Your smile increases your confidence level, which is why it is important to focus on your teeth and your overall mouth health. Apart from ensuring that your teeth are free from cavities, it is also worthwhile to ensure that they are pearly white and free from stains. To maintain bright white teeth, you have the option of going through teeth whitening. This article tackles how it works and how effective it is in making you smile more confidently.
Teeth Whitening in Brief
Teeth whitening is quite a simple process, which often involves the use of bleach. The bleach can either be hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. They work by breaking the stains of your teeth into smaller pieces, making the darker color less concentrated. The result is a brighter set of teeth. In this case, you can consider teeth whitening, particularly if you want to enjoy your sparkly whites for a longer period. However, you need to consult with your dentist first to ensure that the teeth whitening method that you go for is the one suitable for addressing your needs.
Effectiveness of Teeth Whitening
While most people benefit from teeth whitening, others may find it ineffective. The reason behind this is that the type of whitener used may not be the appropriate one for the specific kind of teeth discoloration that a person has. For instance, a person with yellow teeth may see favorable results with teeth whitening, but a person with brown teeth may not benefit as much. Still, people having teeth with gray tones may not benefit from teeth whitening at all. Teeth whitening is also ineffective if the discoloration of your teeth is caused by your medications or tooth injury.
Teeth Whitening Options
- In-office Tooth Whitening
When it comes to teeth whitening options, you can go for an in-office procedure, or what is often referred to as chairside bleaching. This procedure requires only one session and your dentist will most likely apply a protective gel to your gums to protect them from the bleaching process. From there, your dentist will already apply the appropriate bleach to your teeth.
- At-home Tooth Whitening
You can also go for a home treatment when it comes to tooth whitening. One of the most viable ways to do so is to follow the instructions given by your dentist. In this case, he or she will most likely prepare a custom-made tray that you can use for the bleaching procedure. This includes how you should put the bleaching solution in the tray and how long you should let it sit. If you prefer to do the whitening procedure at home at your own pace, then this is your most viable option. Unlike in-office tooth whitening though, at-home procedures may take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks depending on your application.
- Stain Removal Toothpaste
The toothpaste that you use already removes surface stain on your teeth through the use of mild abrasives when you scrub them in. However, for best results, you should look for kinds of toothpaste that are certified effective for stain removal. These have additional polishing agents which are safe for your teeth. However, they won’t be able to change the color of your teeth entirely much like bleaching solutions would because still, they can only remove the stain of your teeth on the surface.
- Over-the-counter Bleaching Products
Apart from stain removal kinds of toothpaste, you can also go for over-the-counter bleaching products to whiten your teeth. These products may come in the form of toothpaste or strips. Just keep in mind though that the concentration of the bleaching agent used in these products is significantly lower than what your dentist will typically use in an in-office procedure or at-home kit. For this reason, it is still a good idea to consult your dentist on which of these over-the-counter bleaching products will be most effective for you.
Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
Some people who undergo the teeth whitening process may encounter tooth sensitivity, which happens when the peroxide compound in the whitener pets through the enamel and further penetrates the soft layer of dentin. In this case, the nerve endings of your tooth may be irritated. Rest assured that this side effect is only temporary.
Teeth whitening works if you leverage the right type of whitener that can address the specific kind of discoloration in your teeth. Fortunately, there are various teeth whitening options for you to choose from. However, the key is still in getting in touch with your dentist because they are the ones in the best position to give you a piece of sound advice regarding your teeth.