Teeth whitening has been a very popular treatment option over the years, thanks to advances in dental technology that enable effective long-term whitening of your smile. The advantages of teeth whitening are numerous and obvious. Apart from having stronger and whiter teeth, it also makes you look younger and more attractive, boosts your confidence and self-esteem, and protects your teeth from plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
Imperfections to your smile are never nice to carry, but modern dentistry has exposed the public to so many different whitening options that it is difficult to determine the best option. So, how does teeth whitening work?
Let’s dive further into the available treatments and how they work.
What Are The Types Of Whitening Treatments Available?
No matter the type of treatment, all whitening treatments are designed to lift extrinsic and intrinsic stains on your teeth. Extrinsic stains are shown on the front surface of your teeth. Intrinsic stains live inside your enamel and underlying dentin.
To lift them for a whiter smile, here are some of the more common whitening treatments available.
- In-Office Bleaching — This is the most common and effective method of tooth whitening. It provides exceptional long-term outcomes and is completed in just one session by the dentist. The dentist employs a highly concentrated peroxide gel that produces quick and safe results. The effects are usually seen right after treatment and might persist for up to a year. Although the procedure is costly, it is well worth it.
- Teeth Whitening Trays and Gels – While the desired outcomes of employing trays and gels are less than those of In-Office Bleaching, this is likely the most cost-effective option. The trays include peroxide in the gel, and when worn for a few hours each day, the benefits can be seen in as little as three days to two weeks. Trays should be acquired through your dentist rather than from over-the-counter stores. The main difference between the two is that the dentist’s bleaching delivers faster effects due to the stronger peroxide. Furthermore, the trays are custom-made to fit your teeth, unlike over-the-counter alternatives are unable to adjust to your oral anatomy, creating irritation.
- Whitening Toothpaste – Surface stains are cleaned with mild abrasives that are included in the toothpaste’s formula. Although special toothpaste does not bleach your teeth, the chemicals in them will increase the efficiency of the toothpaste you use after brushing your teeth. For immediate results, there are certain teeth whitening toothpaste designed to lighten the shade of your smile. It is recommended that you use toothpaste only after consulting with your dentist.
DIY Whitening vs In-Office Whitening
DIY tooth whitening products are advertised as providing rapid results. There are also a lot of illicit products on the market that are dangerous to your oral health. Manufacturers look at chemicals to whiten your teeth without doing any research into which ones are hazardous and which are not. Citric acid is an example of a substance that may give immediate results but damages your enamel over time and cannot be replaced. As the underlying dentine begins to re-produce, your teeth will naturally turn yellow. The consequences of these compounds have not been well investigated, putting your oral health at risk.
With in-office whitening, active chemicals are used to eliminate stains from your teeth. Your gums will not be irritated, and your smile will become transparent and healthy. After treatment, you may experience some sensitivity, but your teeth will eventually rehydrate and nourish themselves, alleviating your pain.
Getting your teeth whitened at the dentist offers more advantages than utilising over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions like teeth whitening strips, which pose more risks to your oral health due to the unknown chemicals used in their manufacture.
Understanding How Teeth Whitening Works
There are many teeth whitening products marketed that contain peroxide molecules. Hydrogen peroxide, for example, is the bleaching whitening agent designed to lift stains off of your teeth by breaking them apart. When the stains are broken apart, the bleach is then carefully applied to your teeth to lighten your tooth shade.
The dentist may also add fluoride to help strengthen your tooth enamel and to help minimise any tooth sensitivity post teeth whitening treatment.
What’s The Best Option?
To get not only the best results but the preservation of strong dental health, professional in-office bleaching is recommended. With in-office bleaching, you’re left in the dentist’s capable hands, and you can be sure that the products used are safe and support long-term dental health.
If you’re seeking further support with whitening your teeth, learning more about the available options, or how teeth whitening works, consult your local dentist for professional advice. Alternatively, book yourself in for teeth whitening treatment at the dentist today!