Maybe you have heard about the latest tooth-whitening technique to hit the markets: White light tooth whitening. How does it work? Does it work at all? In today’s article we are going to discuss white light teeth whitening, whether or not it works, and advise you on other techniques which you may employ in order to help make sure that your pearly whites are this whitest that they can be. Let’s talk about whiter and brighter teeth!
So, does ‘White light’ Tooth Whitening really work?
Unfortunately the answer to this question is ‘no’. A recent study in Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences actually stated that not only are there no significant differences between light and standard peroxide treatments, but that UV type lights can actually be harmful, exposing the inside of the mouth to an equivalent radiation four times that of unprotected sunbathing!
Your dentist can provide whitening treatments, for instance, plus there are some which are over the counter that are effective and even some home remedies. Keep in mind, however, that tooth whitening is essentially bleaching or applying acids to the teeth in order to reveal pristine layers underneath. That means that you want to do as few treatments as possible and supplement them by taking good care of your teeth so that you don’t end up eroding them too much through too many treatments.
Thankfully, there are quite a few products out there which can help you to get yourself a dazzling smile that people will note and remember. Some great examples that you can try are as follows:
- Whitening strips – Whitening strips can work wonders but keep in mind that you are eroding layers of tooth when you use them. That said, used sparingly, if you are not able to put aside the time for whitening treatments at your dentist’s office then whitening strips can do the trick in a jiffy, if not as effective as treatment from a dentist.
- Whitening toothpastes – A number of whitening toothpastes are available out there, such as ‘Tom’s of Maine’ toothpaste or even plain old Colgate or Crest brand brightening toothpastes. Depending on the toothpaste you select there will be varying grades of abrasives and chemicals employed, so it is not recommended for use year-round.
“Charcoal is said to raise the PH levels of your mouth”
- Charcoal powders – Activated charcoal powders are another method which some people swear by. They are abrasive and the charcoal is said to raise the PH levels of your mouth, adding to additional cavity protection. When you use it be sure to only brush lightly as charcoal is quite abrasive and can damage enamel if used incorrectly. Brush with it, rinse, and then brush again with your regular toothpaste for best results.
- Whitening trays – Whitening trays consist of a mouth guard which helps you to keep your teeth properly in place for treatment with whitening gels. These can be quite effective but a word to the wise, you should obtain a mouth guard from your dentist, as an ill fitting guard can cause leakage issues with the gel which can burn your gums and require you to visit your dentist under less pleasant circumstances.
Are there any home treatments I can use to whiten my teeth?
If you are looking for a way to whiten your teeth without so many chemicals than you are not alone. Whitening agents, while quite effective, can be a bit harsh and are not necessarily good to ingest. To this effect, we’ve collected a few natural ways to whiten your teeth that can be used in a manner that should provide a little less of a harsh impact. While not as efficacious as chemicals, when used over time and with a little patience you can certainly see the results. Some things to try are as follows:
- Apple cider vinegar – When used as a rinse, Apple cider vinegar can be great for killing bacteria as well as whitening your teeth. This is due to the high acetic acid content which is present in Apple cider vinegar. You will want to limit rinsing with it to 3 times per week, however, for the same reason. Too much acetic acid is not good for you and can erode your teeth if you use it every day. So, like any good thing, use it in moderation.
- Oil pulling – A traditional method of keeping one’s mouth fresh and teeth bright hails from India. Oil pulling has been used for centuries, traditionally with sesame or sunflower oil and lately, coconut. In order to practice oil pulling you will want to get in the habit of taking a tablespoon of the oil into your mouth daily, followed by pushing the oil between your teeth with your tongue. The whole process takes about 20 minutes and is said to lower bacteria levels and to whiten teeth. As this does not introduce your mouth to any acids and has a long history this is a hygiene habit that many have adopted and enjoy. Just be sure to spit it out somewhere besides the sink as it can eventually lead to clogging if you are not careful.
- Eat more pineapple – Studies have found that Bromelin, an active ingredient in pineapple, may be effective in helping to keep those pearly whites white. Toothpastes with Bromelin added have shown significant improvement in cleaning and a rinse with pineapple juice followed by a vigorous brushing might do just the trick!
In today’s article we have discussed White light tooth whitening and advised you in regards to alternatives. While all of these methods can help it is ultimately up to you what you decide to go with. Just remember that none of these things can replace a visit to the dentist, so be sure to keep your check-ups regular and keep smiling!