agent directly to your teeth and then using heat, light, or a combination of heat and light to activate it. Professional teeth whitening procedures can give you up to eight shades lighter results in just one visit!
What Happens During a Teeth Whitening Session?
When you visit your dentist for a teeth whitening session, they will first evaluate the current condition of your teeth to determine the best course of action. Suppose your teeth are severely stained or yellowed. In that case, they recommend laser bleaching or power bleaching to give you the most dramatic results. They will also take before and after photos to track your progress.
Once they have determined which procedure is right for you, they will apply a protective gel over your gums and lips to protect them from the bleaching agent. Then, they will apply either a laser light or a whitening gel directly to your teeth and activate it with heat or light as needed.
After that, they may repeat the teeth whitening process, depending on how much they need.
Once the procedure is complete, your dentist will take photos to compare the results and ensure you are satisfied with the outcome. They may also give you some additional tips and tricks for keeping your teeth looking bright and white.
How Long Do Teeth Stay White After Teeth Whitening?
The teeth whitening procedure results can last up to three years, depending on your lifestyle and habits. If you are an avid coffee or tea drinker or a smoker, the effects may only last for a while. To help maintain the brightness of your teeth, brushing and flossing daily and limiting your consumption of stain-causing foods and drinks are important.
Do Some People’s Teeth Not Whiten?
Yes, some people’s teeth may not whiten as much as others. This could be due to the type of stains on your teeth or if you have had dental work done, like veneers or crowns that cannot be whitened. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend other options, such as bonding or porcelain veneers, to help improve the brightness of your smile.
7 Home Remedies To Whiten Your Teeth
While there are many ways to whiten your teeth, not all are safe or effective. That’s why it’s important to consult a dentist before trying any at-home remedies. However, some home remedies have been dentist-approved for their effectiveness and safety. Here are seven such treatments:
- Brushing with baking soda: Baking soda is an abrasive that can help to remove surface stains on teeth. It’s important to use it in moderation, however, as overuse can damage the enamel of your teeth.
- Using hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is a very effective home remedy for whitening your teeth; however, it’s important to use a low concentration (3%) and not swallow it after rinsing.
- Coconut oil pulling: Coconut oil has been used for centuries for its antibacterial properties. It is now becoming popular for its ability to whiten teeth when used as part of an oil-pulling routine. Oil pulling involves swishing one tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth for 10-20 minutes daily before spitting it out.
- Eating crunchy food like apples and carrots: Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables can help to remove plaque and surface stains from the teeth, keeping them healthy and white.
- Brushing with a strawberry-lemon juice mixture: Strawberries contain malic acid, which is an effective whitening agent, while lemon juice contains citric acid, which can also help to remove stains from the teeth. Mixing equal parts of each into a paste and then brushing your teeth with it could help lighten your smile.
- Using activated charcoal powder: Activated charcoal powder is becoming increasingly popular for its ability to absorb toxins in the mouth and thereby help to whiten teeth when used regularly as part of your oral hygiene routine.
- Drinking green tea: Green tea contains polyphenols that help whiten teeth by removing stains and discolouration. Drinking at least one daily cup of green tea can benefit your oral health and many other health benefits.
- Brushing with turmeric paste: Turmeric has been used for centuries due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, but it can also help decrease teeth staining. Make a thick paste by mixing turmeric powder with water, then brush your teeth daily for brighter results.
While these remedies may help whiten your teeth, it’s important to remember that they should be used in moderation and in conjunction with good oral hygiene practices like regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.
Whitening your yellow teeth at home with some of the above-mentioned methods is possible. Still, seeing a dentist for more dramatic results using professional teeth whitening procedures is best. A dentist can evaluate the condition of your teeth and determine which procedure will give you optimum results. Take the first step towards a brighter smile by booking your appointment now with My Local Dentists at one of our five conveniently located modern clinics.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?