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  • Dr. Rishika Sahay

TEETH WHITENING KITS

The lesser-known and most desirable treatment right now when it comes to dentistry is teeth whitening. I’ve already covered bits about it in my last blog “the truth about whitening toothpaste”.

Today, what I’m going to cover is other tooth whitening options available in the market, its use, effects, and safety. Now, apart from whitening toothpaste, there are a number of over the counter tooth whitening kits available which looks very fancy and is marketed superbly but how reliable and safe it actually is? We’re going to see that in today’s blog.


TYPES OF TOOTH WHITENING KITS:


1. Over The Counter Whitening Strips or Gels:


i) Now, these strips have peroxide gel all over it which the consumer is supposed to apply on the surface of their teeth facing the lips.

ii) HOW TO USE: It’s supposed to be applied twice or once daily depending on the brand following the instructions over it, for 30 minutes, and continue doing this for 14 days. It claims to lighten the shade of your teeth by 1 to 2 shades in 14 days.

iii) EFFECTIVENESS: I’ve already mentioned how peroxides remove the external and internal stains from the tooth by penetrating inside the tooth and its bleaching action. So it does cause whitening but the results shown in the advertisements by some companies may be exaggerated.


2. TOOTH WHITENING RINSES:


i) There are some mouthwashes with peroxides available in the market to cause tooth whitening.

ii) HOW TO USE: Take 10 ml of mouthwash and swish around your mouth for 60 seconds followed by rinsing the mouth with water. This should be done twice daily for best results.

iii) EFFECTIVENESS: The mouthwash companies claim to lighten the color of your teeth by 1-2 shades in 3 months if used properly. However, this provides less whitening as compared to other methods. It’s the least effective one.


3. TRAY BASED WHITENERS:


i) I’m sure most of you must’ve seen those fancy advertisements on social media about a tray being inserted in your mouth for some time and when it's removed, you see a whiter tooth shade.

ii) These are trays also contain Peroxide bleaching gel which causes tooth whitening. They have two types, the ones activated by cold light and without light.

iii) HOW TO USE: The peroxide-containing tray has to be placed in contact with the teeth for 2-3 hours every day followed by rinsing the mouth with water.

iv) EFFECTIVENESS:

(1) These are the fastest working and most effective ones so far.

(2) It is also claimed that light helps in achieving tooth whitening faster but according to some studies, it proved that it is the peroxide which does the work and having light or not doesn't change its efficiency.

(3) It claims to cause tooth whitening by 1-2 shades just in a few days if used properly.

ARE THESE PRODUCTS SAFE TO USE?

  • Now it’s already on my previous blog how peroxides are harmful to your teeth causing sensitivity and a number of other problems. Also, the percentage of peroxide is more in gel strips and trays as compared to mouthwash and toothpaste.

  • Many people forget to remove these strips from their tooth surface after 30 minutes which causes over-exposure of peroxide causing even more harm in less duration of time.

  • Many people tend to use these above-mentioned products without consultation with dentists which might be even more harmful to you.

  • The advertisements and claims made by some companies may be misleading and exaggerated when it comes to the efficiency of their product.

  • Some companies also claim that the product is “peroxide-free” and “all-natural” but they also contain chemicals as active ingredients like Sodium Perborate or Sodium Chlorite.

MEASURES TO FOLLOW:

  • The use of such chemical-based products which also has harmful effects on your tooth should always be done under the supervision of your dentist

  • Not everyone using teeth whitening kits have discolored tooth. Since teeth are not naturally white in color, some people may get influenced by the products and start using it even if they don’t require it. That’s the reason why dental supervision is necessary before starting the treatment.

  • Also, the effects of this treatment last only for a month if not maintained properly. So, to make it last for longer you need to avoid food products which might stain your teeth again like coffee, wine, cigarette, etc.

  • Also, the correct method of whitening can only be advised by your dentist based on the extent of tooth discoloration, sensitivity, etc.

  • SO, ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DENTIST BEFORE USING SUCH PRODUCTS. Because it might look very easy in the advertisements, but everything on the internet is not as easy and safe as it looks, and especially when it comes to your body, it’s always better to be on the safer side.

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