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Safely whiter teeth: what are the options?

A pair of beautiful white teeth accompany a radiant smile. At least that is the general view. Now that the health of our teeth has improved significantly, there is more focus on the aesthetics of our teeth.

It is therefore not surprising that many Dutch people are looking for a good way to whiten their teeth. What options exactly exist for this? Which ones work and are safe and which big nonsense? Are you going for a clinical solution or a natural approach? This article lists the options for teeth whitening.

How does tooth discoloration develop?

It is a fact of life that teeth, like the hair, change color as we age. This is because the dentin, the layer just below our tooth enamel, gets thicker with time. In addition to age, discoloration can also be caused by damage to the teeth, by certain medicines or by consuming strongly discolouring foods such as red wine, coffee and nicotine.

Whiter teeth options

In fact, to get whiter teeth, you have two options. You can have this done by the dentist, or apply a treatment yourself at home. Ideally, this home treatment is also supervised by a dentist or approached with great care.

At the dentist

The dentist has several methods for whitening teeth. First, the cause of the discoloration is carefully examined and the correct treatment method is determined on the basis of the diagnosis. For example, whether internal or external bleaching is required.

The advantage of teeth whitening at the dentist is that you know better which treatment will have the most effect. The regulations also allow dentists to use higher concentrations of the active bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide. The disadvantages are that whitening teeth at the dentist is often very expensive, costs that most basic health insurance policies do not reimburse.

Whitening teeth at home

You can also use teeth whitening at home. Here you choose how you approach it. That is why it is important to check whether the product complies with the strict European laws and regulations regarding bleaching at home. So always proceed with caution. You have several options for teeth whitening at home.

White teeth

Bleaching at home under the guidance of the dentist

Some dentists offer the option to perform most of the bleaching treatment at home. The advantage of this is of course that you spend less time in the dental chair, which is a welcome thought for most people.

For home treatment, a personal tooth bit is often made by the dentist, which you can then use to work with whitening gel. The nice thing about this is that you can whiten your teeth whenever you want, but at the same time you can count on the knowledge and help of a professional. The downside is that this method is also quite pricey.

Bleaching at home with a bleaching kit

You can do this yourself by whitening your teeth. If you know that the discoloration of your teeth is not caused internally, then whitening yourself is a great option. Make sure you buy the teeth whitening kit from a recognized party and preferably from a provider within the European Union.

Since the treatment is not supervised by a dentist or dental hygienist, the whitening gels sold in the EU should not contain more than 0.1 percent hydrogen peroxide. Although this may make the treatment less effective, it also makes it a lot safer. Studies have shown that excessive amounts of hydrogen peroxide and misuse can cause damage to the teeth and mouth.

Natural teeth whitening methods

In addition to clinical or chemical methods, the internet is also full of natural ways to get white teeth. Sometimes the advice is just what your dentist would say, like brushing your teeth properly, one whitening using toothpaste, switching to an electric toothbrush and flossing regularly. You can also consider eating less discoloring foods. Bye bye coffee, in that case.

However, there is also advice to, for example, treat your teeth with apple cider vinegar or baking soda or go oil pulling with coconut oil. While most of these are fairly safe, you should be careful here, too. First, know that there are hardly any studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for whiter teeth, for example. Excessive use of the acid can also affect the enamel of your teeth. We have known since we were little that acids and sugars are not good for your teeth.

A radiant smile

In short, there is nothing wrong with wanting whiter teeth. The teeth are often one of the first things someone sees with you. However, if you’re considering whitening your teeth, make sure you weigh all options first and choose the safest treatment for you.


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