How much can you whiten your teeth

White teeth: bleaching and co .: this is how you can whiten your teeth

Stars like Heidi Klum and George Clooney show how it is done: with porcelain-white teeth, they shine at us from advertising posters and from television. Some try to emulate this ideal of beauty. But what do the different methods bring to lightening?

Everyone is born with a different tooth color, it is genetically predisposed and becomes more and more yellow in the course of life. The individual tooth color also changes when you eat foods with a high pigment content such as red wine, coffee, black tea, beetroot or blueberries. "Such deposits are deposited in the surface of the tooth enamel and are difficult to get down again," says Helmut Kesler, dentist and board member of the Berlin Chamber of Dentists.

Whitening toothpaste is not recommended

Whitening toothpaste is said to help remove these deposits. Ultimately, however, it increases the re-discoloration effect. "The abrasive components of such toothpaste usually only cause the teeth to become increasingly rougher and new pigments to accumulate," explains Kesler. The toothpaste can also never make the teeth whiter than they originally are. Annegret Blume, Managing Director of the Cosmetics Commission of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), warns against excessive use: "Whoever uses such toothpaste excessively risks attacking the teeth with too much abrasion."

As the most effective natural remedy for lighter teeth, Dirk Kropp from the proDente initiative recommends regular, thorough brushing. In addition, professional teeth cleaning in the dental office can have a whitening effect.

If that's not enough, there are only two options left on the way to a Hollywood smile: bleaching or veneers. Whitening involves the use of chemical agents, usually hydrogen peroxide, to whiten teeth. How much of it may be contained in the over-the-counter whitening strips or gels is precisely regulated. “The European Cosmetics Ordinance stipulates that a bleaching product may contain a maximum of 0.1 percent hydrogen peroxide,” explains Blume. Because of the low concentration, the hoped-for whitening effect can be disappointing, explains Dirk Kropp. And: "If bleaching strips are used improperly, chemical agents can irritate the mucous membrane, i.e. the gums."

Whitening is associated with high costs

Whitening at the dentist eliminates these disadvantages, but is correspondingly more expensive. Helmut Kesler estimates the costs at up to 1000 euros, depending on the practice. The six front teeth in the upper and lower jaw, i.e. the teeth in the visible area, are treated. “I apply an oxygen gel and irradiate the teeth with a lamp,” explains Helmut Kesler. “The light activates the oxygen, which has a bleaching effect.” However, bleaching is not possible for all patients: periodontitis, fillings in the anterior region or teeth that have been treated with root canals speak against it.

In such cases, only veneers, so-called veneers, can help. "These are ceramic bowls that are glued onto the tooth," explains Kesler. To do this, the tooth has to be ground down a little beforehand. The dentist estimates that the cost per tooth is between 600 and 700 euros. dpa