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Teeth whitening strips are a fairly new invention. Teeth whitening strips are sold over the counter in most drug stores. Proctor and Gamble introduced their first line of teeth whitening strips (Crest Whitestrips) in the year 2000. Since then the market has been flooded with similar products. These include Listerine Teeth Whitening Strips or Rembrandt Teeth Whitening Strips.

Teeth whitening is perfect for young patients who have healthy, cavity free, unrestored teeth (no fillings) and gingival tissues. Studies have shown that patients with yellow tones to their teeth respond best to teeth whitening, whereas gray and see through teeth do not. But this cosmetic procedure is not recommended for everyone. That is where teeth whitening strips come in. They are far less expensive than other options including in office teeth whitening treatments.

Teeth Whitening Strips – What Are They?

The idea behind teeth whitening strips is quite simple. They give a person a way to perform a gradual effective teeth whitening treatment on their own. Teeth whitening strips are very thin, virtually invisible strips, that are coated with a mild peroxide based whitening gel. By wearing the strips as noted on the product packaging, the gel comes into contact with the surface of your teeth and works to slowly take away surface staining. They also remove some stains from within the enamel. The strips are recommended to be applied twice daily for 30 minutes for 14 days. Initial results can be seen in as little as a few days and final results are maintained for about 3-4 months.

The peroxide gel on the teeth whitening strip works by slowly bleaching your teeth. Most teeth whitening strips come in a larger size for the upper teeth and a smaller size for the lower teeth. The patient is instructed to press the teeth whitening strips around your teeth to make a tight contact. The gel then contacts your enamel and begins its work when it heats up to body temperature. Various products contain different amounts of peroxide so usage instructions will vary from brand to brand.

Over the counter teeth whitening strips contain roughly between 3% to 10% hydrogen peroxide. Professional teeth whitening strips (available only through a dentist) usually contain somewhere in the neighborhood of 15%-30% hydrogen peroxide. Teeth whitening procedures conducted in dental offices contain hydrogen peroxide in the range of 20%- 38%. So as you can see by those numbers the rate of effectiveness will vary for each technique.

Teeth Whitening Strips – Are They Effective?

Yes! Teeth whitening strips can be very effective at what they do. Remember, they will not whiten fillings or crowns, so be careful not to over do it and make dark crowns, fillings stand out. It is always important to remember to follow all instructions on the packaging. Choose the teeth whitening strip that fits you and your lifestyle. If you feel that using strips twice a day for 30 minutes at a time seems like a long time then you need to consider other options. Like a 1 hour in office procedure.
It is always best to talk to your dentist first before starting any tooth whitening regimen. Some types of dental work such as bonding, crowns, veneers or bridges will not whiten, leaving an uneven appearance. Some stains will not whiten well with teeth whitening strips, such as Tetracycine stains and fluorosis (brown or white spots).  Also, some types of stains are the result of unhealthy teeth, whitening can exacerbate an already delicate oral health situation. Any teeth whitening procedure works best immediately following a thorough professional dental cleaning. An appointment with your dentist is the best way to start any teeth whitening process, saving you time, money, and helping you get the best results.

Disadvantages of Teeth Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are a one size fits all entity. So they may not fit everyone exactly the same. Again, read the packaging carefully to find the right size for you. You need to think about how many teeth you need to whiten based on your smile for the length of the strips.

In comparison, dentist observed custom tray systems are molded to fit your mouth perfectly. These leaves zero coverage issues and gives a more uniform end result with consistent bleaching throughout the mouth.

While teeth whitening strips are effective, dentist observed treatments are more effective. They give a more uniform bleaching of teeth as well as give you the convenience of finishing treatment faster.

Side Effects From Teeth Whitening Strips

Crest Whitening Strips

Crest Teeth Whitening Strips

Two main complaints regarding teeth whitening strips are tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation. Teeth sensitivity generally correlates with the strength and amount of peroxide in the bleaching gel. If you have had a history of tooth sensitivity in the past it is best to choose a lower dose peroxide teeth whitening strip. The major cause of gingival irritation occurs when patients apply the strip over the gums or part of the gums. If either of these occur you should stop use of the whitening strips for 24-48 hours. This should be enough time for the sensitivity and irritation to resolve itself.

In conclusion, teeth whitening strips are an effective alternative to the traditional dentist observed teeth whitening systems. As always remember to maintain a good dental hygiene program and visit your dentist and hygienist regularly.

 

Teeth Whitening Strips – Good Or Bad?.
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A Bright and Shiny smile is a wish for the young and old. Your own teeth may be a little dull looking. You have clean, healthy teeth but you wish they were several shades whiter. A confident smile expresses capability and a belief in oneself.  A bright smile lights up a face. It makes a person look younger, with increased vitality. If you have a beautiful smile, everything about you seems positive. You can have such a smile with the help of teeth whitening.

Of all the cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by dentists, teeth whitening is by far the most popular.This is probably due to the lower cost of teeth whitening versus other cosmetic dentistry procedures. It is estimated that ten million Americans will spend  $1.7 billion on teeth whitening products and services this year. Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dentistry service provided by dentists, and there are also a growing number of over-the-counter teeth whitening products to choose from. For those with little or no other dental problems,  teeth whitening is one of the most successful cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be done. The results can be spectacular. Patients will see an increase in self esteem following a whitening procedure. Virtually everyone can have their natural teeth whitened no matter how dark they are. However, old fillings, whether old fashioned mercury-silver amalgams or more modern composites(tooth colored fillings), or porcelain do not whiten. These older restorations would need to be replaced and updated to the new color of your teeth if you were to opt for teeth whitening.

Types of Teeth Whitening

teeth whitening

Cosmetic Dentistry – Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening products are available at the dentist’s office and also over-the-counter. Visiting a dentist for teeth whitening is the most effective and quickest way to whiten your teeth because the whitening materials are stronger than what is sold in the stores. That said, teeth whitening occurs at different levels for different patients.

What happens when you whiten your teeth? You are removing a lifetime of accumulated stains from food, candy, teas, sodas and wine. For smokers, the nicotine from tobacco leaves dark brown and yellow stains that will not just brush away. Tooth enamel is a crystal, like a diamond with many facets. Over time, stains collect between the facets and discolor the teeth. The peroxide cleans out the stains.  It is not an acid and does not damage the enamel. You can get as many teeth whitening treatments as you like.  This allows your teeth to return to a more natural state of whiteness and brightness. Teeth whitening is not a one time procedure. It will need to be repeated every so often if you want to maintain your whiter, brighter smile.

Generally, there are three types of teeth whitening:

1) In Office Teeth Whitening (also called Dentist supervised teeth whitening). In office teeth whitening involves the controlled use of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, tailored to a particular patient. Most in-office systems use gels with 15-35%  carbamide peroxide.  The dentist can whiten your teeth in approximately one hour using this higher concentration gel that is activated by a special light. This is the best and most effective technique that gives you the fastest and most accurate result due to the precision of the dentist and materials used.

2) At Home Teeth Whitening. Impressions are taken of your teeth so custom whitening trays can be fabricated just for you. The dentist will give you tubes of tooth whitening gel, usually enough for about 2 weeks of application. At-home systems will use a lowered carbamide peroxide concentration gel. You will asked to wear the trays with the gel for a minimum of 2 hours per day. Most patients prefer to sleep with trays in so it works overnight as well. This treatment usually takes approximately 2 weeks but in difficult cases may take up to 6 weeks. The cost is usually about half the cost of the in-office method, but for many people, the additional time required and inconvenience make it less popular.

3) Over-the-counter Teeth Whitening Products. This is the least successful way and involves using products purchased from your local drug store. A few of these over-the-counter products can work very well in selected cases. Many of these products do not have FDA approval and most have only varying degrees of success. It can be very hard to get this method of teeth whitening to give optimal results.

Studies have confirmed that teeth whitening is safe and effective. Teeth Whitening gels that contain 10 percent carbamide peroxide have not been shown to cause any damage to the enamel of the tooth. Higher concentrations of carbamide and hydrogen peroxide available from the dentist may weaken the enamel, but most of these formulas also contain fluoride offsetting this potential side-effect. Patients who use higher concentrations of whitening agents can further protect their teeth thru the use of  prescription fluoride gel or rinse..

Tooth sensitivity and gum irritation can occur. If either occurs it is best to start using the whitening product less frequently (usually recommended to whiten every other day instead of every day) and reduce the amount of time spent whitening. Sensitivity is treated via a prescription fluoride. Irritation of the gums can occur from either the in-office, at-home or over-the-counter tooth whitening systems. Gum irritation is usually mild and reversible, but can be treated with over-the-counter products such as Orajel (to relieve the discomfort).

Teeth Whitening Conclusion

teeth whitening

cosmetic dentistry – teeth whitening

Bottom line, in teeth whitening, you trade money for time. The more you invest, the shorter the time and the more successful the result. It is important to have realistic expectations regarding what the results might be. Several treatments may be needed to achieve a whiter smile. Teeth Whitening results may not be permanent, as your teeth will naturally pick up stain from foods, drinks, or tobacco use. Remember to brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and examinations. Teeth whitening results will vary from patient to patient, so choose an option that will suit your budget and specific need.

A beautiful smile can open doors. Which one will open for you?

 

Want a Whiter Smile?
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