Here are some facts you should know about teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening is a simple procedure to whiten and brighten your teeth while being safe, fast, and effective. Teeth can become discolored and stained for several reasons such as lifestyle, history of injury, or medical condition. This staining and discoloration can build up over time, often resulting from:
- Tobacco Use
- Food and Drink
- Mouth Trauma
- Environmental exposure to metallic compounds
- Other medical conditions
Teeth whitening is a dental procedure that restores the original shade of your teeth. This is done by removing stains from the outer layer of the tooth known as the enamel. Bleaching is the most common way to whiten teeth. Two types of peroxides are used in bleaching, either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The differences between the two are that hydrogen peroxide usually provides better results, but carbamide peroxide usually has fewer side effects, which are sensitive teeth and irritated gums. Before getting your teeth whitened it would be beneficial to get them cleaned first. Tartar (calculus) a form of plaque caused by minerals in your saliva and from the secretion of fluid from between the teeth and gums, it has a yellowish or off-white color and is very difficult to clean, requiring a dentist to remove the tartar.
Teeth whitening by bleaching works by using peroxide to penetrate the pores of the enamel where it can reach embedded stains. Once at the stain the peroxide breaks down the stain deposits freeing them from the enamel, making your teeth whiter
There are several different tooth whitening methods available such as light-accelerated bleaching, bleaching catalysts, internal bleaching, over the counter treatments and DIY (kits). Most of them use bleaching and can be done in the dental office or at home. Of the available tooth whitening methods, the dental office will usually provide the best results. This is because they have the equipment, usually a special LED, halogen, or plasma arc light, that accelerates the bleaching process, and have dental quality teeth whitening bleaches. Furthermore, their training will contribute to their superior results. Let’s face it when you have a lot of practice doing something more often than not you’re going to get good at it.
Though it may appear that anyone can get their teeth whitened this is not true. In fact, you are at higher risk for adverse effects if you have sensitive teeth, gum problems, enamel problems, or have a sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide. Also, if you’re under 16 years of age or pregnant or lactating you are at higher risk. These risks include hypersensitivity, irritation of the gums, mismatched results, your treatment can return to the shade it was earlier or damage to enamel. Additionally, certain dental work like fillings and crowns can’t be bleached. In fact, any porcelain, ceramics or metal will not be affected.
At Wyndham Dentistry, we provide both in-office and at-home treatments. As you would expect, our in-office treatment uses a special light to accelerate our dental grade whitening bleach. If the in-office treatment is not for you, we provide a take-home whitening kit. You will still need to come into the office to get your custom-made trays, but after that, we provide you with all you need to achieve and in-office white from the comfort of your home.
Take care of your newly whitened teeth by protecting them. Good oral hygiene, using a whitening toothpaste twice a week, using a straw to drink your coffee, tea, or wine, and getting a touch-up treatment will keep your pearly whites lasting for a long time.