Teeth whitening is an ideal solution for those who have healthy, unrestored teeth with yellow tones. Basically, it is the bleaching of the teeth to make it whiter. Teeth whitening can be accomplished with different methods which include whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays, and whitening agents given by a dentist. Options vary in cost, strength and effectiveness. But be rest assured that almost anybody looking for a bright smile gets the right product that fits the budget.
Whitening toothpastes can only deal with surface stains. It is not as effective as other methods. Some other hydrogen peroxide whitening products can help lighten the tooth color. However, light-activated whitening in the dentist’s office can lighten teeth by three to eight shades.
Whitening gels are clear and peroxide-based. They are generally applied twice a day with a small brush over the course of two weeks. Results are usually seen within a few days and may last for about four months.
The results of strips are similar to those seen in whitening gels. Whitening strips are thin and coated with peroxide-based gel. They are usually applied twice a day for two weeks.
Just like our mouthwashes, they are easy to get, refreshes breath and may reduce dental plaque and gum disease. Whitening rinses contain extra ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide, which manufacturer’s say will whiten teeth after 12 weeks of use. They are best used twice a day for 60 seconds before brushing. Since rinse is only in contact with the surface and in a short time, professionals believe it is not as effective as other superior products.
Such example is tray-based whitening system. It involves wearing a tray filled with whitening gel that fits in your mouth. Depending on the amount of discoloration, one may need to wear the tray anywhere from a couple hours a day to every night for up to four weeks or longer.
No teeth whitening process is permanent but bleaching will have a lasting effect on the teeth after application. Bleaching is the quickest and the most expensive whitening solution available. The products involved in bleaching may be used along with heat, light, and/or lasers. The process requires only a one-time treatment lasting only up to an hour. For best results, multiple appointments are recommended.
There are some factors which determine the time in which teeth stay white after a whitening process, including condition of one’s teeth, their avoidance of food and beverages that tend to stain teeth, and the type of whitening system they used. Food, drinks, and heavy smoking will stain any of the teeth whitening processes are completed.
There are age groups and categories of people that should abstain from teeth whitening.
- Teeth whitening is not recommended for children under the age of 16.
- Pregnant or lactating women
- People with sensitive teeth, gum disease, or teeth with worn enamel and
- Those who are allergic to peroxide.
Before undergoing any kind of whitening procedure, anyone with cavities should get it treated otherwise they will risk the product from entering the inner areas of their tooth, causing sensitivity an pain. Fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations do not whiten. Smokers and those with darkly stained teeth (not including yellow) will see limited results and should discuss their options with a dentist before beginning treatment.
The Side effects of teeth whitening include tooth sensitivity and irritation of soft tissues of the mouth. If sensitivity occurs, you can reduce it by using the at-home treatments for a shorter period of time or by allowing your teeth to adjust to the whitening process by stopping the treatment for two to three days. Fluoride or potassium nitrate toothpastes may help.