What are teeth whitening?
Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter color.
Why do we need teeth whitening?
The outer layer of a tooth is called the enamel. Every day, a thin coating (pellicle) forms on the enamel and picks up stains. Tooth enamel also contains pores that can hold stains.
The most common reasons for teeth to get yellow or stained are:
Using tobacco, drinking dark-colored liquids such as coffee, cola, and tea, not taking good care of your teeth, and aging.
Tooth whitening is most effective on changing teeth color and removal of surface stains.
How are teeth whitening made?
Whitening can be done in the dental office or at home. For in-office whitening, your dentist probably will photograph your teeth first. This step will help him or her to monitor the progress of the treatment. Your dentist also will examine your teeth and ask you questions to find out what caused the staining.
Next, the dentist will clean your teeth. This will remove the film of bacteria, food and other substances that build up on your teeth and contribute to the staining. Once this is done, the whitening procedure begins. The whitening gel is applied on the teeth for 10-15 minutes and it needs to be repeated 2 or 3 times in the same visit. The gel is activated by using another gel or by light activation or laser.
At home whitening:
For whitening at home, your dentist can make trays to hold the whitening gel that fit your teeth precisely. Home whitening gel usually needs to be applied daily for two to three weeks. Be sure to follow directions to avoid overuse and possible damage to your teeth and mouth.
Whitening tooth pastes Vs Light activated whitening
Whitening toothpastes can lighten the tooth’s color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in your dentist’s office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.
How long do teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening is not a one time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the bright color. The degree of whiteness will vary from individual to individual depending on the condition of the teeth, the level of staining, and the type of bleaching system used.