Cosmetic Tooth Whitening Risks and Cost

By: Matt Wittchow

Cosmetic tooth whitening can be just what you need to get yourself more noticed. With the numerous procedures and kits over-the-counter, it's sometimes difficult to tell if a particular product is just what you need coupled with the fact that since most of these products are not too high up in your pocket, money wasting isn't a good idea except when there's lots of it.
Essentially, tooth whitening costs depend on the degree to which the teeth have been discolored. For badly discolored teeth, you may need to perform the whitening procedure just once while for others, using at-home kits is just as good enough. Let's now examine some common tooth whitening procedures; their costs, risks and side-effects.
At-home kits & Traditional Methods
Home whitening kits range from tooth whitening toothpastes to traditionally methods like salt and baking soda. Traditional methods as salt can be abrasive so using them more often than you should may result in more damage than help. Our teeth, strong as we may think them to be are not at all that strong. Using salt to brush the surface of your teeth can wash of the enamel and long story short, the enamel is what makes your teeth white so brushing it off will reveal your dentin which will make your teeth yellow all over.
In contrast, the baking soda method seems to be one step above salt in terms of effectiveness.

It should help you whiten your teeth within say 3weeks - when used at least once every night-. A side-effect of using baking soda resides in the hydrogen peroxide you'll add into the mixture. Much care must be taken as swallowing the mixture can prove fatal. Another side-effect is teeth sensitivity. This side-effect usually goes away after a few days.
Other home treatment procedures are the kits they sell on counter shelves. Home whitening kits usually contain less concentrated chemicals and are more suited for lightly stained teeth. The cost of these kits ranges between $30 & $70. A common side-effect with these kits includes teeth sensitivity. Depending on the product and the way it's been administered, the side-effect should go away on its own within a week. With any home whitening kit, it's always important to follow the instructions included in the packaging.
In-office teeth whitening
In-office teeth whitening procedures are those teeth whitening procedures that require they be carried out at a dentist's office. They are usually more effective than in-home procedures so may carry a higher price tag. Many in-office teeth whitening techniques make use of the same ingredients as home whitening kits but the chemicals used are usually of higher concentration.
Very common in-office teeth whitening procedure are Laser Bleaching and Britesmile teeth whitening. Dentists say these procedures differ in terms of ingredients used and ways through which they are carried out. For the laser bleaching method, a paste of concentrated teeth whitening ingredients is applied to the teeth and laser is used to activate the ingredients. Recent studies have revealed that the laser been used has no effect on the workings of the ingredients applied; dentists still use the laser anyway. Laser bleaching is quite effective and its effects should last up to 3 years. It costs around a $1,000 depending on your location.
Britesmile teeth whitening are similar to laser bleaching. The only difference is that a different kind of light is used to activate different ingredients. Its usually cheaper than laser bleaching. A side-effect with both procedures afore-mentioned is teeth sensitivity. Due to the concentration of chemicals used, sensitive gums are liable to get hurt. It's always important to discuss extensively with your dentist so he may be able to examine your gums and teeth before carrying out these procedures. Doing this will better equip you when making the decision of undergoing these procedures or not.

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