Safe teeth whitening is possible with a variety of methods, including over the counter whiteners and professional whitening procedures performed in the dentist’s office. Most techniques involve covering the teeth with some sort of whitening or bleaching agent, although professional procedures may also involve keeping the teeth under special lighting to activate the whitening effects. Most teeth whitening methods are considered safe, although it is still important to seek the advice of a dental professional, especially for those with any issues pertaining to the teeth or gums.
Most safe teeth whitening methods sold over the counter involve either trays, strips, or polish that is applies to the teeth. Trays are slipped over the teeth and may be more effective because they prevent the whitening agent from being smeared off or washed away by saliva. Strips also contain a bleaching agent but they stick directly to the teeth. Polish is applied with a brush directly onto the teeth. The effectiveness of each method may depend on brand and strength level.
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Another safe teeth whitening method is using a whitening toothpaste. These are used just like any other toothpaste. They generally contain anti-cavity and anti-plaque ingredients like other toothpastes, but they also contain a bleaching or whitening ingredient. This option is less time-consuming and more affordable than the other methods, although whitening takes a lot longer.
Some health concerns have been called into questions pertaining to the use of fluoride in toothpastes, although current the Food and Drug Administration still maintains that it can be used safely in moderation assuming large amounts fluoride containing toothpastes aren’t swallowed. In any event, children are not advised to use products containing fluoride unless under direct supervision.
Professional procedures are another form of safe teeth whitening. These are performed in a dental office and usually involve a strong whitening agent combined with special lights which accentuate the whitening effects. More than one treatment is often needed.
Before using any known safe teeth whitening method, it is a good idea to check with a licensed dentist. This will prevent any adverse reactions in certain individuals with problems with their teeth or gums. Some issues may not be suitable for the use of a teeth whitener.