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Teeth whitening is by far the #1 cosmetic dentistry procedure (estimates say it is around 100 million per year in USA alone) performed every day around the globe. There are many reasons for teeth whitening being so popular. A major reason is our desire to look more youthful. Teeth whitening can turn back the clock on your smile. The next reason and just as important is cost. Teeth whitening is one of the least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures which allows it to be available to a wider range of patients. Teeth whitening might seem like a modern phenomena but it is not. Generations of people have been trying to brighten and whiten their smiles since the earliest days of civilization. Surprisingly, the basic ingredients used today have been around since early in the 19th century.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Teeth Whitening Las Vegas

Teeth Whitening Las Vegas

Earliest Teeth Whitening Attempts

The earliest attempts at teeth whitening were primitive to say the least. The earliest people on earth used sticks and thorns to attempt to clean their teeth. Civilization is what led to people wanting to look their best. Looking good with white teeth was considered a sign of wealth and possible nobility. The Roman empire and Egyptian empire were ahead of their times. The Romans used a paste for their teeth composed of goat’s milk and urine! While the Egyptians used pumice and wine vinegar. The Egyptians were heading in the right direction as vinegar can remove stains and pumice can smooth the surface. Around the 12th century, the medical doctors recommended a sage and salt rub for teeth whitening. By the 17th century, the local barber was called upon for dental advice. These barbers would offer services to use a metal file to roughen the surface of clients teeth and then paint on nitric acid. The idea is to roughen the surface so the nitric acid can stick and begin to remove staining. In the mid to late 18th century, oxalic acid was used for teeth whitening again by the medical community. I am sure by now you are horrified by these crude attempts at teeth whitening in ancient times. These techniques probably had limited success but caused maximum damage.

Modern Teeth Whitening Techniques

Luckily, dentistry has advanced and we have a better understanding of dental materials and dental techniques. There are various methods offered both in home and in the dental office. Below will be a review of the different teeth whitening methods available today to safely whiten your teeth.

Teeth Whitening Toothpastes. Cheapest method of teeth whitening but also the least effective with very limited teeth whitening results. There are many different teeth whitening toothpastes on the market today by various different brands. They all tout great results but in reality the results are highly variable from patient to patient. For some with light staining this method may work well enough to make you happy. While others with extensive staining they will see little to no benefit. But in the end, for a few pennies more it is worth a try as we are all brushing daily anyway!

Teeth Whitening Strips. This method is a bit more expensive than just using a teeth whitening toothpaste. These are sold over the counter at your local pharmacy or big box store. The active ingredient in teeth whitening strips is usually the same as professional teeth whitening products. However, the dosage and concentration is lowered for safety. Again these may work well for some but not so well for others. These are also harder to use as they have a bit of a learning curve with them. These teeth whitening strips must be placed evenly across all your teeth and cannot be applied to a single tooth that might need more help than the others. These have also been known to irritate the gum tissues if the placement is off or they move during use.

ProfessionaTeeth Whitening With Custom Fit Dental Trays. This is a personalized cosmetic dentistry procedure. Your dentist will evaluate your smile and create custom fir dental trays. These trays will be comfortable to wear but also evenly distribute teeth whitening gel across all teeth quite easily. This method also allows for isolation of just a few teeth if needed. These custom fit dental trays can be worn day or night usually for a period of 1-4 weeks. This option is flexible and provides excellent results. The only downside to this method vs the previous two is cost. This method will carry a higher cost but the results are far batter. Each patient will need to weigh the pros and cons of each method for what is best for their individual smile.

Teeth Whitening Performed By Your Dentist. This method carries the highest cost but also gives you the fastest, most effective results of all teeth whitening methods. This method is completed 30 minutes to an hour right in your dentist’s office. A special light and teeth whitening gel is used for this procedure. The teeth whitening gel is highly concentrated and is accelerated by the special teeth whitening light. This makes this method highly effective and very efficient. The main disadvantage is this comes with a higher cost but I am sure you can understand why.

Disadvantages Of Teeth Whitening

Tooth sensitivity and gum tissue irritation can occur in any of the teeth whitening methods listed above. If either occurs it is best to contact your dentist. They will probably recommend a visit to office to discuss options or advise to cease using the teeth whitening products for a day or two to let things settle down. Gum tissue irritation and teeth sensitivity is generally reversible. Your dentist may recommend a sensitive teeth toothpaste like sensodyne or a topical gel (orajel) to relieve gum tissue irritation.

Maintenance Tips Of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is highly effective but staining will occur again over time. Teeth whitening is not a one and done dental procedure. Touch ups will be needed over time. Below are some dental tips to maintain teeth whitening longer:

-Brush after every meal or at very least rinse mouth with water after eating and drinking.

-Floss to remove plaque foods trapped between the teeth

-Following teeth whitening it is important to limit staining foods and drink for about 2-3 days.

-Use a straw to drink fluids that can cause staining of your teeth.

-Lose the Habits like smoking and drinking which are known to stain our teeth

History Of Teeth Whitening Conclusion

Teeth whitening using modern dental materials has proven to safe and highly effective in whitening our smiles. The limited drawbacks can be overcome and should not hinder the desire for a whiter, more youthful smile.




Teeth whitening has become a very popular dental procedure increasing in size each decade. We are all aware that our dentist can provide the tools to make our teeth whiter but can it be done at home naturally? Below you will find some of the popular teeth whitening methods:

Oil Pulling For Teeth Whitening

Oil pulling, also known as “kavala” or “gundusha,” is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This action supposedly draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health. Traditionally, sunflower or sesame oil was used for oil pulling. Coconut oil has become a popular choice because it has a pleasant taste and offers other health benefits. Coconut oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and destroy bacteria due to its high lauric acid content. There have been numerous studies done that have shown that daily oil pulling can effectively reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. By reducing bacteria levels it can help with gingivitis. Streptococcus mutans is one of the primary types of bacteria in the oral cavity that cause plaque and gingivitis. One research study found that daily swishing with sesame oil significantly reduced Streptococcus mutans in saliva in as little as just one week.

There have been no definitive research studies to prove that oil pulling acts in a teeth whitening capacity. Many people that regularly use oil pulling have claimed their teeth are whiter

Marielaina Perrone DDS Teeth Whitening Las Vegas

Teeth Whitening Las Vegas

and brighter after routinely oil pulling. Since it is a safe practice it is worth trying for teeth whitening.

Oil Pulling Directions For Teeth Whitening

Place approximately 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull the oil around your mouth and through your teeth. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, so you may need to wait a few seconds for it to melt. Try to continue the oil pulling for at least 15–20 minutes. For the safety of the pipes in your home, spit the oil into the trash can and not down the drain. As mentioned previously, the coconut oil will return to a solid at room temperatures.

Safe for daily use in teeth whitening.

Brushing With Baking Soda For Teeth Whitening

Baking soda is known to have natural teeth whitening properties. This is why along with its light abrasiveness it has become popular in commercial oral care and teeth whitening dental products. The abrasiveness can help clean stains that have built up on your teeth but totally safe to your teeth’s enamel. Baking soda has the added property of being alkaline in your mouth which can help prevent bacteria from multiplying.

It is important to note using baking soda as a teeth whitener will be a slow process. Results will not happen quickly. Research has not yet proven that brushing with plain baking soda will have any teeth whitening effect, but several studies show that toothpaste coupled with baking soda can have a significant teeth whitening effect. Toothpastes containing baking soda have been shown to be significantly more effective at removing yellow stains from teeth than standard toothpastes without baking soda. The higher the concentration of baking soda, the greater the effect.

Directions For Baking Soda Use

Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water. Then brush your teeth as normal with the baking soda paste. Again this is very safe and can be done multiple times per week if you wish.

Hydrogen Peroxide As A Teeth Whitener

Hydrogen peroxide is used by your dentist in their own teeth whitening products so we know it is effective and safe when used properly. Your dentist’s products will contain higher concentrations of Hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide has been proven to be a natural bleaching agent that also kills bacteria in your mouth. Many commercial whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide, although at a much higher concentration than you will use.

Using hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations or lengthy times can cause damage to your teeth’s enamel layer so it is important to use under supervision.

Directions For Use

Common concentrations of hydrogen peroxide at the drugstore is a 3% solution. You can and should dilute this concentration to 1.5% by mixing equal parts peroxide and water.

Another way to use hydrogen peroxide is by mixing it with baking soda to make a toothpaste. Combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and gently brush your teeth with the mixture.

Limit the use of this homemade paste to a few times per week. Overuse can erode your tooth enamel with extended use.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Teeth Whitening

Historically, apple cider vinegar is used as a disinfectant and natural cleaning product. The main ingredient is acetic acid which effectively kills bacteria. This bacterial agent can also make it effective in the mouth.

A study performed on cow teeth found that apple cider vinegar does indeed have a teeth whitening effect on teeth. Unfortunately, they also found that vinegar may erode the enamel layor of teeth. Apple cider vinegar should not be used daily. You should also limit the amount of time that apple cider vinegar is in contact with your teeth

Apple Cider Vinegar Directions

Dilute the vinegar with water and swish it around in your mouth for several minutes. Make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards to limit the acid effect on your teeth throughout rest of day.

Fruits and Vegetables

Strawberries are believed to help with teeth whitening.

Strawberries

Teeth whitening with a strawberry and baking soda mixture is a natural remedy for teeth whitening. Favorites of this method claim that the malic acid found in strawberries will remove staining present on your teeth, while the baking soda will wipe away stains.

While strawberries may help exfoliate your teeth and make them appear whiter, they are unlikely to penetrate the stains on your teeth. Recent studies have found that a strawberry and baking soda mixture produced little to no color change in teeth, compared to commercial teeth whitening products.

Do not use this teeth whitening method more than a few times a week to be safe.

Natural Teeth Whitening Conclusion

Teeth whitening comes in many forms but nothing replaces dental hygiene to limit the stain build up as well as plaque build up. Remember to speak to your dentist before undertaking any of these teeth whitening regimens to ensure safety for your teeth and periodontal tissues.