Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure aimed to boost confidence in patients. Dental practices offer a variety of products to make a whiter, healthier-looking smile possible.
- Some teeth staining factors
Stained teeth can greatly diminish confidence in your smile. Staining and discoloration primarily occur due to the over-consumption of dark colored beverages such as red wine, coffee, and tea as well as the overuse of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Cigarette smokers complain of their teeth yellowing, as a result of the high concentration of nicotine and tar in cigarettes. Heavy smokers even complain of their teeth becoming brown over the years. Stopping smoking is the best way to prevent this.
For wine, coffee, and tea lovers, drink from a straw to reduce the amount of contact these staining agents have with your teeth.
- How teeth whitening works
Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are the two main ingredients used in teeth whitening serum, and they work in similar ways. The peroxide gently penetrates the tooth’s enamel, ensuring the deepest clean. The oxygen molecules in the peroxide break down the stained molecules, restoring your teeth to their natural pearly white color.
There is a wide variety of whitening products on the market. They include:
- Whitening toothpaste, powder, strips and trays.
- Gel whitening serum applied with a toothbrush.
- LED whitening mechanisms.
- In-chair whitening treatment (in the dentist’s office).
- Is teeth whitening a safe option?
In short, yes. At home whitening treatments available at the drug store are hit or miss; over-the-counter products aren’t always reliable and can sometimes be risky, especially if you are using one size fits all whitening trays.
The safest way to administer whitening treatment is through a dentist registered with the General Dentist Council, as opposed to visiting an unofficial shop or salon. Contact an Elephant & Castle dentist for inquiries on pricing and logistics of your whitening treatment.
- Who is a suitable candidate for whitening?
Most people are eligible for teeth whitening treatment. But, people with certain predispositions in their medical history may be exempt from this eligibility. For example, people with gum disease or other oral health issues are unsuitable candidates because the process could potentially weaken their gums even more. Also, individuals with crowns, bridges, or veneers may choose not to receive whitening treatment because the treatment won’t work on their restored teeth.
Pregnant and nursing mothers are also unsuitable candidates due to a lack of research on how the bleaching chemicals can affect the fetus and breastfeeding infant.
- Crowns and veneers cannot be whitened
Crowns and veneers cannot be whitened; although they can be replaced. These restorations do not react the same to the bleaching agents in the same way as natural teeth because they are typically made of porcelain.
- Results are temporary
Results from treatment are temporary. External forces such as staining agents and medications affect the colour of your teeth, and just because they’re white after the treatment does not mean they will be forever. To help maintain their brightness, avoid smoking, over-consumption of coffee, red wine and tea, dark colored foods like curry sauce and floss, and brush regularly.
- Is there any side effect of whitening?
Gum and tooth sensitivity are the two most common of whitening treatment’s side effects. Don’t be alarmed if you experience this sensitivity for up to a week after treatment, this is normal. You may also a temporary blotchiness on some of your teeth as the peroxide removes some stains quicker than others.
- Visit your dentist
While over-the-counter products may work in the short-term, it’s always best to visit a professional when dealing with oral health and maintenance. Most dentists offer professional whitening treatments in just one office visit, and usually, the procedure is simple and quick.
If you want to feel and look your absolute best, consider scheduling a teeth-whitening appointment with your dentist, it could be your first step to restoring your confident smile.
Principal Dentist in Elephant & Castle Dental Clinic, Dr. Raj Patel is a registered Invisalign Go Provider with special interest in areas like Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontics, Cosmetic Dentistry and Facial Aesthetics. Raj believes in developing and honing his skills by updating the knowledge to provide best possible care to patients.