Teeth whitening is a simple procedure in cosmetic dentistry. It is also known as teeth bleaching. All teeth whitening procedures involve carbamide peroxide (CP) or hydrogen peroxide (HP).
If your dentist uses carbamide peroxide, it breaks down to hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide becomes the active ingredient, which helps to remove teeth stains or discolouration. It also breaks down the pigmented chromogens inside your teeth to get a brighter set of teeth.
The amount of peroxide in the teeth whitening product decides how fast you will get the result. However, if dental whitening is done correctly with the right product, it can give you excellent results that can last for a long time.
We expect our teeth to be dazzling white all the time. However, yellow, stained or pale teeth can dampen your appearance. In addition, it may fix the focus of others on your teeth, resulting in embarrassment.
So, people often visit reliable dentists like Studio Smiles to get whiter and brighter teeth. But, if you wish to have those elusive pearly whites, learn about teeth whitening procedures, products, and precautions. It will help you to get and maintain dental whiteness all time.
What Causes Yellow or Pale Teeth?
The dentin of teeth can become pale or yellow for various reasons. For example, it might be due to the natural aging process, poor oral hygiene, using certain medications, or consuming certain foods and drinks.
Some of the reasons that cause teeth to lose their natural whiteness and become more yellow or pale are:
A decrease in the production of tooth enamel
Tooth decay or infection can cause the enamel to weaken and allow dentin (a softer layer under the enamel) to show through, making teeth appear yellow or pale.
Ageing causes the enamel on teeth to thin and can make them appear more translucent and, therefore, more yellow or pale.
A diet high in staining foods (coffee, red wine, tea, etc.) can cause teeth to become stained and discoloured.
Smoking cigarettes causes tar and nicotine to build up on teeth over time and can cause them to appear yellow or pale
Pale dentin is more prone to developing cavities and discolouration, while yellow dentin is more resistant to cavities and more likely to stain. If you are concerned about the colour of your teeth, it’s best to consult a dentist who can determine the cause and recommend a course of treatment.
How Teeth Whitening Techniques Work
Tooth whitening works by breaking down the molecules of staining substances on the tooth enamel. The peroxide-containing whitening products break these molecules into smaller pieces, making them easier to remove from the tooth surface.
The bleaching ingredients in most over-the-counter whitening strips are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. When these ingredients meet the stained areas of your teeth, they release oxygen molecules that break down the stain compounds. This process is called oxidation.
The oxygen molecules also remove any plaque or bacteria that may be present on your teeth, leaving your teeth clean and white.
The process of tooth whitening usually takes a few weeks, and the results will depend on how stained your teeth are in the first place. It’s important to note that tooth whitening is not a replacement for regular dental check-ups and cleaning, as it can increase the risk of cavities if not used correctly.
Different Teeth Whitening Methods
Teeth whitening can be done at the dentist’s office through a customised and professional procedure. You can also perform it at home, but we recommend professional teeth whitening under the supervision of an experienced dentist.
Here are different teeth whitening methods:
In-Office Tooth Whitening
Dentists’ in-office tooth whitening is a safe and effective way to lighten teeth by up to eight shades. It works best on mildly stained teeth and usually takes an hour.
First, the dentist will examine your teeth and decide if you are a suitable candidate for tooth whitening. They will then clean your teeth and remove plaque or tartar. Next, the dentist will apply a protective gel to your gums and place a custom-made mouthguard over your teeth. The final step is to activate the whitening solution, which your dentist applies to the mouthguard.
The solution contains hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down into oxygen and water molecules. The oxygen molecules also help to remove any plaque or bacteria that may be present on your teeth, leaving your teeth clean and white.
The entire process usually takes about an hour, and you will see results immediately.
Whitening Gels and Strips
One popular way to whiten teeth is using whitening gels or strips.
Whitening gels are put on your teeth and left there for a certain period, usually overnight. Next, whitening strips are placed on your teeth and pulled off after a certain time.
Both gels and strips work by using peroxides to break down the melanin in your teeth, which makes them appear whiter.
However, these methods can also be quite harsh on your teeth and gums, so it’s essential to make sure you’re using a product that is gentle enough for you. In addition, you should always consult your dentist before choosing any whitening treatment.
Whitening toothpaste generally contains one or more of the following: abrasives, enzymes, sodium bicarbonate, and hydrogen peroxide.
The abrasives remove the surface stains on teeth. The enzymes break down the organic material that causes staining. The sodium bicarbonate creates a bubbly foam that helps to dislodge more dirt and plaque from teeth. And the hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria and helps to lighten teeth by bleaching them.
Tray-based whitening is a popular way to achieve brighter teeth. The trays are custom-made to fit your teeth, and you fill them with a whitening gel that works to remove surface stains over time. You will have to wear them for a specified amount each day.
Tray-based whitening is a less invasive procedure. If you want to get the best results with this procedure, you can speak to your dentist. They will prepare a customised tray that is moulded for your teeth and cover every angle perfectly for an evenly brightening effect.
Teeth Whitening Precautions
Before you start any teeth whitening treatment, it’s essential to consult with your dentist to make sure it is safe for you. Certain medical conditions and medications can make teeth more sensitive to damage, so your dentist can advise you on the best way to proceed.
Be sure to follow all the instructions carefully. Teeth whitening treatments should never be done more than once daily, and always avoid contact with the gums and lips. Stop immediately and consult your dentist if you experience any sensitivity or discomfort during treatment.
Always do a patch test before you start any teeth whitening treatment. Then, apply a small amount of the treatment to the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours. You can safely use the product if there is no reaction (no redness, swelling, or itching).
Be sure to read all instructions carefully before using any teeth whitening treatment. Do not use treatments that contain hydrogen peroxide if you have sensitive teeth, gums, or exposed roots. Also, avoid using whitening strips on braces or dental work.
Additionally, there are a few things to do when whitening your teeth at home:
- Avoid swallowing the bleach; it can be harmful if ingested
- Avoid contact with eyes; the bleach may have a damaging effect
- Do not use on children or pregnant women; it’s not known what effects the bleach might have
- Always use the appropriate safety gear, including gloves and a mask
It is best to do teeth whitening under the supervision of an experienced dentist. It will help you to get safe teeth whitening with complete peace of mind.
Book Teeth Whitening with Your Expert Dentist
Try your best to avoid practices that can affect your tooth colour and visit your dentist regularly for the best cosmetic procedures and care. Contact the experienced dentist of Studio Smiles to find out more about teeth whitening procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure because it can improve the appearance of teeth that have become stained or yellowed over time. It involves the process of bleaching your teeth to make them whiter. Bleaching makes your teeth three to eight shades lighter, and the procedure usually lasts for about an hour.
The most common type of teeth whitening uses a bleaching agent that is applied to the teeth. You can buy a kit from your dentist or get one over the counter. There are also some natural ways to whiten your teeth, but it’s always best to talk with your dentist before starting any at-home whitening treatment.
Teeth whitening may not be recommended for gum disease, tooth decay, exposed roots, or other dental emergencies. So, discuss this with your dentist.
In-office teeth whitening is the best teeth whitening procedure because it’s done under the supervision of an experienced dentist. He recommends teeth whitening only after checking your oral or other medical conditions. Then, if they find you a suitable candidate for this procedure, they will start the process using the most appropriate product.
However, it’s important to note that professional bleaching treatments are safe for your dental health without discomfort or sensitivity. So be sure to consult with your dentist before choosing teeth whitening options.
It is vital to take a few simple steps before performing teeth whitening.
To avoid regrets after a dental procedure, you must discuss everything with your dentist before starting the process. You can share your expectations with your dentist beforehand so that they can understand your goals. It will also ensure communication between you and your dentist.
Two main things to discuss before the whitening procedure are:
- The shade of whiteness you want or may be suitable for you.
- Teeth number you want to whiten.
However, if you have dental restorations like implants, veneers, or crowns, you must inform your dentist beforehand. It’s because there may be a colour difference between the restored and original teeth. In addition, it will help your dentist to find out the best whitening solution for you.
There are a few things you can do to prepare for professional in-office teeth whitening.
Make sure to brush your teeth and floss them thoroughly before the treatment. It will help remove any plaque or debris that may be on your teeth.
Avoid eating foods that are known to stain teeth, such as coffee and tea, in the days leading up to your appointment.
If you have been using braces or other orthodontic appliances, make sure to remove them before the treatment.
If you already have sensitive teeth before whitening, it is essential that you consult with your dentist before starting any at-home whitening treatment. The dentist can help you choose a safe and effective whitening treatment that will not further damage your teeth.
It is also important to avoid over-the-counter bleaching treatments, as these products may contain harsh chemicals that can further irritate sensitive teeth. Instead, consider using a gentler whitening product.
Be sure to brush gently and avoid putting too much pressure on your teeth when brushing them. Finally, drink plenty of water and chew sugarless gum after whitening to help soothe any sensitive areas.
Teeth whitening procedures are available to anyone who desires whiter teeth. However, a few considerations need to be considered before undergoing a tooth whitening procedure, such as whether the individual has any dental work that needs to be protected from the bleaching agents and whether the person has any allergies to peroxide or other teeth whitening ingredients.
But for the most part, anyone seeking whiter teeth can have them. Many professional teeth whitening products and treatments are available. So, it’s easy to find one that will work well for you. Be sure to talk with your dentist beforehand to ensure you’re using a safe and effective product.