Yellow and stained teeth are not only unsightly to look at; they can play havoc with a person’s confidence levels. But what are the causes of turning yellow teeth? Many factors contribute to it. The first is age-related. Over time, the top hard and white enamel starts to wear off and the grey layer below called dentine comes to the surface. Further, lifestyle-related issues like smoking, drinking tea and coffee and taking other acidic food and drinks are also reasons for stained teeth.
In the past, teeth whitening treatment meant a visit to the dentist and spending substantial time and money. Not anymore! Today advanced formulations in natural teeth whitening products can bring back the brightness of teeth to its original pearly white colour. There are a lot of whitening agents that are available in the market and can be either picked off supermarket shelves or ordered online.
Here are a few teeth whitening products that are very popular in Australia and have made the process affordable and within reach of the ordinary person.
- Teeth Whitening Strips –
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These strips are ideal for whitening teeth with slight discolouration only and for those on a budget without time to visit the dentist. Treatments can be optimally carried out at home. These strips are made of plastic and have a layer of teeth whitening gel containing hydrogen peroxide on them. The gel is the same as used by dentists for severe staining but with lower concentration levels, about 6% as against 10% used at dentists. The strips have to be wrapped around the teeth and kept for about half an hour each day for two weeks. The gel penetrates the stains and breaks them down. Results are visible after a couple of weeks but the intensity of restored whiteness may differ from person to person.
- Teeth Whitening Gel –
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To use this process of teeth whitening, a complete kit consisting of gel syringes, a mouth whitening tray and LED teeth whitening light has to be purchased. From the gel syringe, a layer of the gel is applied to the mouth whitening tray. This tray is put in the mouth and the LED light is turned on. After about ten minutes, a beeper will go off signalling that one session is over. Four such sessions can be done one after another if necessary to make sure of positive results. The gel contains carbamide peroxide which is considered to be one of the most effective teeth whitening agents.
- Charcoal Powder –
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This powder is obtained by burning coconut at high temperatures and grinding the residue to fine silt. A pinch of powder can be moisturised to bring to a paste consistency and applied over the teeth and gums. Charcoal has high detoxifying properties. Each charcoal molecule absorbs toxins from the teeth and gums which are then spat out after the brushing is over. The toxins too get thrown out of the mouth. The advantage here is that results are visible immediately after the mouth is thoroughly rinsed out. A tub of 30gm charcoal powder along with two brushes can be ordered from Active Smile AU. One such container is suitable for around 100 applications.
Before buying these teeth whitening products in Australia, it is essential to know what to look out for. Here are a few guidelines that will be of help.
- Convenience –
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If one is comfortable with using a product and finds it convenient to use will the full treatment be gone through. Whitening of teeth is a complicated process and only if the right product is used the process will not be abandoned halfway. Some may find using teeth whitening strips easy while others who cannot afford to spend half an hour daily will prefer charcoal powder. Brushing teeth with it will be over in minutes. This is why, it is not possible to predict which the best product is because it ultimately boils down to personal preferences.
- Read the Labels –
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Know the ingredients before buying a product regardless of whether you are buying from a retail store or ordering online. There are two types of whiteners which are at the core of any gel or whitening product. One is hydrogen peroxide and the other is carbamide peroxide. While regular whitening toothpaste can clean the surface only, peroxide whiteners can reach the inner levels of the teeth and clean the surface as well as hidden stains.
- Safe Peroxide Levels –
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Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are very active teeth whiteners, but there are certain restrictions to their concentration levels in products. The safe limits for products to be used at home are less than 10% for hydrogen peroxide and 35% for carbamide peroxide. Gels with these maximum limits should be used under dentist’s supervision. The chemicals are corrosive, and concentrated forms can damage the mucous membrane, gums, skin and tissues in the mouth.
- Check Websites and Health Magazines –
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Some sites and health magazines regularly carry out tests of new teeth whitening results and publish the results along with “before” and “after” photos. Check these sites to keep abreast of what’s new in the market.
These are some of the top teeth whitening products available in Australia along with a guide on what to check before buying them.