More information about the teeth whitening process is available from dentists, and it is recommended that you seek advice from them. In the meantime, let’s look at the different whitening methods.
Whitening toothpastes are not always highly effective and safe. They are able to remove only superficial stains, such as those caused by coffee, tea, red wine or smoking, without changing the natural color of the teeth. Pastes contain abrasive particles, which, by mechanically removing plaque from the enamel, give the teeth a white appearance.
However, such exposure can damage the enamel itself, causing micro-scratches, which over time can turn into cracks and damage the tooth. Therefore, it is better to give preference to non-abrasive toothpastes.
Professional whitening does not affect the enamel, which is transparent in nature, but the deeper dental tissue – dentin. The shade of teeth depends on the color of the dentin, which usually ranges from light yellow to dark yellow.
Before carrying out the procedure, it is recommended to consult with your dentist regarding possible risks and contraindications. Usually, the doctor recommends dental treatment for caries and professional cleaning, first in the clinic and then at home. Professional whitening can be chemical, laser or photo whitening.
In fact, all these methods are chemical, since the main component is hydrogen peroxide. However, its concentration in the gel usually does not exceed 10%, and it is combined with care, restorative and analgesic components that reduce tooth sensitivity. Pure peroxide can cause burns to the oral mucosa. In laser bleaching, a laser beam catalyzes the composition, while photobleaching uses light.
To maintain the effect of professional whitening at home, the dentist can provide a blank – a special tray that the patient uses, filling it with whitening gel once or twice a day for several weeks. There are also whitening strips with a similar composition.
Who Shouldn’t Teeth Whitening Be Recommended?
The whitening procedure is not recommended for children, pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding. Contraindications also include dental hypersensitivity, the presence of braces and untreated caries. There is a risk of the whitening gel getting into the dental cavities, which may be undesirable.
Side effects of whitening include temporary tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. This is usually due to improper fit of the mouthguard or errors in applying the protective barrier or gel. However, these effects are temporary and usually go away after the procedure.
How Effective is Teeth Whitening?
The teeth whitening effect can last from several months to three years. To prolong the results of the procedure, it is recommended that during the first week you avoid consuming foods that can stain the enamel, such as tea, coffee, beets, blueberries and red wine. It is important to note that teeth whitening does not work on dentures, crowns, fillings or veneers.