What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is used to restore discolored teeth to their natural teeth color. The discoloration may be from years of coffee consumption, wine drinking, or even smoking. Teeth whitening is now one of the most common procedures in the field of cosmetic dentistry.
Should I be whitening my teeth?
Although teeth whitening is now the fastest, most convenient way to give the smile an instant overhaul, it might not be best for every patient. If the patient has underlying conditions such as gum disease, teeth whitening may cause more damage than good. The best way to determine if the patient is a good candidate for teeth whitening is to have a consultation with the dentist. Initial assessment for a patient’s suitability for teeth whitening includes checking for existing oral restorations, tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, enamel thickness, gum disease, receding gums, and other factors that may affect the outcome of the procedure.
What is the most effective method of teeth whitening?
Although there are countless do-it-yourself whitening products out in the market today, professional teeth whitening by a dentist is still the best way to get your teeth whitened. Dentist supervised teeth whitening makes efficient use of the active ingredients carbamide and hydrogen peroxide in restoring the teeth’s natural color through deep stain removal. Professional teeth whitening involves cleaning the teeth and then a subsequent application of a protective layer to prevent the gums from becoming irritated during the procedure. Hydrogen peroxide paste will then be applied on the teeth for several minutes, rinsed off, and then reapplied several times to achieve a multiple shade whitening effect. An alternative to this method is the application of a 15 to 35% hydrogen peroxide gel on the teeth, which will then be cured by a high-intensity blue light to hasten the chemical reaction that breaks up the staining compounds. Getting professional teeth whitening at your dentist’s office will assure you of whiter teeth in minutes.
If going into the dentist’s office is not an option, the dentist can put together a whitening kit for the patient to use at home, which often make use of carbamide peroxide gels that break down into hydrogen peroxide and urea when applied to the teeth, effectively activating the whitening action. Results obtained with an in-house teeth-whitening kit could potentially achieve the same results as those from professional teeth whitening, but it will take longer.
The market is now teaming with over-the-counter teeth whitening systems that also make use of the same active ingredients in the form of gels or strips. Even though these products are intended for home use, it is still advisable to get your teeth professionally cleaned before using these over-the-counter teeth whiteners to ensure optimal results. Many people favor these products because they are very easy to use and, over time, they actually work.