What Is The Process For Teeth Whitening?
Yellow color or staining on teeth may cause distress among several individuals. In this day and age, we can not ignore the beaming effects of white pearly teeth.
Teeth whitening is a process of removing extrinsic and intrinsic stains from the teeth. Here we will explain the difference between bleaching and teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening can be achieved in two ways, either by chemical and non-chemical (or physical) methods. Chemical methods include bleaching the teeth with peroxide and non-chemical includes removing the stains from the surface of the teeth by scaling, polishing, or using abrasive kinds of toothpaste and charcoal.
Teeth whitening can be done to remove stains or discoloration that are extrinsic (on the teeth surface) and intrinsic (inside the teeth).
The extrinsic stains mostly occur due to factors such as poor oral hygiene, a diet rich in colors, various tobacco products, or red wine.
The intrinsic stains could be caused by factors such as an internal trauma, tetracycline use, demineralization of enamel, hypo-mineralization of enamel, or fluorosis. Genetics can also play a vital role in determining the color of the teeth.
The Need for a Clinical Exam Prior to Whitening
It is of utmost importance to have a consultation from a certified dental professional before attempting whitening treatments. The individuals need to be honest with their dentist and need to give every detail regarding their medical and dental status. An individual should be open about his desire, daily oral hygiene regimens, frequency and consumption of stain containing foods and tobacco if any. All these will be of great importance because the dentist will then be able to define and develop a patient-centered whitening treatment.
The clinical examination not only gives the dentist an overview of what's going on in the mouth, but it also gives a detailed report for each tooth's health status. Each tooth and the surrounding gums need to be in good health before proceeding with this whitening procedure.
Types of Teeth Whitening
1) Over-the-Counter Treatments
These methods are available in stores, referred to as OTC, or over-the-counter.
Toothpaste: Whitening toothpaste contains abrasive particles of varied grit, or may contain activated charcoal that removes the superficial stains.
Whitening strips: Whitening strips contain peroxide in different percentages coating the thin strips.
Whitening trays: Ready to use whitening trays are clear trays containing peroxide gel.
2) Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments
In-office whitening trays: In-office teeth whitening is the most reliable method for teeth whitening because this is performed under a controlled setting by a certified professional. After all the necessary initial assessments of your teeth and gums in the clinic, gums are protected because the high percentage of peroxide may irritate the gums. This type of whitening may require a single or more visit until the desired results are achieved. The dental professional is the only person who will give instructions upon the level of teeth whitening shade.
Custom at-home whitening trays: Customized whitening trays are also considered reliable because they are patient-centered, meaning they fit the specific patient's teeth. These trays are used along with varying percentages of the peroxide gel which can be worn an hour or so for a week per day, depending on the instructions from the dentist, to get the desired effects. The dentist will guide the individual on how to use it, when to use it and the precautions that need to be taken.
Factors that Affect the Long-lasting Effect of Whitening:
It is to be noted that whitening is not a permanent solution for teeth whitening. However, the effects can be increased by following some precautions that not only help in reducing the stains but has a direct effect on oral health as well.
-Daily oral hygiene regimens: Regular brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing at least once a day. Regular mouth rinses even with tap water is helpful.
-Diet: Stain producing foods such as cola, coffee, and wine should be minimized.
-Tobacco products: Cigarettes or other nicotine-based products should be quit completely because they not only produce stains on teeth but also have a great role in producing oral diseases such as oral cancer.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
As long as we get it done from a certified dental professional, it is safe to have teeth whitening. Regular consultation from the dentist regarding the status of teeth, best oral hygiene practices, and following dentist provided precautions, are all essential to have a good experience after having teeth whitening treatment.