Teeth whitening procedures have become a popular and highly requested dental procedure. Each year, Americans spend nearly $2 billion on teeth whitening procedures. Many factors contribute to the staining of our teeth, such as coffee, red wine, and smoking. However, proper polishing can also help prevent significant staining from occurring. Learn more about tooth whitening and what to look for when selecting a teeth whitener.
Before whitening your teeth, your dentist should evaluate the state of your mouth and gums. They will evaluate the condition of your teeth, if you have any existing dental work or if you have a high-sensitivity tooth. They may also use x-rays to see if any irregularities are present. Tooth whitening procedures are not suitable for people who smoke, but they can make teeth appear brighter and healthier.
At home treatments use a bleaching tray that you wear for a couple of hours or overnight each day. This whitening treatment can last for weeks, months, or years, depending on your needs. It is important to practice proper oral hygiene to avoid gum irritation, which can last as long as three days. While teeth whitening treatments have many advantages, they also come with risks. For instance, some people experience sensitivity to the bleaching agent.
Some teeth whiteners contain high-intensity light and hydrogen peroxide, which works by changing the colour of enamel. These products contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The longer you wear them, the whiter your teeth will become. The lightening solution is made from peroxide and other reactive byproducts. For these products, the duration of the treatment can vary, but the longer you wear it, the more visible your teeth will become.
Depending on the brand and the method of application, teeth whiteners can also cause tooth sensitivity. This occurs when peroxide penetrates the enamel and reaches the dentin. This irritates the nerve of the tooth, so the treatment can be delayed or stopped until the sensitivity subsides. Whiteners can cause damage to the gums and tooth enamel if misused. Always follow directions and consult a dentist before using any teeth whiteners.
The main ingredient of any teeth whitener is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals penetrate the tooth enamel and oxidize dark pigmented molecules. They change the underlying tooth color by one or two shades. In-office bleaching products contain hydrogen peroxide at concentrations of nine percent to forty percent. These teeth whiteners may take anywhere from two to three months to see a noticeable improvement.
While at-home teeth whitening kits contain less bleaching agents, they may not be as effective as those that come from a dental professional. Teeth whitening treatments can improve your confidence and self-esteem. Make sure to visit your dentist for regular cleanings to maintain the bright color of your teeth. There are several different ways to whiten your teeth: with teeth whitening kits, in-office whitening procedures, and at-home kits.