Almost everyone has thought about getting their teeth transformed into pearly whites. With various components contributing to the persistent stains on teeth, the need for white teeth has sparked a growing interest in dental aesthetics.
The market has brought about various considerations for teeth whitening, which vary from DIY techniques given the availability of various over-the-counter pastes and gels, to dental or spa in-office treatments that are quick and easy to conduct.
No matter the procedure you choose to go with, teeth whitening procedures are noninvasive, and are cost-friendly to the patient. However, all these procedures require constant touch-ups as they are not permanent. Therefore, be sure to schedule touch-ups after some time to have the prolonged and desired effect.
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However, what contributes to the staining of the teeth?
Several factors contribute towards the staining of the teeth which gives them a brownish appearance:
This is one of the most popular causes of tooth stains. Nicotine contains dark deposits that settle on the structure of teeth slowly changing their white appearance over time.
Food and drinks
Particular food and drinks often stain the teeth as they contain deep colors which are left on the tooth surface. For instance, caffeine, oranges, red wine, and other foodstuffs stain the teeth over time. Harsh foods which contain citric acid corrode the enamel making the teeth have a translucent and brownish appearance.
Over the years, the tooth begins to wear and tear and become sensitive thus causing the tooth enamel to corrode and weaken. This eventually causes teeth stains as they adopt a dull appearance. Therefore, the older one gets, the more stained the teeth can get.
Teeth Whitening options
With the various over-the-counter medications available, it is best to check for the ADA seal of approval for any product before deciding to purchase or use it. This helps to guarantee your safety and protection from harmful ingredients that might further aggravate the tooth structure. Given the various causes of tooth stains, there are several trendy procedures one can take to whitening their teeth:
Whitening toothpaste contains extra whitening chemical agents that help remove surface stains and give the teeth an extra whitening appearance. The normal toothpaste does not contain whitening agents, with the aim to protect the home from extern Despite this, they are not able to remove deeply set stains as this will require a more intense treatment technique. It is important to be careful with this and only use it as per your dentist’s recommendation, as persistent use can cause teeth abrasion.
This is a home whitening procedure that requires the individual to brush their teeth with baking soda or activated charcoal. These products contain mild abrasives which aim to remove surface stains and thoroughly clean the teeth, therefore producing a strong exterior. These products however do not contain enamel, which is essential for preventing teeth corrosion as it strengthens the tooth structure.
In-office whitening techniques offer longevity and better results than using over-the-counter products. This is because the whitening is done by the dentist and proper care is done during and after the whitening process. A visit to the dentist will compose of an initial assessment of the teeth to determine the best possible ways of whitening depending on your dental care, age, and medical condition if any.
In-office techniques involve the application of highly concentrated whitening gel which is mostly hydrogen peroxide. This is applied to the teeth after protecting the gums and lips with a barrier. The whitening gel is left on the teeth for twenty minutes and done in several intervals reapplying each time, as recommended by the dentist. Heating lamps or lasers may be aimed at the teeth to fasten the whitening process. This technique is highly efficient, and individuals with deep stains may require subsequent sessions to eventually remove the stains.
After this procedure, the dentist will conduct further follow up techniques which comprise of the following:
These are best found in the dentist’s office as they contain the right amounts of bleaching agents required for the best possible results. The trays are formed by acquiring a mold of your teeth. These molds are then filled with a bleaching agent tightly filled to ensure there is no contact with the teeth as this will cause abrasion and affect the gums.
The tight fit ensures that the only contact the teeth will have is with the bleach and not with food or saliva which lessens the effect of the bleach.
The dentist can opt to fill the tray with the bleaching agent or prescribe a bleaching agent filled onto the tray with a syringe. Each option is dependent on individual needs, hence the importance of visiting a dentist for the whitening trays.
These are strips that contain bleaching agents designed to change the appearance of stained teeth. These strips are made out of plastic and flexible material designed to conform with the shape of the teeth, therefore covering all around the tooth.
These strips can be used daily and discarded after a week or two of usage. The strips contain chlorine dioxide which may corrode the tooth enamel causing sensitivity to the tooth. They also do not offer a consistent whitening process like trays which come directly into contact with the teeth, with no distractions.
Things to consider
As none of these techniques offer permanent solutions, it is best to ensure proper care of the teeth, especially after the whitening treatment to ensure the procedure lasts longer.
Check your diet and food habits to avoid items that stain and discolor the teeth. Maintaining the teeth will also cost you less money needed for extra whitening procedures.
It is best to consult your dentist before embarking on any at-home whitening procedures, as you might risk getting sensitive teeth or irritated gums.
Continual teeth whitening will eventually prolong the effects of the bleaching agent resulting in a whiter appearance.