The first thing many people notice when they meet you is your smile. If your smile is not bright and white, you might likely leave a negative first impression. If you have discoloured teeth and want to whiten them, different teeth whitening options are available to help you achieve your desired teeth.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure, also called dental bleaching. However, both terms have slightly different meanings. While teeth whitening restores the teeth to their natural shade, dental bleaching improves the teeth shade beyond their natural colour.
People have discoloured and stained teeth for several reasons,and different methods, including at-home and professional teeth whitening treatments, are available for whitening the teeth.
The baby teeth are usually whiter than the permanent teeth. Over time, the teeth become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the teeth, making the enamel more porous to absorb stains. Other things that stain the teeth include certain antibiotics, tobacco, acidic foods, bacterial pigmentations, ageing, dark-coloured beverages and foods.
Two types of stains can affect the teeth – the extrinsic and intrinsic teeth stains. While the extrinsic teeth stains affect only the surface of the teeth, intrinsic stains are deep-seated stains resulting from ageing, exposure to excessive fluoride or tetracycline at a young age or trauma. When the teeth have microscopic cracks from chewing, debris and stain will fillthe cracks and lead to teeth stains.
You can visit a cosmetic dentist to whiten your teeth using laser light, gels, or a combination of different procedures. Before an in-office teeth bleaching, the dentist will examine your teeth, clean them, and discuss your desired teeth shade. Your dentist will insert a cheek retractor in your mouth and paint a hardening resin on your guns to protect them from the bleaching agent.
The dentist will apply the bleaching gel on your teeth for about 15 – 30 minutes and rinse it off before applying a fresh gel on your teeth again for another 15 – 30 minutes. Next, the dentist will activate the bleaching gel with laser light to whiten your teeth by several shades. In-office bleaching is usually more expensive than other teeth whitening treatments.
These teeth whiteners are meant for use at home. They are available in different forms, including whitening trays, strips, toothpaste and bleaching pen. They usually contain baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.
Most over-the-counter teeth whitening toothpaste contain mild abrasives, which remove surface stains on the teeth. Meanwhile, most at-home teeth whiteners are effective but do not produce the same results as professional bleaching. The active ingredients in professional bleaching products have a higher concentration than over-the-counter whitening solutions.
Some vegetables and fruits contain malic acid, an organic compound that can whiten the teeth. You can also use baking soda to brush the teeth as it is mildly abrasive and can remove surface teeth stains.
A common risk of teeth whitening is the potential damage to the enamel. Excessive use of teeth whitening products and brushing aggressively can damage the enamel, exposing the inner part of the teeth. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers are unsuitable for teeth whitening due to the risk of ingesting the whitening gel. If you have a dental restoration such as crowns, bonding, veneers, or porcelain veneers, you would be unsuitable for teeth whitening because teeth whitening products do not affect dental restorations. However, you can whiten your teeth before getting a dental restoration.
Although most home and professional teeth whitening solutions are effective, you need to have realistic expectations. After your teeth whitening, your teeth will likely return to their natural colour after your teeth whitening, which genetics and lifestyle determine.
Your professional teeth whitening result would be most visible after about two weeks. So if you don’t notice your desired result immediately, wait for about two weeks before getting another procedure.
Getting teeth whitening consultation before your teeth whitening treatment will help you get a suitable whitening solution. You can book an appointment for your teeth whitening treatment at our Teeth Whitening Clinic in London. Call us now on 020 70434315 to schedule an appointment with our dentist.