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When toothpaste is no longer capable of giving people that shiny and bright smile, teeth whitening is the only alternative left. Regarding teeth whitening treatments, you have to know the options available to you.
Teeth discoloration is a common sight in many people, mainly because it is a natural part of life and several factors can cause it. It’s not always a lack of good oral hygiene. These factors include aging, drinking dark beverages habitually, smoking, and medications.
Some people are not self-conscious about it, but if you are conscious of your discolored teeth, there are different teeth whitening options to choose from. There are professional whitening options and home treatments or remedies.
Professional teeth whitening treatments are popular today. This may be in the dental surgery, or custom tray home whitening kits. The whitening done by a dentist is where a whitening gel is applied to your teeth with care because it is a strong solution. The custom tray home whitening is the same but has a weaker solution gel and you will be the one to apply it.
Advantages of Professional Teeth Whitening
But let’s just say that you are blessed in terms of finances and your only problem in life is your very yellow teeth. Right on. There’s only one thing to do then and that’s not to mess anymore with your teeth and let a professional handle the problem.
Let them do what they do best and all you have to do is sit back, open your mouth, relax and wait for the mirror to show you your new shiny white teeth.
- The procedures are supervised by a dental professional who will first examine your gums and teeth to ensure they are healthy and if your mouth contains dental crowns or veneers that will not be included in the treatment.
- Besides being thoroughly monitored, the treatments have a higher dose of bleaching gel than at-home whitening products but are safe and painless.
- They yield immediate visible results instead of several weeks, as delivered by custom home whitening because they have stronger doses.
- The results can last from 6 months to 3 years depending on your lifestyle and daily habits.
Here are a few of the options available to you.
Dental Teeth Whitening Treatment
A dental surgeon will apply a whitening gel to your teeth. The whitening gel may contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as the bleaching ingredient.
Your gums will be protected from the chemicals of the whitening solution by a rubber cover or gel. Your teeth will have the solution applied and be fitted with a custom-made tray. The applied solution will remain on your teeth for thirty minutes to one hour. When the active ingredient breaks down, the oxygen that gets into the enamel will make your teeth whiter.
It may be reapplied and once the desired level of whiteness has been reached, it will be time to rinse your teeth. Afterward, a fluoride treatment will be applied. Another visit may be scheduled to attain the desired result.
Professional ‘Take-Home’ Teeth Whitening Treatments
Your dentist will make a custom-made tray or dental mouthguard and treat your teeth with a whitening gel on the first session. Then you will continue the succeeding treatments at your home like the clinic-based procedure above. You will be given a weaker solution gel at home, just to be safe.
Laser-Activated Whitening Treatment
Your dentist will place gauze in your mouth to keep the teeth dry during the treatment. Your gums will be protected from the high dose of hydrogen peroxide solution. The solution will be applied to your teeth and the dentist will focus a laser or curing light on your teeth to activate the peroxide solution.
This procedure will lighten your teeth in half the time, compared to other whitening options. It can make your teeth five to six times whiter too.
Intense Teeth Bleaching
This is a multi-stage procedure that is well known for whitening even the most stubborn stains such as are caused by prescription medications. Custom-made dental guards are fitted to your mouth. They contain small amounts of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide solution that you will wear while sleeping, but they are comfortable and flexible. Both will utilize slower absorption and oxygen release to maximize the whitening result. They will allow the oxygen to soak deeper into your teeth to remove stubborn stains.
This treatment is designed to be worn overnight for two consecutive weeks or depending on the recommendation of your dentist for a long-lasting effect.
Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Treatments
If you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, then maybe, you just have to do with over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments. But don’t be so glum because it’s not that bad.
The main difference between over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments and the other is just that in this case, you’ll be the one wearing the white coat. But hey, if you’ve got faith in your abilities, there’s nothing wrong with that, right?
And at least you’ll be able to save money and time. Professional teeth whitening treatment could take forever. You know how some dentists are, ever the perfectionists, wanting to whiten everything, even the deepest recesses of your teeth, something that not even your husband or wife would be able to notice.
There are two primary types of over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments: bleaching solutions and whitening toothpaste. This type of DIY (do-it-yourself ) teeth whitening treatment requires you to understand how the procedure goes.
If in doubt of your capabilities, you could always ask for your friend’s help. Anyway, it’s just the measurements that matter most. Therefore, remember that using too little of the whitening product is infinitely better than using too much, which could lead to unwanted complications.
Foods to Avoid After Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening can leave teeth with temporary sensitivity to acidic foods and drinks causing some pain and discomfort. Limit consumption of acidic foods and beverages such as citrus fruits, vinegar, pickled foods, energy drinks, soda pop, and sour candies.
- Dark-colored foods such as beets, black grapes, and berries.
- High-pigmented beverages like red wine, soda, coffee, and tea.
- Tomato juice and sauce, yellow mustard, spaghetti.
- Smoking tobacco.
The results will last from 6 months to 3 years, depending on your eating and lifestyle habits. You can also use a custom-made tray and solution from your dentist at home, for maintenance.
The Last Word
It is said that teeth whitening is the number one cosmetic dental procedure today. Many people are looking for ways to brighten up their smile which in turn lightens their whole face and gives them more confidence. There may be a variety of reasons why your teeth are not as white as they should be.
Some people have been affected by taking antibiotics such as tetracycline. Many times it can discolor one or more teeth with prolonged use. Others are affected by nerve damage or may have discoloration due to dental trauma.
It may be that your personal habits are the reason for your teeth discoloration. Your diet and your dental hygiene all play a part in how white your teeth are and how white they will stay. One thing that cannot be helped is teeth discoloration caused by aging. It is said that no matter how great you look when you open your mouth the color of your teeth will give away your true age.
The professional teeth whitening options listed above are effective and safe when applied by your dentist. They are long-lasting, compared to over-the-counter and prescription gels for home use. That makes them cost-effective too, even if they seem expensive at first.
If you are interested in having a whiter smile, consult your dentist first. They will know if your teeth are suitable for any procedure. If you proceed, remember to maintain your whiter teeth by avoiding the things that cause teeth discoloration, and make proper oral hygiene a top priority.
Frequently Asked Questions
->What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening, also called bleaching, is a process of lightening and removing stains from a tooth. This process bleaches the enamel and dentin, the principal mass of a tooth, and brightens the discolored teeth.
-> What are the different methods of teeth whitening?
Some of the teeth whitening options are over-the-counter whitening systems; dentist dispensed at-home products, laser tooth whitening methods; Loaded Tray Teeth Whitening methods, and in-office whitening methods.
-> Are the whitening effects permanent?
Whitening effects are never permanent.
-> How do the teeth whitening kits work?
The peroxide chemical is the main ingredient of every whitening product that bleaches the tooth enamel. About 10% carbamide peroxide is present in dentist-dispensed products whereas 15 to 35 percent hydrogen peroxide is present in professionally applied tooth whitening products. When these products are used with a laser, it speeds up the whitening process.
-> Who is not recommended to undergo teeth whitening?
Tooth whitening is not recommended for children below 16 and for lactating and pregnant women. Further, individuals with gum disease, worn enamel, cavities, and exposed roots should not undergo any tooth whitening procedure.
->How long do the methods of tooth whitening take?
In-office procedures require two or more visits to the dentist and each visit lasts for thirty minutes to one hour. Whereas the at-home products purchased from a dentist or medical store and over-the-counter products take several hours to four weeks to show the result.
-> What are the side effects of tooth whitening?
Some feel temporary discomforts, such as gum or tooth sensitivity. But these symptoms disappear within 1 to 3 days after the treatment is completed.
-> How much do the different methods of tooth whitening cost?
The charges vary with location, types of treatment, and product used. But Laser or power whitening treatment is always more expensive than professional bleaching and home-based bleaching.
-> How to look after the teeth once they have been whitened?
One should eliminate those foods and drinks that stain the teeth and at the same time should stop smoking. You should brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and visit the dentist at least once a year.
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