What Does Teeth Whitening Entail?
When your teeth change from their natural color, whitening your teeth is recommended. This can be done professionally in a dental office or in the convience of home. If done correctly, teeth whitening brightens your teeth, giving you a cleaner looking smile. But, if incorrectly done, teeth bleaching can damage the tooth’s enamel or cause sensitivity.
For best results, consult your dentist about any teeth whitening. Even if you can’t afford the in-office whitening procedure, they can guide you to the right whitening products for at-home use.
What are the facts of teeth whitening?
Several factors contribute to teeth staining, yellowing, or discoloration. These factors include drinking stain-causing beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine, old age, and medication. Smoking and genetics can also contribute to tooth staining. Below are the facts of teeth whitening:
- Unless done incorrectly or when harsh bleaching agents are used, teeth whitening shouldn’t damage teeth
- The amount of bleaching agent in whitening products determines the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Teeth whitening may cause sensitivity.
- Teeth whitening treatment can be reversed by staining agents.
- Teeth whitening effects last for approximately three years.
- Teeth whitening may not get rid of your severe stains. Such a case requires a veneer or crown.
How often should I treat my teeth?
Teeth whitening boosts confidence and enables you to maintain a brighter smile that could improve your appearance. Professional teeth whitening results can last for years if you avoid staining habits.
Overdoing teeth whitening can cause increased sensitivity and translucent teeth. Therefore, teeth whitening should be done only one time per year.
Teeth Whitening Procedure
1. In-Office Teeth Whitening
Dentists apply professional bleach to whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening agents include carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The dentist applies a tooth whitening gel that contains about twenty-five to forty percent hydrogen peroxide. The dentist then uses special lighting to activate the bleaching agents. These agents break down teeth stains, making your teeth color appear lighter and brighter.
Compared to other whitening procedures, in-office whitening is more effective, immediate, safe, and has longer-lasting effects. Depending on the damage, in-office whitening takes about 1 to 2 hours. The good news is that it only requires one appointment.
2. Whitening Strips and Toothpaste
If you have minor teeth stains or discoloration, you can use whitening strips and/or toothpaste. These products are available in local stores and usually consist of a very low bleach concentration.
Unlike in-office whitening, these products whiten your teeth gradually. This means that it can take a few months to notice results.
Since not all teeth whitening products are safe, always consult your dentist for appropriate professional whitening products, even if they are over the counter.
Teeth Whitening Care
Even after teeth whitening, your teeth can still get stained. Teeth whitening isn’t a permanent solution. It’s therefore advisable to avoid staining agents as much as possible. Also, whitening your teeth regularly will reduce the severity of stains and discoloration.
If your tooth stains or discoloration are caused by an underlying dental condition such as a nerve damage or tooth decay, it’s vital to the condition treated. If not addressed, it can cause further damage, such as tooth loss. Other steps can be applied to help maintain your results as described below:
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid consuming stain-causing food and drinks such as coffee, cola, tea, juices, and blueberries. If eating these food and drinks, make sure you rinse thoroughly with water or a mouthwash afterwards.
- Regular use of a whitening toothpaste to remove stains.
- Schedule frequent cleanings and checkups with your dentist.
When done correctly, tooth whitening will brighten your teeth and enhance your smile. For best results, consider in-office teeth whitening. It’s safe, more effective, and quicker than alternative treatments. If you’re interested in teeth whitening treatments, contact York Dental Group today to book your appointment.