Top 7 Teeth Whitening Tips
Top 7 Teeth Whitening Tips
What’s the best way to whiten teeth effectively, according to science?
The value of the cosmetic teeth whitening market is approaching 8 billion dollars. A vast amount of people are seeking the best ways to whiten teeth, and magazine and Internet publications have been more than eager to provide consumers with insight. However, many perpetuate unverified claims about useless or even dangerous products. Fortunately, a staggering amount of research has gone into discerning the truth about the most effective teeth whitening methods, revealing the best clinical, DIY, natural, and product-based solutions science has to offer.
Here are our top 7 teeth whitening tips, based on studies published in medical journals:
In the last decade, DIY teeth whitening solutions have skyrocketed in popularity; however, many of these techniques need further research to determine their effectiveness. However, one method that a report in the Padjadjaran Journal of Dentristy found effective is the use of strawberry juice as a bleaching agent.
After immersing specimens in strawberry juice, tooth enamel lightened significantly. This natural teeth-whitening procedure is possible because of the bleaching effect inherent in ellagic acid, which strawberries contain.
While acids can be harmful to teeth, ellagic acid carries many OH clusters, which oxidize and protect enamel. Thus, strawberry consumption can effectively and safely remove the staining effects of substances like wine, soda, and coffee.
There is significant amount of scientific research that supports the teeth whitening power of sugar-free gum. In a two-week experiment, gum-chewers were found to reduce external stains on their teeth by an average of 43%, regardless of the gum base polymer or flavour.
Overall, the research also showed that gum reduced the overall yellowness of the patients’ teeth. However, this ability to remove stains isn’t the only way gum benefits cosmetic teeth whitening. In 2010, a study in the British Dental Journal discovered that when consumed in tandem with an in-office teeth-whitening treatment, sugar-free gum reduced the intensity of the patient’s subsequent tooth sensitivity.
Avoid Highly-Pigmented Food and Beverage
Some diets can complicate teeth whitening procedures and stain teeth. Research in the Journal of Dentistry warns that anionic polyphenols, present in highly pigmented food and beverages, react with the thin film that forms when surfaces interact with saliva, forming thick stains on the tooth’s surface.
Red wine, black tea, and dark chocolate are examples of substances highly concentrated with this substance. It’s even more critical to avoid highly pigmented, acidic beverages immediately after bleaching. Researchers found that bleached teeth exacerbated the degree and kind of tooth stains.
Poor oral hygiene, sugary foods, and orthodontic procedures increase the chance that bacteria and sugar will interact, resulting in demineralization, a process that wears down enamel. Therefore, demineralization may lead to tooth decay and white spot lesions that inhibit teeth from achieving a uniform appearance, even after having undergone professional teeth bleaching.
These cases require the intervention of remineralization.
Not only can remineralization promote healthy enamel, but an investigation published in the Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry found this process caused a patient’s white spots that were still visible after in-office bleaching to disappear.
Remineralization can be initiated by using remineralizing toothpaste, brushing and flossing, eating food rich in minerals and vitamins, and avoiding sugary drinks.
Brushing with Baking Soda
The addition of baking soda can drastically improve a toothpaste’s ability to remove external stains and whiten teeth. A paper in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry demonstrated that toothpaste containing sodium bicarbonate radically and consistently reduced intrinsic yellowness.
Furthermore, another study in the same medical journal examining 270 subjects over five clinical studies concluded that toothpaste containing a higher concentration of baking soda consistently removed more plaque than dentifrices with lower amounts.
But the whitening powers of baking soda may extend even further: a third experiment carried out by the Journal of Clinical Dentistry suggests that toothpaste containing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide may harbour stain-preventing properties.
Many studies conclude that in-office teeth whitening is the fastest method to achieve a bright smile.
In an office setting, a teeth-whitening dentist safely applies bleach with a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide (typically 25% to 40%) by protecting the patient’s gums to reduce sensitivity after and during the treatment. Consequently, this method is one of the most effective teeth whitening solutions and typically achieves the desired outcomes after the second or third visit.
A 2016 paper in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry notes that this immediate positive outcome can kick-start a home procedure, which can help to maintain the outstanding results for the long-term. Additionally, the study indicates that professional teeth whitening oversteps issues like patient’s breaking a home regimen, over-active gag reflexes, and the distaste of the bleaching gel.
Dentist-Monitored Tray-Based Tooth Whiteners
The Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry refers to dentist-monitored tray-based tooth whiteners as the “gold standard against which other techniques are judged.”
This recognition as the best teeth whitening method is due to the treatment’s high degree of safety, inexpensive cost, and high success rate.
Trays are fitted by the dentist to adapt to the patient’s mouth and trap the whitening agent on the tooth’s surface. Typically, these trays use lower concentrations of the bleaching agent over a longer duration of time to reduce tooth sensitivity. By following this regimen, a patient can achieve dazzling results.
A 2013 study in the Journal of the South African Dentist Association found that after a four week period, dentist-supervised home bleaching showed a relapse rate of only 13% to 26%, while other methods clocked in above 50%. However, patients must heed their dentist’s instructions, as using the trays longer or more frequently than recommended can damage their teeth and gums.
Academic journals have a great deal to say about cosmetic teeth whitening. The effectiveness of teeth whitening solutions such as the whitening and stain-removing power of strawberries, sugar-free gum, and baking soda has been well-documented.
Additionally, extra steps like avoiding highly-pigmented substances and remineralization can be a catalyst to teeth whitening that works.
The data shows that in-office bleaching and dentist-monitored tray based tooth whiteners lead to the brightest smiles at unrivalled speeds. That being said, given the highly personal and unique nature of teeth, the first step to finding the best solution is to ask a dental professional.
To book a free consultation with Highmoor Dental to learn which teeth whitening procedure works best on you, call (780) 425-1646.