What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening, sometimes called tooth bleaching, brighten teeth that have been stained or darkened by food, tobacco use, age or injury. There are a variety of in-office and take-home teeth whitening products to reduce or eliminate such stains.
How Does Teeth Bleaching Work?
Teeth whitening works for stains on the enamel of the tooth. When you eat foods that tend to leave stains, such as raspberries, red wine, or coffee, some of the residue remains on your enamel. Over time, these teeth stains create a dull and dingy look for your smile.
A bleaching agent is used to remove these stains during teeth whitening. The agent penetrates your enamel and lifts the stain that would have otherwise stayed there. Then, after the bleaching agent has done its work, it is washed away, leaving your pearly whites, well, pearly white! Teeth bleaching is able to lift the whiteness of your teeth up to eight shades.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
If you are unhappy with the appearance of you smile in terms of whiteness, you may be a candidate for professional teeth whitening. Dr. Oshetski, a teeth whitening expert, is able to return your smile to peak brightness if the stains are mainly due to foods and drinks you’ve consumed.
Unfortunately, there are some stains that teeth whitening or bleaching can remove. These are stains that are on the interior of the enamel, on the dentin of the tooth. These stains can be caused by drug reaction, drug use, or trauma, and are unable to be reached by peroxide. In this case, Dr. Oshetski will suggest considering porcelain veneers or dental bonding.
How Long Do Teeth Whitening Results Last?
If your teeth have been stained by foods and drinks such as coffee or red wine, your teeth will likely be stained again in due time. However, you can always come in for another teeth whitening treatment once you feel like your teeth are getting a bit dingy. You can also do your own at-home, over-the-counter teeth bleaching at any time.
To optimize your teeth whitening results, be sure to take good care of your oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day and keeping up with your flossing will help elongate your results. And do not forget to schedule your bi-yearly professional dental cleanings in order to remain at peak hygiene.
Teeth Whitening Products
Take-Home Teeth Whitening Products
Take-home bleaching solutions can help improve the color and overall brightness of teeth. These kits are simpler and less expensive than, and can be just as effective as, in-office treatments. Dentists provide patients with customized impression trays and whitening gel, the use of which improves the appearance of teeth over just a few days.
Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Products
Various over-the-counter products, such as whitening toothpastes and bleaching strips, are advertised as being effective teeth-whiteners. However, although based on the same science as professional bleaching, the concentration of effective ingredients tends to be much lower, lengthening treatment time and often not providing the level of whitening desired. Also, custom trays enable the bleach to be applied in the most efficient manner.
Whitening procedures are effective but not permanent. Depending on the procedure used, whitening may fade over time. Patients are advised to avoid food and drinks that may stain or darken teeth.