A Detailed Guide
A brighter smile can do change a lot of things for you. You can enjoy its full benefits only when you have beautiful white teeth. This is not what you can achieve by only brushing and flossing regularly. Teeth whitening is the best way to get your teeth whiter and beam that brighter smile that can make you more likable.
Do you need teeth whitening? Are you still skeptical about the procedure? Do you want to learn more about it? This is a complete guide about teeth whitening. You will learn all you need to know, including:
• What teeth whitening is
• How teeth whitening works
• Your teeth whitening options
• The best way to get your teeth whitened
• And lots more
Are you ready for it? Let’s dive right into it.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening can be described as an effective way to lighten the natural color of the teeth without removing any of the teeth surfaces.
There are different systems and products used for teeth whitening, and their effectiveness varies significantly.
Teeth whitening procedures are unlikely to make your teeth brilliant white, but they can lighten an existing shade significantly to give you a brighter smile.
Teeth whitening is recognized by many as the most effective way to improve a smile, especially for candidates who already have a complete set of healthy. It is recognized as one of the most popular and effective cosmetic dentistry procedures.
Do I Really Need Teeth Whitening?
Are you still wondering if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening? Do you feel you don’t really need the procedure?
The ideal candidate for teeth whitening is the individual whose teeth are discolored; the shade doesn’t really matter.
If you are not comfortable with how your teeth look when you smile, and you feel there will be a real improvement if the teeth were whiter, you are a candidate for teeth whitening.
It is important to state here that teeth whitening is not just for individuals whose teeth are stained. There are people whose natural teeth are not as bright as they would want them to be.
You can also get teeth whitening if your natural shade is not bright, and you know that getting whiter teeth will improve your smile.
Am I A Good Candidate For Teeth Whitening?
Even if your teeth are discolored or stained, Dr. Park may advise you against teeth whitening.
The most common reasons for not recommending teeth whitening include age and pregnancy issues.
Children below the age of 16 are not considered qualified for teeth whitening. This is because the procedure can irritate the pulp section, which remains enlarged until this age.
Pregnant and lactating mothers are also not advised to engage in teeth whitening.
Other issues that may make your dentist advise you against teeth whitening include sensitive teeth & allergies, receding gums, sensitive gum, gum disease, worn enamel, cavities, and exposed roots.
Why Did My Teeth Change Color?
Most people who will get teeth whitening are individuals whose teeth have changed color.
For most individuals, it happens naturally with age. But you shouldn’t let age ruin your smile. Besides age, there are other factors that contribute to teeth discoloration. It is important that we discuss them a little bit to help you understand better.
Here are the major reasons your teeth can go from a decent white to a not-so-bright shade that will require whitening:
This is the most obvious cause of teeth discoloration for many individuals.
Most of commonly eaten food and beverages cause long term teeth staining.
The biggest culprits here include tomato-based sauce, soy sauce, cola, fruit juice, coffee, red wine, tea, and more.
Being mindful of what you eat can significantly minimize teeth discoloration.
Another major culprit is tobacco.
Smoking is an extremely easy way to get stained teeth over time. Tar and nicotine, which are both found in tobacco, cause serious teeth staining.
A tooth can change color as a result of significant trauma. If a tooth is hit, it can react by laying down more dentin. This will make the teeth darker.
There are medications that can cause teeth darkening.
Antihistamines, antipsychotics, and high-pressure medications can all cause darker teeth.
Some antibiotics and treatment options like chemotherapy and head/neck radiation can also cause teeth darkening/discoloration.
As humans age, the outer, white enamel of the teeth becomes thinner, exposing the inner layer dentin, which is darker.
Does Teeth Whitening Work On All Teeth?
Teeth whitening works on natural, healthy teeth.
The efficiency will also be determined by the color and condition of the teeth, as well as the teeth whitening procedure used. This is why it is very important to speak with your dentist before attempting any procedure.
Teeth whitening is not for artificial teeth. It will not work well on caps, veneers, crowns, or fillings.
Some procedures may not work if the discoloration is caused by medications or serious injury.
You can consult with Dr. Park to be sure that any particular procedure works well for you.
What Are My Teeth Whitening Options?
Teeth whitening works by removing stains without affecting the teeth layer at all.
It normally involves the use of whitening products which normally contain two safe tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These efficient bleaches can break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and improves the brightness/whiteness of your teeth.
While the concept is the same in many instances, there are different teeth whitening procedures, and it’s helpful to know them.
Stain Removal Toothpaste
We all use toothpaste in brushing. You will also observe that all kinds of toothpaste are marketed as stain removal toothpaste. There is no dispute there; all toothpaste can remove stain through mild abrasive actions.
There are some toothpaste that also have whitening effects. You should look out for those that have ADA Seal of Acceptance for stain removal. They have additional polishing agents that can actually whiten your teeth.
These are mostly new whitening products introduced as cheaper and more affordable ways to whiten teeth at home. Like regular mouthwashes, they freshen breath and help reduce dental plaque and a few other oral issues.
Some of them have safe bleaches like hydrogen peroxide in low concentration.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening
There are different teeth bleaching products you may buy from any pharmacy, grocery store, or even online. They may come in the form of toothpaste or strips. Many of them work just fine, but you need to make sure that your dentist knows what you are doing.
Take-Home Whitening Kits
Some dentists can provide you with teeth whitening kits you can use at home. Our office provides them for all patients, whether they have a cleaning or an implant. Samia will also instruct you on how to use the kit yourself.
This is the safest and most effective teeth whitening solution available. It is a simple procedure that takes place in your the office, requiring one office visit (usually tacked on before or after your cleaning or other appointment).
The success rate is extremely high and it is the standard teeth whitening procedure people normally talk about.
What's the In-Office Teeth Whitening Procedure Like?
The teeth whitening procedure in-office is a quite straight-forward. It is the fastest way to whiten your teeth safely, and you can see the result in a matter of minutes or a couple of hours. You may be asked to continue the treatment from home after the initial procedure at Glenbrook.
Firstly, Samia our hygienist will put a gel on your gum or a rubber shield to cover and protect it.
Next, the whitening agent (which normally has hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient) will be applied on your teeth, using a tray that is custom made to fit into your mouth like a mouthguard. The active ingredient will work on the stains, breaking them down as oxygen gets into the enamel. This will make the teeth color lighter.
There are other procedures that can be used for teeth whitening in your dentist’s office. Laser whitening or power whitening is a much faster means of teeth whitening. A rubber dam is usually used to protect the gum in this case, and a bleaching product will be painted on the teeth. A laser will be shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. This will speed up the procedure. This is the type of procedure that delivers results in a matter of minutes or an hour and a few minutes.
Dr. Park knows best when it comes to the procedure that will work best for you.
What Are The Possible Risks Of Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a simple and safe procedure when performed in the office, or with our approved whitening kits. There are no significant risks associated with it.
Some of the mild side effects include tooth sensitivity after the procedure, gum irritation, and sore throat. In extreme cases, such as overuse of over-the-counter solutions, the gum or teeth enamel may be damaged. Certainly ask Dr. Park for his recommendations on safe and effective teeth whitening solutions.
Yes, teeth whitening works all too well. Efficiency normally depends on the condition of your teeth and the method used.
No, teeth whitening is not a painful procedure. Even the in-office procedure is relatively painless.
Most over-the-counter whitening products are safe and efficient. However, there are chances you may buy one that is not very safe. It is always better to go with the recommendations of a dentist.
Yes, most whitening toothpaste work. The only problem is that they work slowly. Some individuals may not notice the progress.
No, some beauty shops perform teeth whitening, but they are often illegal and can be quite dangerous. Always consult a qualified dentist like Dr. Park for dental issues.
No, teeth whitening works with natural healthy teeth. You have to confirm from a dentist if you are a candidate for teeth whitening.
Most likely not, teeth whitening will improve the shade of your teeth, making it brighter. Do not be unrealistic with your expectations to avoid disappointments.
Teeth whitening cost will depend on a number of different factors, the most important one being the procedure recommended by your dentist.
Over-the-counter whitening products are usually the cheapest, while in-office procedures will be the more expensive but effective and long-lasting options.
Your teeth can stay white after teeth whitening for years. Many people will be able to maintain their teeth in excellent, bright shade for three years or more. It all depends on how you take care of your whitened teeth.
To keep your whitened teeth in great, bright condition, do take good care of them by avoiding staning foods and drinks. Some of these have been discussed which can cause tooth discoloration and stains. Do well to avoid these foods.
Observe the following rules, and your teeth can remain white for a long while:
- Avoid or cut down on foods and drinks that can stain your teeth
- Quit smoking and other habits that can jeopardize your oral health
- Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste before going to bed and at least once during the day
- Cut down on sugary foods and drinks
- Visit your dentist regularly.
The cost of teeth whitening will depend on several factors. You can ask Dr. Park what is best for you, and what it will cost you.
No, teeth whitening is not permanent. In fact, your teeth will not remain as white as you got it three years after the procedure.
No, teeth whitening is mostly a safe procedure. You just have to make sure the procedure is carried out by a qualified dentist, or under the supervision of one.
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