Everything You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening

Everything You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening

March 1, 2020

Teeth whitening is a procedure that involves altering your teeth’s natural color by making it lighter without removal of the surface of the teeth. The result isn’t a complete change in color, but a lighter shade.

Reasons for the procedure

You may need to whiten your teeth for the following reasons:

  • Teeth come in different shades, just as skin color and hair. Not everyone has white teeth.
  • As we grow older, our teeth get more discolored.
  • Beverages and foods, e.g., wine and coffee, can discolor teeth.
  • Your teeth can be stained by smoking.
  • Tartar can affect your teeth color.

What it involves

Many people use professional bleaching for whitening their teeth. Your dental care provider will have to advise on the most suitable method for you and also supervise it. He/she will first put a gel or rubber shield on the gums for protection. A whitening product will then be applied to the teeth. A special tray that fits in your mouth is used for this procedure.

Usually, carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide is the product’s active ingredients. As the compound breaks down, oxygen enters the enamel and lightens the color.

How long it takes

The treatment can take 3 to 4 weeks. First you will be required to visit the dental office 2 or 3 times. Your dental practitioner will make you a mouthguard, and once the treatment starts, you will have to continue with it even at home. This means you will have to regularly apply the product on your teeth for at least two weeks, 30 minutes each time.

There exist new products which you can apply for up to 8 hours each time. This guarantees satisfactory results in even a week.

Other available procedures

Our experts at Plaza Family Dental may recommend laser whitening. When undergoing this procedure, a rubber dam is put over the teeth for gum protection and paint your teeth with a bleaching product.

The practitioner will then shine a laser or light for chemical activation. The light serves to speed up the whitening product’s reaction process and this way, color change is achieved in a quicker way. Laser whitening makes your teeth five shades lighter.

How long will your teeth stay white?

Whitening effects usually last for about 3 years. This can, however, vary depending on the individual. If you are a smoker or a consumer of foods and beverages that are likely to cause stains on your teeth, the whitening effect won’t last for long. Before starting your treatment, inquire about the dental team’s opinion.

Side effects

During the procedure or even after its completion, many people will experience increased sensitivity to cold. There are those that will have sore throats or gum discomforts. These are usually mild and won’t last for long. If the effects persist, seek medical advice.

Home whitening kits

A variety of these kits are available in the market. They include strips and paint-on whiteners. The effectiveness of these kits is dependent on the whitening amount these agents contain.

Although using home kits is relatively cheaper, they rarely go through safety assessment and are more acidic. There is high chance that the products could cause damage to your gums and teeth.

Should you try whitening toothpaste?

Although these kinds of toothpaste have no effects on your teeth’s natural color, they have proven to remove stains. They will, therefore, improve your teeth’s overall appearance. They also help the whitening effect last longer.

Can you whiten a single root-filled tooth?

Definitely yes. If it has undergone root treatment, your dentist may reopen the canal. He may then apply the product in the inside.

Under what circumstances will whitening not work?

Tooth whitening won’t work on false teeth, e.g., veneers, crowns, and dentures. If your veneers are discolored, visit the dental office to have them cleaned.

Care for teeth after whitening

The following tips are recommended to care for whitened teeth:

  • Brush the teeth with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Reduce your intake of drinks and sugary foods.
  • Regularly visit your dental care provider.

Finding a suitable dentist for teeth whitening and other dental procedures can be a hard task. At Plaza Family Dental, we will restore that bright smile. Our dentistry professionals offer both general and cosmetic dentistry services. Call us today and schedule an appointment with our dentist Dr. Aaron Wildung.