Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

Basic Facts About Tooth Whitening

by Brett Clark

Tooth whitening is becoming quite popular because of the way it improves the appearance of teeth. It's a cosmetic dental procedure that lightens your teeth by removing discolouration and stains. There are many causes for stains and unnatural tooth colours, including smoking and ingesting drinks like coffee and red wine.

Ageing is also a factor that contributes to discolouration. Brushing using regular toothpaste alone may not be of much help. It's the reason people turn to the whitening procedure. There are many ways to bleach. You can go for gels, strips, trays, whitening toothpastes and other superior products found at the dentist. 

How It Works

There are two main options for this treatment. You can choose to do it at your dentist's office or do it at home. But before you decide, you need to first consult with your dentist. Why? Because the tooth bleaching agents contain certain levels of hydrogen peroxide, which may temporarily make your teeth quite sensitive and uncomfortable.

It also depends on your reaction to the solution, and only your doctor can safely advise you. Again, this procedure is only ideal if you have healthy and strong teeth. Fillings do not respond well to bleaching agents because of the ceramic material.

Whitening at the Dental Office

Most people choose to use a professional dentist because of the fast and assured results you can get. Of course, the bleaching agent is more concentrated. But at the same time, you have that feeling of being in safe hands in case things could go wrong.

The office process can take between 30 minutes to an hour, and you can expect your teeth to be multiple shades lighter after even two appointments.

Whitening at Home

Some of the commonly used whitening methods at home include whitening toothpaste, gels and strips. The percentage level of peroxide is much lower, and so the results are not as quick and dramatic. Even so, you can expect to see changes within the first two weeks. Each of these products comes with instructions that you need to follow religiously to see an improvement in your smile.

Regardless of the method of tooth whitening you opt to use, first talk to your dentist to alleviate your fears. Dental problems often affect the success of tooth whitening. You may, therefore, need prior approval if you have overly sensitive teeth or already damaged teeth. This is because the whitening procedure does also not work on fillings and bridges because of the ceramic material.