Greetings to everyone!
There has been a great demand about tooth whitening and I have had the opportunity to try some whitening products last week. The results were amazing .
What Is It?
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. Most dentists perform tooth whitening.
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.
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, tea and red wine
- Not taking good care of your teeth
Aging also makes teeth less bright as the enamel gets thinner and the dentin becomes darker.
It is also possible to have stains inside the tooth. These are called intrinsic stains. For example, intrinsic stains can be caused by exposure to too much fluoride as a child while teeth are developing. Other causes include tetracycline antibiotics. They can stain a child’s teeth if taken by a mother during the second half of pregnancy or by a child who is 8 years old or younger. Teeth are still developing during these years. Trauma may also darken a tooth.
Tooth whitening is most effective on surface (extrinsic) stains.
How It’s Done
There are two main types of whitening procedures. Non-vital whitening is done on a tooth that has had root-canal treatment and no longer has a live nerve. Vital whitening is performed on teeth that have live nerves.
Vital whitening may not improve the appearance of a tooth that has had root-canal treatment because the stain is coming from the inside of the tooth. If this is the case, your dentist will use a different procedure that whitens the tooth from the inside. He or she will place a whitening agent inside the tooth and put a temporary filling over it. The tooth will be left this way for several days. You may need this done only once, or it can be repeated until the tooth reaches the desired shade.
The most common type of vital tooth whitening uses a gel-like whitening solution that is applied directly to the tooth surface. This product contains some form of hydrogen peroxide.
Tooth whitening can be done in the dentist’s office or at home. In-office (chairside) whitening allows your dentist to use a more powerful whitening gel. A specialized light or laser activates the gel and allows bleaching to happen faster.
In-office whitening usually takes 30 to 90 minutes. You will need one to three appointments. The number will depend upon the method used, how severe your stains are and how white you want your teeth to be. Different types of stains respond differently to the treatment.
First, your dentist will apply a substance that covers and protects the gums around the teeth. Then, the whitening agent, usually hydrogen peroxide, will be placed on the teeth.
I personally used Chemically activated whitening agents, and the protective layer was an Opal Dam which was hardened after light curing.
Some whitening agents are activated by a laser light, special lights or by the heat from these lights. After the whitening agent is applied, the dentist will shine the light on your teeth. If your teeth are badly discolored, your dentist may suggest that you continue the bleaching process at home for a few days or weeks.
For in-home whitening, your dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth and will make custom mouthpieces to fit you. The mouthpiece needs to fit well. A close fit helps the whitening agent remain in contact with your teeth.
At home, you will fill each mouthpiece with a whitening gel your dentist provides. You will wear the mouthpiece for several hours every day. Many people achieve the amount of whitening they want within a week or two. However, you may need to wear the mouthpiece for four weeks or longer.
Or there are new products, that your dentist can provide you , which i personally tested, which comes with ready-made trays with the gel in them. They can be snapped and tapped on the teeth easily and rinsed after 15 minutes. Those products are not sold over the counter, but your dentist may order for you. Those products must be stored in the fridge.
You also can buy other whitening products over the counter. They contain a weaker whitening agent than the products you can get from your dentist. Therefore, whitening may take longer. The whitening agent is applied as a gel placed in a mouthpiece or as a strip that sticks to your teeth. Over-the-counter mouthpieces fit less securely than the kind you get from your dentist.
Whitening toothpastes are available as well. They contain abrasives that remove stains on the enamel. They do not actually change the overall color of your teeth.
If you find that your gums are white or sore, follow up with your dentist.
Whitening is not a permanent solution. The stains will come back. If you smoke or consume a lot of staining foods or drinks, you may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month. If you avoid these sources of staining, you may not need another whitening treatment for 6 to 12 months.
Re-whitening can be done in the dentist’s office or at home. If you have a custom-made mouthpiece and whitening agent at home, you can whiten your teeth as frequently as you need to. Discuss your whitening schedule with your dentist. You can talk about what whitening products would work best for you.
Whitening is unlikely to cause serious side effects, although some people’s teeth may become more sensitive for a short while. You may get mild gum irritation as well. Women should not have their teeth whitened while pregnant. The effect of the whitening materials on the development of the fetus is not known. Since the procedure is cosmetic, it should be postponed until after delivery.
New products contain Sodium Fluoride and Potassium Nitrate which have been demonstrated to reduce caries susceptibility, lower sensitivity and improve enamel microhardness
1.Scaling and polishing should be done 2 weeks prior to your whitening appointment
2.Because restorative materials will not whiten it is recommended that the teeth are whitened prior to plastic esthetic restorations (wait two weeks after bleaching procedures before placing adhesive restorations)
No matter what treatment you use there is a chance that your gums and teeth can become more sensitive because of the chemicals being used in the procedure, especially if you already have sensitive teeth, however with a professional consultation the chances of this happening are significantly reduced.
Whilst teeth whitening may not be a permanent treatment it can last up to several years, which can be extended by a regular maintenance program with occasional top up sessions and the avoidance of foods and drinks known to cause staining to your teeth, such as red wine, tea or coffee.
Dentists are currently being faced with a new phenomenon called ‘Bleachorexia’ which refers to those that have an obsession with bleaching their teeth in order to get a whiter smile. If you over bleach your teeth they can become brittle and chalky because of the bleaching agent, Carbamide Peroxide, which can lead to hypersensitivity, gum irritations and even translucent blotches appearing on the teeth. Many patients ignore the guidelines set out by their dentist and bleach their teeth more frequently than is recommended which is why these problems often arise, in moderation and with the correct guidelines followed teeth whitening can be safe and effective. Chlorine Dioxide, another ingredient found in many of these treatments has also been know to leave patients teeth brown or discoloured after the initial process.
There are also still many people who choose to go to extremes to achieve a dazzling smile, including rinsing with Domestos and Toilet Duck, which can result in chemical burns or the stripping away of your tooth enamel. Once the tooth enamel has been stripped away it will not regenerate which exposes the dentine below leaving teeth with a brown colour permanently.
Achieving the white as snow perfect smile many celebrities have is actually near impossible as they are often the result of porcelain veneers and not teeth whitening treatments or products, however if you’d like to see what results our safe teeth whitening treatment can offer then pop in for a consultation.
My name is Tunesha Mohabeer , Dental Surgeon/ Dentist at Ebene Mauritius. I love writing and reading. My patients call me Dr. Nesha. I have a passion for the work I do, I believe that dentistry is science combined with art and physics. I studied Stomatology in People's Republic of China, stomatology is basically half medicine and half dentistry after having completed my secondary education Cambridge O'Levels and A'Levels at the Queen Elizabeth College, Rose Hill. I am thankful to having chosen this field because I meet people from all walks of life, and we develop a friendly relationship. I hope toothandtips is helpful and please do not hesitate to comment and message. Thank you