How Does Teeth Whitening Work

 In Dental

There are many reasons why glossy white teeth lose their youthful lustre, but all have the same end result. Along with the dimming gleam goes the loss of the dazzling smile and this has consequences. These include a lowered self-image and lack of confidence which can affect both relationships and careers.

Our hearts may hint that potential partners are put off by dingy teeth, but research has shown that potential employers do take dull, stained and discolored teeth as negative signs regarding our confidence and abilities. And, too often, we aren’t in a position to convince them otherwise, because we feel they may be right.

But there is a way out: Teeth whitening is becoming increasingly popular as people face the consequences of dietary choices, aging, medications, smoking, and genetics that have denied them a sparkling smile.

Home vs the Dentist’s Chair

A wide range of methods, tools and products are now available in dentists’ rooms, as well as for sale over the counter for home use. In drugstores products take the form of bleaching strips and gels, with brushes or boil and bite trays to apply them, or as mildly abrasive whitening toothpastes. Then it’s over to you to apply the gel or use the toothpaste regularly over an extended period. Results vary, and can be very slow to show, taking several weeks to really make a difference.

Dentists use similar methods, but with added extras. Their abrasive products which are used in every professional cleaning, are stronger than those from the drugstore, and their bleaching solutions are more concentrated. And the trays needed for bleaching treatments are custom-made to fit your teeth perfectly.

The professional tray and gel bleaching treatment may call for two or three visits over a month-long period, or you can choose have your dentist do the first one and continue the treatment yourself at home for a couple of weeks. Results should start to show within a few days, and continue to improve as the treatment progresses. And should you see slight discoloration returning in the future, you have the equipment to do a touch-up at home.

Speeding up Lightening with Light

Dentists are also able to make use of light in removing stains and dull colour from your teeth. These treatments can involve either laser of LED light rays. Laser bleaching is the quickest and most effective, and can lighten your tooth color by several shades in just one session.  LED light is not as powerful, so may require three or four sessions for optimal effect. However, some difference should show straightaway, and your teeth will continue to get lighter and brighter as the treatment continues.

How to Keep the Shine

Whichever tooth whitening process you choose, you will need to take care of them if you want to keep the dazzle in your smile. In addition to maintaining your usual oral hygiene program, you may need to avoid those habits that may have caused the staining in the first place. Certain foods, smoking, hard candy, beverages like tea, coffee and red wine, as well as tomato sauce and berries, are all no-no’s when it comes to keeping teeth white and shiny in the long run.

Suitable Candidates for Tooth Whitening

Whitening won’t always be an option. Factors that can influence the effectiveness of the treatment include your dental and medical history, and the degree and coloring of the staining, can influence the effectiveness of the treatments. And artificial teeth like implants, crowns or caps, which were colored to match your teeth at the time they were added to your mouth may resist the bleaching substance, and stand out like beacons against the newly lightened natural ones.

Let the experts help you find the best way to add shine to your smile. Your dentist will know which option is best for you. And should normal whitening processes prove to be not the right solution, he or she may suggest a cover-up solution like veneers or bonding. Or that the lightening is done before the implants or caps are inserted so that your teeth match more closely.

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