What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is the term referred to any procedure that can be done by any individual or a professional to whiten the surface of the teeth. Teeth whitening can be done using several different methods and remedies at home by natural and chemical products or it can be performed by a dentist in his/her office. Teeth whitening can whiten the shade of teeth and it can remove yellow stains caused by aging, eating and drinking or smoking.
Why in-office teeth whitening?
With aging, the enamel surface of the teeth is worn away and as a result, the darker, yellowish color underneath is revealed. Smoking, drinking certain beverages like coffee and tea, eating and certain medications can also alter the color of the teeth and cause stains on the enamel.
A set of beautiful white teeth makes every smile shine. White, shiny teeth can drastically change the aesthetics of one’s profile and smile, and because of that, people are looking for different methods to improve the shade of their teeth and remove the old, yellow and unpleasant looking stains.
Several different methods has been suggested to whiten the teeth, from coconut oil and baking soda, to whitening toothpastes and strips. The home remedies available can help whiten the teeth to some degree and surface stains, but they cannot bring on the full on whiteness you may be satisfied with. Furthermore, you have to use these remedies for a long amount of time to be able to see results. In-office whitening methods on the other hands, are fast and they can whiten then teeth easily and drastically change the shade, removing any old persistent stain.
How In-Office Teeth Whitening Is Performed?
Teeth whitening is usually done by bleaching, that can change the shade of the teeth up to ten shades whiter, and change the natural color of the teeth. These products contain peroxide-based bleaching agents, and the in-office version of these product contain a higher percent of bleaching agent, usually around 15 to 40 percent. Bleaching removes deep stains as well as surface stains. These products are applied to the surface of the teeth by your dentist, and are left on teeth for some minutes for whitening effects to kick in. Dentists use heat and/or light as well to make the process faster and more effective.
Before the procedure, your dentist will evaluate the current shade of your natural teeth. Then, he/she will remove any plaques from your teeth using a dental pumice. Your dentist may use the retractor to keep your mouth open and keep your lips and cheek away from your teeth. A barrier will be placed around and under the gum line to protect your gums from the bleaching products. After the protection is placed, your dentist will cover the front of your teeth with the whitening solution. He/she may need to use laser based on the type of product used. The solution will be left on the teeth for 30 to 60 minutes. The teeth will be rinsed afterwards, and a fluoride solution can be used to help with the temporary sensitivity after the whitening.
The process of teeth whitening can take several visits, each 30 to 60 minutes long. Some dentists use a specific technique to finish the whitening process in a single two hour long session.
Who Is A Good Candidate for In-Office Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening effects differ from person to person. However, the bleaching method works best for individuals with yellow teeth and organic based stains, and works worst for individual with brown, grey or purple teeth. If you have sensitive teeth and gums, whitening can make your teeth more sensitive than before. It is best to consult with your dentist about your candidacy for teeth whitening and best methods to avoid any harm to your teeth and oral health.
What to Do After an In-office Teeth Whitening Session
Whitening effects of the in-office or home products are not permanent. However, there are ways to take care of your teeth to make the effects last longer:
Brush, floss and use mouthwash on a daily basis
Avoid drinking sport drinks
Avoid drinking carbonated beverages
Avoid drinking black tea, coffee and wine
Avoid eating food with a strong color (like berries, tomato sauce, black grapes, candies, Cheetos, etc.)
Avoid eating sauces