Bleaching at home - What can you do for yourself?
Bleaching at home
What makes your teeth discolour?
Your teeth discolor over time due to changes in your dental bone, the "inside" of your tooth. Furthermore by just eating and drinking and by smoking. But also through used dental filling materials, certain medicines and diseases.
Pale gel and a bleaching spoon.
Strong colorants that you might want to avoid if you want to keep your teeth white are:
- At number 1 with point: smoking;
- Coffee and tea;
- Red wine;
- Berry juice;
- Some medicines and flushing agents (for example chlorhexidine).
The teeth discolour much faster than the others. There are people who are bored to ask the dentist if they smoke or drink too much coffee, while this is not the case. If you recognize this, then you probably have a relatively porous glaze that fades quickly. The question then is whether bleaching is a good option for you, at least you will have to repeat it often. This is something to discuss with your dentist.
Can I bleach my teeth myself?
You can buy all kinds of bleaches in the store. Usually the effect is disappointing. The commodity law that applies within the European Union sets a limit on the amount of bleach that these freely available products may contain. This amount was until recently too low for these bleaches to work (0.1%). Nowadays, agents can also be sold with up to 6% peroxide. This increases the chance that the medicine works, but at the same time there is a danger that it will cause permanent damage to your teeth, especially in places where starting holes or incorrectly fitting fillings are present. "It doesn't work, it doesn't hurt either" so it doesn't apply here. Some tooth discolorations do not respond to bleaching, also restorations such as fillings and crowns are not included, all things that your dentist can view for you in advance.
For home whitening are available:
- Liquids that you apply with a brush (looks like a nail polish bottle); these are especially useful if you have one tooth that is slightly backwards in your arch and therefore quickly discolors again after your dentist has cleaned the tooth. Drying the tooth beforehand with a cotton swab gives the best effect.
- Gel with self-made bleaching spoon; the self-made bleaching spoon has a moderate fit, so that bleach leaks away during wear. In addition, a poorly fitting spoon can damage your gums. It is better to have an exact fitting spoon made by your dentist.
- Bleaching strips; with this method the bleach comes in contact with your gums in all cases, and this is not desirable.
Bleaching at home with materials that your dentist has given you is a better option. He knows your teeth, knows the history of your teeth and the weak spots. Your dentist will inform you in advance about the result that is specifically expected for you and see if your teeth are suitable for the treatment.
We later provide a detailed description of a bleaching treatment that is partly performed in practice and partly at home. An additional warning against starting work yourself applies to those whose teeth have been worn down by erosion: it is not yet well known what the long-term consequences are of bleaching on these already damaged elements.
Are there toothpastes that whiten your teeth?
No, there are no toothpastes that make the enamel of your teeth whiter in color, there are toothpastes that can remove the discolored layer of your teeth. These are the toothpastes with, for example, sodium bicarbonate or baking soda as an ingredient. Also the toothpastes that say "natural whitening" will give your teeth a whiter appearance, although they don't all do what they promise. Some toothpastes do no better than water in tests!
Then there are the special smoker mode pastes. You have to be careful with this, because they usually contain many abrasives. It is worth experimenting with different toothpastes to see which one gives the best results for you. Hard scrub will not whiten your teeth, it will only make your teeth wear harder.
Bleaching by rinsing?
In practice I have already heard many stories about all sorts of alternative means of bleaching teeth. Brushing with salt is one of them, a method that does little harm and stains on your teeth may fade slightly. Another alternative is rinsing with lemon juice. You should definitely not do this, it will not whiten your teeth and your enamel will deteriorate!