How Does Teeth Whitening Procedure Work?
There is a lot of power that comes with having a bright smile! A smile is often one of the first things people notice about you, which is why maintaining a healthy and dazzling one is important. Of course, brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups is crucial to keeping your smile bright. In addition, teeth whitening can be a great option for adding that sparkle you may have been craving. As we age, teeth tend to become less bright due to various reasons. This includes the foods and beverages we consume, like coffee, tea, and red wine, habits such as smoking, trauma to the mouth, certain medications, and because of our tooth enamel becoming naturally thinner over time.
If you’re interested in whitening your teeth, the first step is to speak with your dental professionals. Teeth whitening is a relatively simple treatment and there are a bunch of different whitening products available. Your dentist can help guide you to the best option for your smile. It is important to note that teeth whitening may not solve all types of discoloration. For instance, whitening products may not work on existing dental restorations like crowns, veneers, and fillings, or teeth that have been discolored by medications or tooth trauma.
Many whitening products contain peroxides as the active ingredients, like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. These ingredients work to breakdown stains and essentially “bleach” the teeth. Some may even contain fluoride, which is a natural mineral known to help strengthen tooth enamel, prevent tooth decay, and may even lower the risk of tooth sensitivity after whitening. Tooth sensitivity after whitening may temporarily affect some individuals. If you experience any irritation or sensitivity, be sure to inform your dentist.
Common over-the-counter whitening methods include whitening toothpastes, gels, strips, and whitening kits. Whitening products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance are safe and effective, and designed to remove surface stains from the teeth. These products often contain lower levels of peroxide in comparison to whitening products or treatments provided by your dentist.
Your dentist may offer professional teeth whitening services, including in-office bleaching. In-office bleaching is often done quickly in one visit, in which your dentist may use laser technology or gels after first protecting the lips and gums. These services tend to be more expensive but can be more effective in whitening due to the higher concentration of bleaching agents. Your dentist may also offer at-home bleaching kits in which they provide you with a custom-made tray and instructions on how to apply the product over a designated period of time.
So, don’t hesitate, speak with your dentist today about whitening options to keep your smile bright!