Preventing tooth discoloration is kind of an impossible task for many of us. Especially if you are a tea, coffee or wine addict it is really tough to step out of all that all of a sudden! Moreover, there are a few obvious reasons behind the darkening of your teeth. Drugs like tetracycline or simply aging are responsible for discoloring your teeth. Perhaps, therefore, Americans give more than a $2 billion business to the teeth whitening segment of the cosmetic dental industry. One of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures, teeth whitening is a relatively easier dental procedure and can be done both ways – professionally or using at-home whitening kits.
The whitening procedure is more than popular by now. Individuals are well aware of the fact that the active ingredient in tooth whiteners is peroxide (hydrogen or carbamide). Hydrogen peroxide is the actual bleaching agent, while the ingredient carbamide peroxide breaks down into hydrogen peroxide.
Bleaching products are available from both dentists and drugstores. Those which you get from a dentist are much stronger than those purchased over-the-counter. Whiteners used by dentists have nearly as much as 35% to 45% peroxide while the OTC (over-the-counter) kits usually have only 7% peroxide. The at-home kits mainly comprise of whitening strips or trays.
So far the discussion consisted of only the basics of teeth whitening. There are certain facts about this wing of cosmetic dentistry that you should know.
7 amazing facts on teeth whitening
This cosmetic procedure does not damage your teeth.
Teeth whitening, particularly professional teeth whitening are incredibly safe. So, unlike abrasive brushing, whitening does not harm your tooth’s enamel. The active ingredients work to temporarily open the pores of your teeth and lift stains. Only, after each whitening session, unless your tooth naturally remineralizes and rehydrates, you need to be extra conscious about what you eat and drink.
Sensitivity after teeth whitening is normal.
Tooth sensitivity is a common phenomenon among individuals, the reasons being - genetics, thin enamel, or damaged teeth. Such sensitivity is subject to treatment by your dentist. However, sensitivity during the whitening process is completely normal. Since the teeth become temporarily dehydrated, their ability to insulate the nerve from temperature changes is temporarily reduced. This issue disappears well within 12-36 hours after the procedure. A post-whitening fluoride treatment is usually recommended by dentists to nourish the teeth and restore rehydration.
Your teeth stains cannot be removed overnight.
You need to keep this in mind that there are no such products in the market that can whiten in a few minutes or in a day. It is chemically impossible for any whitening agent to effectively penetrate deep through the pores of the teeth at that speed. In reality, a whitening process may take anything between 4 days to even several months. You need to be patient enough to go through the right procedure in order to effectively remove those years of stains.
The best time to whiten teeth is during bedtime
As discussed above, your teeth remain vulnerable immediately after whitening (unless they naturally rehydrate and remineralize). Since the pores in your teeth are slightly more open they easily allow stains to set in. Hence, bedtime is recommended by your dentist such that they are replenished with minerals and hydration before any further consumption takes place.
Crowns and veneers cannot be whitened
You need not worry about this as crowns and veneers will neither stain nor stain. So, this fact should not bother you. When they are created they are done to match the color of your natural teeth. So, if whitening is required, it will be required by your natural teeth only. Tooth whitening does not damage any cosmetic or restorative dental work.
The primary role is played by the teeth whitening device.
Most teeth whitening products use more or less similar ingredients to whiten your teeth. The difference is created by the device that is used to hold the whitening agent against your tooth. A custom-fitted whitening tray would ensure that every corner of every tooth (regardless of whether they are straight or not) receives an even coverage and consistent amount of the whitening ingredient.
Everybody’s teeth cannot be perfectly white
Tooth color to some extent is inherited or determined during your birth. Hence, the only thing a whitening product can do is remove the stains that have accumulated over time. Although, most dentists will not reveal this to you nor will they refund your money if the procedure applied doesn't work. Therefore choosing your dental office carefully and with a lot of research is a must.
As teeth whitening has turned into a trend these days, most people are up for it. Be it those working in the public domain, the fashion world or the college-goers, individuals easily fall for this service without knowing much about it. This post was therefore intended to impart knowledge on the same. Facts about the whitening process are not clearly known to many. A flawless teeth whitening outcome will only be achieved once you are aware of the dos and don’ts and consequences of the same.