Teeth Whitening : How it works ?

We all want that amazing smile with big, white and shinny teeth. Teeth whitening offers a quick  way to enhance your smile.  So what do we normal folks do to get that Hollywood smile? Everyone who goes for a teeth whitening service looks forward to moderate to substantial improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their smile. In this blog I will cover the causes of staining, how teeth whitening works, when to bleach, the available options.

Tooth Staining:

There are two types of Stains:

  • Extrinsic stains

This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains. Intrinsic — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint.

  • Intrinsic stains

Stains form on the interior of teeth. Intrinsic stains can be caused by trauma, aging or exposure to minerals (like tetracycline) during tooth formation and/or excessive ingestion of fluoride. In the past, it was thought that intrinsic stains were too resistant to be corrected by bleaching.

How does teeth whitening (bleaching) work?

Teeth whitening will unfortunately not work on any teeth with dental bonding or crowns.According to the FDA, the term “bleaching” is permitted to be used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. First we take an impression of your teeth, then in only a day or two your custom bleach splints will be ready for you to pick up. We provide you with a special bleaching agent that you put into the clear splints. With only a few hours of wear per day, our special bleaching agent bubbles stains right out of your enamel in a very short time without altering tooth structure or existing dental work in any way. When your teeth reach the desired brightness, only occasional treatment is needed to maintain your new smile.

How do teeth whitening agents get the stains out from “inside” your tooth? Most whitening gels (or sometimes called bleaching agents) contain an oxidizing agent in the form of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These ingredients are the active ingredient in most whitening agents. The gel reacts with the internal aspect of your tooth, mixes with the discolored areas, and breaks them apart making them appear whiter.

Teeth whitening options?

Make sure you talk with your dental professional to see what’s best for you, but here are your teeth whitening options:

Professional take home trays:
Pros: Works for long term results, accurate to your teeth, decreased sensitivity, convenient.
Cons: more expensive than over the counter

White Strips:
Pros: Cheap, can whiten a few shades
Cons: misses areas between and around teeth, gets on gums, not as effective as professional take home trays.

In office bleaching:
Pros: Quick results
Cons: Not as effective long term, sensitivity issues, lights and lasers not that affective in “whiter teeth,” expensive.

Reference From: Consumer Guide to Dentistry


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