What is Teeth Whitening? - Is it safe for Oral Health
The desire for white teeth is nothing new and never-ending. Even the perfectly natural smile appears dull as the tooth gets slight strains with age. Most people believe that yellow teeth are a sign of poor aesthetics, but it is a natural phenomenon. Dental and oral aesthetics have become popular in foreign countries decades ago. But the increased exposure to aesthetics made it reach India.
Most of us believe that a bright and sparkling smile is what creates the first impression. Yes, there is no other contradiction to this. Do you know? The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reported that teeth whitening is the most requested procedure in a dental office. The market research from Arizton, the global teeth whitening industry is expected to reach revenue of $7.99 billion by 2026. Despite many aesthetic procedures, teeth whitening is the basic and least expensive procedure.
Are you one among all who are looking to brighten up the smile? Do the plenty of teeth whitening procedures and products leave you with questions? You might have read and gone across many sources to know in detail. Let us be on top of them to help you know all about teeth whitening.
Let us understand what teeth whitening mean. And why is it gaining this popularity?
Table of Contents
- What is Teeth whitening?
- The options for teeth whitening
- Difference between teeth whitening and teeth cleaning
- Things you should know before getting your teeth whitened
- Wrapping Up
What is teeth whitening?
For decades, teeth whitening is a procedure in which stained teeth are soaked in hydrogen peroxide solution. This is a well-practiced approach, but requires several attempts to see the results. Modern dentistry and its evolution have put an end to all these.
Teeth whitening treatment at Dr. Jaydev's clinic includes cleaning stains and discoloration. This brings back the natural white-coloured tooth that looks better. The basic teeth whitening process is the bleaching of teeth enamel. Peroxide is the most used teeth whitening solution to bleach the enamel.
Most of you wonder how your teeth get so stained even if you brush and floss them regularly. Brushing and flossing are to clean the tooth surfaces and remove the debris stuck in the teeth gaps. These two keep your mouth and teeth hygienic.
So, let us understand what are the actual causes of tooth discolouration!
Eating Sweeter foods
Chewing and smoking Tobacco
- Unhygienic oral habits
No single but multiple. Not your teeth, but the reasons for tooth discoloration.
Yes, many habits of you contribute to stains on your teeth. The most common reasons include the consumption of certain acidic foods. There are two types of teeth discolouration;
Extrinsic (Surface) discolouration and Intrinsic (within the teeth).
Extrinsic teeth discolouration is due to pigmented foods and drinks. The pigments are adhesive to the tooth surface and get settled there. Example of such foods is Tea, Coffee, Smoking, Soda, red wine, berries, etc.
Intrinsic staining is caused over time, age, trauma, and medications.
The Options for Teeth Whitening
The advanced technologies bought many procedures for teeth whitening. The surface of the teeth is whitened from the common teeth whitening solutions. We need to change the concentration of whitening liquids to whiten the deeper stains. There are some strong treatments to reach into the deeper layers of the teeth. These treatments trigger the chemical reaction to break down the compound stains.
Below are the Methods for teeth whitening –
It is the most preferred and efficient procedure. They will apply a protective gel to your gums, and a bleaching gel on your teeth. Then they set you under a special light. This procedure gives instant results.
The drawback of this procedure is teeth get dehydrated and become more sensitive. However, Fluoride is applied to the tooth to prevent this sensitivity. Once the teeth dry completely, the discoloration starts to form. This procedure is slightly expensive but it is one of the safest procedures. You are advised to avoid colored foods and beverages, smoking, and alcohol.
At-home professional teeth whitening:
This method is different from the previous one. In this method, your involvement is to be added. Usually, this method is suggested to people who have stubborn stains on their teeth. You will be advised of an extended treatment after the initial procedure. These all together help to completely fade the color. This can be continued at your home.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening agents:
These include whitening trays, gels, and strips. These are easily accessible to the user but are not as effective as the above-mentioned two. In this procedure, the whitening takes some time to visible. There may be risks of hurting gums and potential damage to teeth enamel. So, follow proper guidelines.
Teeth whitening strips – These are the less expensive options. These strips come in thin materials coated with hydrogen peroxide-based gel. If you do not put the strips properly, you will end up with stains on the strips too. Hence, strips are suggested for people who have perfect structured teeth.
Teeth Whitening Trays – These are the most effective options but are slightly expensive. This whitening tray is filled with teeth whitening gel and is to be placed over the teeth for about 30 minutes. This is to be continued every day for several weeks.
Application of dental veneers:
This is a cosmetic dental procedure. In this procedure, teeth like porcelain appliances are placed over the discolored teeth. This does not require bleaching the enamel of the teeth.
Read more about dental veneers and dental caps
Teeth Whitening and Teeth Cleaning are Very Different
In most cases, people misunderstand teeth cleaning as teeth whitening. Though both are dental procedures, the procedure carried out is different in each of them.
In teeth cleaning, the plaque or bacteria is removed from the teeth. This prevents both teeth and gums from bacterial infections and tooth decays. Teeth cleaning is an important part of dentistry and should be done on regular basis. It is generally suggested for everyone maintain proper oral hygiene.
In contrast, teeth whitening is the process in which the teeth discoloration or stains due to colored foods are beverages are removed. Teeth whitening is a condition in some people that requires overcoming something and hence it is not suggested to everyone. It is more of a cosmetic procedure.
Things you should know before getting your teeth whitened
Know a few things before you undergo teeth whitening treatment
Clean teeth will whiten better
If you are planning to undergo a teeth whitening treatment, schedule it once your teeth are clean enough. Because teeth whitening shows the best results on clean teeth. As there are different procedures in teeth whitening and involve many chemical solutions, having plaque or infectious teeth may not be ideal.
Restorations and Fillings won’t whiten
Restorations or fillings are dental procedures to address any periodontal diseases. The typical teeth whitening won’t work on them. So, before whitening teeth, check if there are any restorations to be replaced.
Professional whitening can last up to a year
Teeth whitening is something that gets back with time. There are quite natural reasons like aging that effects the teeth' color. This doesn’t mean whitening your teeth regularly.
In general, professional teeth whitening is a permanent procedure but it also gets lost with time. Just check how long your teeth whitening is lasting. Getting the teeth whitened frequently is also not a good practice as it results in enamel dryness and increased sensitivity.
At-Home whitening products are the quick fixes
The first cure starts from home if it is early and continually followed. Hence prefer to use at-home products like whitening trays, whitening strips, etc. These usually have less peroxide in them and this prevents the teeth from sensitivity. Whitening strips combined with daily use of whitening toothpaste bring better results.
Not everyone can whiten their teeth
The natural color of dentin is yellow. But the intensity of the color varies with person-to-person. So, if the tooth is prone to a darker shade of yellow color, teeth whitening may not be the ideal solution. Instead, you will be suggested to go with porcelain veneers.
Are teeth whitening procedures Safe for Oral health?
There is a common misconception that teeth whitening damages the teeth. However, the dental experts at our clinic are professionally trained, they safely and comfortably administer the procedures that are required for the patient.
In most dental whitening treatments, hydrogen peroxide solutions are used. The professional procedures include 35%-40% of solution whereas over-the-counter products have 10% of hydrogen peroxide. There is much scientific evidence that these compounds are very safe.
Any dental expert will offer you the best services. But every method involved in teeth whitening has a lifespan. Teeth discoloration is something associated with aging. Yet, professional teeth whitening provides long-lasting results. But that all depend on how well you care for your teeth.
Get Every Single Answer About The Treatment
Far from popular studies, as long as it is carried properly, it doesn’t create any damage. So, it is always suggested to know the oral condition and then proceed with the teeth whitening.
If you already have sensitive teeth, the chances are high that the teeth hurt. But in professional teeth whitening, your teeth are pre-diagnosed for any damages or infections. Your dentist will tell if your teeth are sensitive to whitening procedures or not and then proceeds on your interest and the best possible procedures. But sensitivity is quite common and normal.
Dental veneers and crowns are cosmetic dentistry procedures. Though they look natural, they cannot adapt to all the physically bound procedures that your natural tooth accepts.
There may be a few like sensitivity and irritation in tissues. But these are not permanent or serious.