Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Most dentists perform tooth whitening.
Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter color.
Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth enhancing agents (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These agents break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.
Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons:
Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they have in common? Intense color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer part of your tooth enamel.
Two chemicals found in tobacco create stubborn stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless until it’s mixed with oxygen. Then, it turns into a yellowish, surface-staining substance.
Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth enamel is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.
Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood
Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.
Talk to the dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are four ways to put the shine back in your smile:
All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth. Look for whitening toothpastes like Actiwhite for stain removal . It has additional polishing agents that are safe for your teeth and provide stain removal effectiveness.
The dentist can provide you with a custom-made tray for at-home whitening. In this case, the
dentist will give you instructions on how to place the whitening solution in the tray and for
what length of time.
This may be a preferred option if you feel more comfortable whitening in your own home at a slower pace, but still with the guidance of the dentist. Out-of-office bleaching can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
This procedure is called chairside laser whitening and usually requires only one to four office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums. Whitening is then applied to the teeth.
we have different whitening products in our local oral shops, such as toothpastes or strips
that whiten your teeth. The concentration of the whitening agent in these products is lower
than what the dentist would use in the clinic.
If you are thinking about using an over-thecounter whitening kit, discuss options with the dentist for recommendation.
Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity. That happens
when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and
irritates the nerve of your tooth.
In most cases the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment, then try again.
Generally, anyone with healthy gums and teeth that are looking to brighten up their smile can benefit from the professional teeth whitening system. It has been shown to be highly effective at removing stains from teeth, including tobacco, coffee, tea, tetracycline, and various other tooth stains. A professional teeth whitening system will not affect existing dental work.
The process was designed to enhance the natural whiteness of the enamel. Existing restorations such as tooth-colored fillings, dentures, crowns, bonding, veneers, and bridges do not lighten. This means that any pre-existing dental work may need to be replaced to match the new tooth shade achieved in the natural teeth, should a whitening process proceed. Clients typically apply the gel product only to their natural teeth, allowing these treated teeth to lighten up to match a cap, crown, or veneer.
Studies of teeth whitening products using 10% carbamide peroxide showed no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface. Professional teeth whitening does not cause permanent damage to the enamel on your teeth, and is considered harmless by most dental health professionals.
The amount of whitening varies from client to client and cannot be predicted or guaranteed; but in general use, teeth may lighten anywhere from 6 to 16 shades on the whitening shade guide. The results depend greatly on how discolored the teeth were originally. Yellow or brown teeth, surface stains, and uniformly darkened teeth are easiest to whiten. Additional whitening treatments may be needed in order to achieve the desired shade, especially with heavily stained teeth.
Teeth whitening could be temporal or permanent . People who expose their teeth to foods and beverages that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as three month. Those who avoid foods and beverages that stain may be able to wait one year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed.
The process takes only 30-minutes, (2 – 15-minute applications) to achieve a whiter and brighter smile. It is broken down into two 15-minute applications to allow for maximum gel concentration and light exposure, without being under the light for too long of a period to cause gum irritation. Individuals with sensitive teeth may reduce the intensity of the whitening agent by choosing a lower power setting and those with very heavy stains may need additional treatments.
When you visit the dental office for professional tooth whitening, dentist will have you wear a tray during the treatment that will cover your teeth with a specially formulated whitening gel. Also, your dentist may use a type of light to enhance the whitening effects of the gel.
Teeth whitening may cause sensitivity during or after treatment and slight discomfort in the gums. Both of these side effects are usually temporary and will disappear a few days after treatment. It is important to tell your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms as the dentist will be able to advise how best to cope in the meantime.
Luckily, there are a number of steps that you can take to help retain your tooth whitening results. First, avoid eating or drinking any items that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, soda, berries, and anything tomato-based. If you do choose to eat and drink these items, be sure to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth afterward. Also, keeping up with twice-daily tooth brushing and biannual dental cleanings can help prevent stains from building up on your teeth. Finally, a yearly teeth whitening top ups to always ensure whiter smile.
The greatest benefit that you’ll gain by seeing a dentist for tooth whitening is speed. Unlike over-the-counter kits, professional whitening uses a stronger formula that can provide you with a noticeably whiter smile in a single treatment. At-home kits that you can pick up at the drugstore often take a week or longer to provide noticeable results.