Tooth whitening is known as a highly effective way of lightening the natural color of one’s teeth without causing any damage whatsoever to the surface of the tooth. It is not capable of making a complete change in color, but it might potentially lighten the existing shade. One might want to get their teeth whitened due to how teeth can get discolored as we grow older, and how teeth can be stained on the surface by food and drinks such as blackcurrant, tea, coffee etc. Smoking also has the impact of staining ones teeth. Tartar or ‘calculus’ also have the impact of affecting the color of ones teeth.
The process of tooth whitening consists of first, ones dentist informing them if they are suitable for the treatment. Secondly, a rubber shield or a gel will be placed on your gums for the purpose of their protection. Then, the whitening product will be applied to your teeth with the use of a specially made tray which fits into your mouth like a mouth guard. The ‘active ingredient’ which makes a difference to the color of the teeth is usually carbamide peroxide, or hydrogen peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down inside the mouth of the patient, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth, and the tooth color is then made lighter. The total treatment time usually lasts around three to four weeks. Once the treatment has started at the hospital, it must continue at home. This consists of the regular application of the whitening product for over two to four weeks, for around thirty minutes to one hour at a time.
Laser whitening is also a procedure, in which a rubber dam is placed over ones teeth to protect the gums, and then, a bleaching product is painted onto ones teeth. Following this, a light or laser is shone on the teeth for the activation of the chemical. The light has the purpose of speeding up the reaction of the whitening product and the color change can thus be achieved more quickly. Laser whitening is considered to be highly effective as it has the potential of making ones teeth up to five or six shades lighter than before.
Side effects of teeth whitening consist of some individuals finding their teeth to be sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Discomfort can occur, along with a sore throat or white patches on the gum line. However, these side effects are usually temporary and disappear within a few days of the end of the treatment.
Information which is important to know
It is crucial to keep in mind that tooth whitening can only lighten one’s existing tooth color, and can only work on natural teeth. It will not work on any kind of false teeth, such as crowns, dentures, and veneers. One should look after their teeth once they have been whitened by cutting down on the foods and drinks being consumed with the potential of staining teeth.
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