White teeth are associated with beauty, increased confidence, and a healthy lifestyle. However, smoking and chewing tobacco, drinking black tea or coffee and wine, using medications such as tetracycline, swallowing too much fluoride, and age can cause your teeth to become stained.
Teeth whitening or bleaching involves the use of simple and non-invasive treatments designed to change the color of your natural tooth enamel to give you a dazzling smile. Having white teeth is the leading aesthetic concern for most dental patients. Fortunately, there are multiple ways – including home and in-office – to whiten teeth, with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Teeth whitening options
The common options include:
- Whitening toothpastes – Some toothpastes claim to have white teeth whitening effects, but it may take a very long time for you to realize any changes because the chemicals are only in contact with your teeth for a couple of minutes when brushing, after which you rinse them off completely.
- Home kits – These methods comprise self-application whitening kits such as gels, strips, and tray-based systems. They give modest results, but the lack of supervision often causes improper or excess application that may lead to tooth enamel erosion and/or gum irritation. Users should follow the directions carefully for best results and to avert the side effects.
- Professional whitening – In office treatments usually involve the application of stronger solutions of hydrogen peroxide compared to home whitening kits, but the patient wears a mouthguard to protect the gums. The dental professional may also use a special light or laser to quicken the treatment. These treatment produce instant whitening for beverage and tobacco stains. Other types of stains may require a combination of other treatments for complete whitening.
Tooth bleaching only works for natural teeth, and it’s not permanent. Artificial dental treatments, including crowns, fillings, and veneers are resistant to stains, which means that these won’t respond to the whitening agents. Moreover, you may need a touch-up every several years or sooner depending on your diet and lifestyle.
Visit a dental professional in Shoal Creek for a thorough examination and dental cleaning before using any whitening system.