Do you want to transform and improve your smile? At-home whitening is a great option due to its affordability and flexibility. If you are ready to start your at-home whitening journey, you'll want to look into bleaching systems that give the best results as well as products that maintain those results and strengthen your teeth. Here are three must-have products that can help you get started.
1. At-Home LED Trays And Kits
The problem with many at-home whitening systems is that they don't penetrate your enamel — they simply remove superficial stains. At-home light-emitting diode (LED) trays, on the other hand, activate the chemical compounds of the bleaching agents and are more effective at eradicating stains than other at-home methods. While every brand is different, you'll usually find that LED-whitening trays work more quickly than other at-home methods, so you won't have to bleach as long for each session.
2. Specialized Toothpastes
Specialty toothpastes are a great way to maintain your whitening results between bleaching sessions. Two toothpaste products to try are activated charcoal toothpaste and baking soda toothpaste.
Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
Activated charcoal is used in the medical sector for its absorbency; the charcoal is negatively charged and can pull positively charged molecules, like those that make up stains and plaque, away from teeth. Brushing with an activated charcoal toothpaste can be a great way to reduce the buildup of extrinsic enamel stains, like those from coffee or tea.
Baking Soda Toothpaste
Baking soda has a rough texture, so it can scrub away stains and whiten your smile. Its abrasive texture can also disrupt biofilms, so you can eliminate stains related to plaque. Additionally, baking soda can change the pH conditions of your mouth. Cavity-causing bacteria need more acidic conditions, but baking soda toothpaste can rebalance the pH level. Again, reducing these bad bacteria could help you reduce tooth discoloration from plaque.
Keep in mind that while specialty toothpastes help you maintain a whiter smile, the caveat is that they shouldn't be used too often because of their abrasive qualities. Specialty toothpastes may not contain fluoride and other ingredients that strengthen your teeth, so you'll still need to use a standard toothpaste brand for your dental health. Your dentist can tell you how to safely use specialty toothpastes in conjunction with your usual brand so you can get the best of both worlds.
3. Desensitizing/Remineralization Gels
Whitening is a safe procedure, but two common side effects people experience are sensitivity (both in their teeth and gums) and enamel demineralization. You can greatly reduce these side effects by whitening in moderation. You should follow the at-home whitening kit's recommended dosage and follow your dentist's instructions.
But even with the best practices, some people may still develop issues, which is where desensitizing and remineralization gels come into play.
Desensitizing gels are very similar to products that are used for babies when they're teething, except these gels are made specifically for whitening sensitivity. You can rub these gels directly on your teeth. If your gums are sensitive, look for vitamin E gels, as these can prevent gum irritation before and after whitening.
If you accidentally over-whiten your teeth, you may inadvertently cause demineralization, a process where enamel loses important structural components. The good news is that one study found that the use of remineralizing gels after whitening could significantly improve the microhardness of bleached enamel.
As you can see, LED kits and specialty toothpastes are great products to use to get results at home, but it's important to have products like desensitizing and remineralization gels to avoid side effects and keep your teeth healthy.
Reach out to us at the Whitening Gals for more details about at-home whitening kits or whitening training.