A Complete Guide To Teeth Whitening And How It Works

A Complete Guide To Teeth Whitening And How It Works

Enhancing the appearance, boosting self-confidence, and making great first impressions are some of the benefits of having whiter teeth, which is why it comes as no surprise that it is desired by so many of us. This guide will teach you how to whiten teeth, why your teeth get discolored in the first place and everything you need to know about risks involved.

Why Do Your Teeth Get Discolored?

Many factors come into play that can cause tooth discoloration. One of the main factors is what we consume. Drinks like coffee, tea, and wine can stain the teeth over a long period of time. The dark pigment in these drinks can get rooted in the tooth and can remain there and build up without proper dental care. 

Woman Showing Teeth

Certain fruits and vegetables can darken the enamel on the teeth as well, such as highly acidic foods since they erode enamel over time. Fruits like blueberries and blackberries can have the same effect on the teeth as dark-colored drinks with their very dark pigments. 

Besides certain foods and drinks, tobacco, poor dental hygiene, medications, and certain diseases can cause your teeth to change colors as well. As you may know, if you do not brush away the food particles that are left on your teeth every day, they can build up and make your teeth appear yellow.

Certain types of antibiotics, such as tetracycline, can change the look and color of a child’s teeth if given to them under the age of eight, affecting the appearance and health of the teeth at an early age.

Teeth discoloration can also be related to aging since enamel wears away over time and dentin naturally turns yellow with age. Since the enamel gets thinner, dentin, the inner structure of the tooth, will be able to show through more clearly.

Teeth Whitening Treatments

So now that we have gone over how your teeth can get discolored, it is time to discuss how to get whiter teeth. There are many different ways to go about this with so many at-home remedies that you can try and professional procedures that can be done. The first one up is the dentist’s office.

Dentist Office Procedures

Getting your teeth whitened by trained professionals is a safer option for those of you that are more cautious about the teeth whitening process and wary of doing it yourselves.

Before the procedure begins, dentists thoroughly clean your teeth so that they start on a blank canvas. Teeth cannot be bleached effectively if there is an excessive amount of plaque on the surface.

After that, they place a dental dam around the teeth to protect your gums and then apply a bleaching agent or teeth whitening gel to the teeth for a specific amount of time. The time depends on the amount of peroxide in the solution that is being used. The usual amount is 10 to 45 minutes, and another layer is added after the first for the same duration. 

At some offices, you can opt for a laser teeth whitening procedure if you want to see results faster. During this treatment, an even higher dose of peroxide is used that gets activated by the laser for immediate results. This can lead to extreme teeth sensitivity, so the dentist provides desensitizing pastes to ensure that the teeth do not become damaged.

Whitening Teeth

The only downside to this type of procedure is that it is costly, and some say that the solution used dehydrates the teeth, which can cause them to appear brighter for a few hours and then become duller as it wears off. However, since everyone's teeth are different, there are various outcomes, so try it for yourself if it is something you can afford. 

Some of the benefits from whitening your teeth with a professional are that they can give you specific advice on how to keep your teeth clean, provide a customized teeth whitening kit to take home in between visits, and provide supervision during the process to ensure that your teeth are safe. So, before doing home remedies, keep these factors in mind. 

How To Bleach Your Teeth At Home

Home remedies for bleaching your teeth can come in many forms. Some of the safest ways that you can try out first are toothpaste, mouthwashes and whitening chewing gum that whiten the teeth over a prolonged period of time. 

You can also use natural products to aid in the whitening process. Things like oil pulling, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixtures, activated charcoal, and the use of apple cider vinegar can whiten your teeth over time with constant use and patience.

If you are looking to get your teeth whiter faster, however, you can try over-the-counter teeth whitening products. These include the use of hydrogen peroxide that can have a similar effect on the teeth as dentist procedures at a more affordable price. They can come in the form of strips, tooth whitening gels in trays, or ones that you can paint on. 

Risks Involved In Teeth Whitening

While teeth whitening sounds like a great option to get the picture perfect smile that you are looking for, some risks and dangers must be considered before deciding to do it. High levels of hydrogen peroxide can cause tooth sensitivity, causing discomfort while eating very hot, cold, or acidic foods. 

These high levels can also cause erosion of enamel with constant use. Some people want their teeth to be perfect, so there are many cases of users becoming addicted to teeth whitening, causing overuse of the products. Even if this does not happen to you, it is essential that you follow the directions on the product that you decide to use to prevent any damaging to the teeth. 

Unrealistic Expectations

One of the things you may be asking yourself after reading this guide is whether or not teeth whitening works, and the answer is that it depends entirely on the state of your teeth. Since everyone has different levels and causes of discoloration, some may see immediate results after a procedure. Some may not see any change at all.

Woman Smiling

Summary

Teeth whitening is an effective way to brighten your teeth to get the smile that you want. The experience varies greatly from person to person, so ensure that you do enough research to learn which procedure is the best for you. We hope you enjoyed reading this guide and that it has taught you what teeth whitening is all about. Thank you for reading.

Resources:

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