Health & Fitness

Charming Smile

The Quest for Whiter Teeth Using a Home Whitening System: Brighter Smiles Then and Now

People are talking about ways to do it, trying it at home, selling it or buying it and of course writing about it…
Teeth Whitening is what’s buzzing these days around Hollywood, cities all across the US and around the world. Every day, we are increasingly becoming more aware of different ways to stay healthy and to enhance our appearance, even through our teeth. Smiles are getting whiter and brighter and everyone is taking notice.
It’s a natural instinct of how we interpret beauty, even hundreds or thousands of years ago, mankind preferred pearly whites as opposed to discolored teeth. When someone had white teeth it was regarded as a sign of beauty and wealth. It was important to have a white smile that complimented their outward appearance and social status, which in many cases is as much part of our life now as it was then.
However, it wasn’t until the early part of this decade, that teeth whitening became much less complex and convenient. Some of the best systems use custom fit molded trays to ensure the whitening gel stays on for even whitening.
Today in the United States alone, cosmetic dentistry brings billions of dollars in revenue with teeth whitening being at the forefront. Having whiter teeth can boost confidence. In these hard economic times, we welcome this type of positive change to help us face the world with a smile. Whitening teeth can still be considered a wise investment: it lasts long, it’s consistent, and it’s safe.
Perhaps you were told by your dentist, family or friends, to cut down on your morning coffee, afternoon tea, wine with dinner, or whatever your staining culprit may be, but how many of you really want to? And have you ever been around people who skipped their morning coffee?
If you haven’t tried to whiten your teeth, then you are probably at the least considering it. Finding a realistic and pleasant way for you to finally say good-bye to stained teeth is a lot easier than you may think.
I’m a green tea, cappuccino, iced latte and red or white wine girl myself, although it’s the red wine that stains your teeth. I have been eating more dark chocolate due to its antioxidant benefits, but it tends to cause more stains than milk chocolate. I haven’t stopped consuming any of my favorite foods or drinks and my teeth look great.
I whitened my teeth six years ago with an at home professional whitening kit. Since then, I receive compliments like, “your teeth are so straight and white”! They were always straight, but no one really noticed before. For maintenance, I use the 22% carbamide whitening gels stored in my fridge for about 30 minutes for just two days in a row while I’m relaxing or writing and my teeth return to the same level of whiteness.
Before I learned I did not need a dentist to purchase professional strength kits, I spent a lot of money trying out the systems sold in supermarkets. None of them really worked and combined they cost me well over the whitening kit I purchased online, which is the same type of system dentists use for their patients.
Let’s go back and explore when and where it all started to understand how far the teeth whitening industry has really come. Teeth whitening began 4,000 years ago according to historians, who discovered that Ancient Egyptians kept their teeth clean by mixing grounded pumice stones and vinegar to form a paste. Chewing sticks were then used to remove plaque and help whiten their teeth. This method is the closest comparison to our style of tooth brushing and I think quite clever. Their methods were obviously much more challenging, but that still didn’t stop them from trying get their white smiles. The Romans for example, used their own urine to whiten the teeth.
By the 17th century, it was the local barbers who whitened teeth, performed tooth extractions or minor tooth surgeries. They used a much harsher method to clean and treat discolored teeth by filing them down first and then soaking them nitric acid. Ouch! This caused enormous pain and discomfort to their patients for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, although people were gaining whiter teeth, they were losing How Can Medical Conditions Affect Oral Health their enamel in the process. Around this time, Italian dentists introduced fluoride to keep their patients’ teeth clean, cavity free and white. This didn’t last very long either after it was discovered using large amounts of fluoride had opposite effect. This was especially the case among children who swallowed more fluoride than they were spitting out, causing their teeth to turn yellow years later.
In the 1970’s, the term cosmetic dentistry meant using toothpaste with a small amount of bleaching agent called hydrogen peroxide. In the early ’90’s, there was only one option if you wanted a high quality whitening process, a trip to the dentist. I personally love my dentist. I know, sounds strange but he is very good at what he does and my teeth are grateful, I just wouldn’t book an appointment with him to get my teeth whitened. This would cost me hundreds of dollars, and it would be more time-consuming if I factored in the follow-up visits.
Through compiled data, consumer market research, much trial and error, more recent methods use to whiten teeth have evolved so that years of staining can be removed with the right strength of whitening gels, and from the comfort of home. In 1989, when 10% strength carbamide peroxide gel was introduced and stone model teeth impressions were used to fabricate mouth trays. This method is very similar to what is used today for at home whitening kits but with much more advanced treatments to maximize results. Dentists have endorsed hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to be effective and safe.
More and more companies began offering affordable products with the average consumer in mind so you won’t have to worry about draining your bank account. However, not all companies are the same and there are many copycats.
The best company would be one that offers its customers 22%-44% strength carbamide peroxide treatments without a dentist visit, 44% works faster but is just as safe. At home whitening systems that are manufactured at a company’s on site dental lab product custom fitted tray that are the same quality used by dentists, but at half the price. The whitening kits range somewhere between $80-$180, depending on which one you order.
For 5,000 years people have been using some kind of teeth whitening and cleaning system although the process now is much more Veneers Teeth Meaning civilized and safer, and depending on your product of choice, is pain-free. It’s hard to imagine a reason not to try it.