7 tips on bleaching teeth

You have to pay attention to this if you want to bleach your teeth! Seven wisdoms around the great radiance.
Wisdom number 1: Even small steps lead to enlightenment
An impressive assortment of whitening toothpastes, mouth rinses or bleaching pens smiles at us in drugstores and on the Internet - all just beautiful appearances? After all, first-generation tooth whitening pastes had the reputation of not being very effective and also harmful. They contained abrasive substances that not only scrubbed away superficial discoloration, but also some of the protective enamel. In the meantime, however, they have been significantly optimized: On the one hand, the abrasiveness, i.e. the abrasive power, has been reduced thanks to finer cleaning particles. Some pastes, for example, contain microscopically small blue pigments that accumulate on the teeth during cleaning, neutralize yellow tones and thus produce temporary, small optical brightening effects (e.g. in "Colgate Max White One Optic"). Thanks to a formula with polyphosphates that literally displace accumulated colorants, teeth could be made slightly lighter under laboratory conditions within two weeks (e.g. "Advanced White" from Listerine).

Wisdom number 2: Cleaning makes more than clean
Although professionals offer professional whitening, so-called bleachings, it has never been easier than today to laugh at the radiance (and avoid toothache) just by brushing your teeth. The only limits are set by nature: all products on the market, including professional procedures, bleach the pigments that accumulate on the tooth over time - but not the substance itself. And tooth color is a hereditary matter: if you have yellow teeth, you will not lose a slight yellow shimmer. It is similar with aging teeth, where the enamel has become thinner over the years, causing the basic structure of the tooth, the dentin, to shimmer through. Don't get frustrated - and continue to clean the spaces between the teeth well. This removes plaque, which prevents bacterial inflammation, periodontitis, and later gum recession. It makes teeth look irregular. However, the more closed the row of teeth, the larger the area of the teeth, the whiter they appear. Practical help: an app that plays cleaning data on the cell phone, checks that everything is in order and, if necessary, reminds dental hygienists who are tired of cleaning (from Oral-B, free for iOS and Android, available in the App Store or from Google play).

Wisdom number 3: Eat and drink best carefully
Coffee, tea, tobacco and red wine, turmeric, grapes and liquorice ... many luxury foods and foodstuffs, but also spices, contain colorants that gradually discolor the teeth: they accumulate on the surface of the teeth, especially in the rough areas where there is a lot of plaque. So: enjoy with caution and ideally avoid bleaching completely for about two weeks.

Wisdom number 4: If you want more, go to a professional
Just a professional tooth cleaning treatment is enough to make the teeth look lighter, after all, superficial discolorations can be removed mechanically. However, larger color jumps cannot be achieved with it. If you want to see clear results quickly, you have to see a professional for a bleaching treatment. Whether you choose the services of a so-called whitening lounge or a dental practice, the procedure is the same: The teeth are bleached with a mixture of a carrier gel (carbamide) and hydrogen peroxide, and the stubborn discolorations lighten through oxidation. Teeth can become about two to three shades whiter with this procedure. Any degree of whitening beyond that would only look unnatural. The cost of this "private pleasure"? Between about 300 and 700 Euro. Important: Before that, the teeth must be checked for fine enamel cracks, tiny carious spots or mismatching crown margins and treated if necessary - otherwise painful nerve irritation can occur.

Wisdom number 5: If you want to save, stay at home
About 120 euros must be spent for a so-called home bleaching. Here's how it works: The dentist makes an individually fitted splint that you take home with you. You will receive a hydrogen peroxide gel, which is much lower in dosage than that used for bleaching in the practice. The splint is then filled with this gel and applied for a few hours on several consecutive evenings. Although there are do-it-yourself systems of this kind in stores or on the Internet, they have real hooks: the splint is not adapted, so it does not fit properly, hurts and/or discolors irregularly. If the teeth are not in tip-top condition, painful irritation can occur and escaping gel can attack the gums. Whitening gels without hydrogen peroxide should be less irritating (e.g. Rapid-White's "Rapid-Whitening System" works with chlorine dioxide).

Wisdom Number 6: Accept your limits
Crowns, bridges, plastic and ceramic fillings cannot be bleached. If the differences in color, for example in the anterior region, are disturbing, the fillings would have to be replaced and adapted to the whitened teeth. And especially BEFORE inserting a crown or an implant, one should think about the future appearance.

Wisdom number 7: Do you see everything grey? Then shine from within!
If teeth are root-treated, they shimmer grayish - a consequence of protein decay of the dead nerve. What helps in such cases is a special treatment at the doctor's: he injects a bleaching solution into the tooth and thus permanently brightens it from the inside (costs approx. 50 and 150 euros per tooth). Nevertheless, under certain circumstances he can still retain a delicate grey haze. Alternatively, if you want it to be perfect: the tooth can be veneered with a wafer-thin ceramic shell, a so-called veneer.


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