Whiter and Brighter teeth seems to be the rage these days.
Everyone wants the bright Hollywood look and will go to any length to achieve an attractive appearance. It is a key for many to open many social and work related doors. A youthful smile is like announcing that you have a pleasant and charming personality and you are ready for that new job or finding the right person to date. Yellow and stained teeth can spoil that all important first impression and turn off people and leave you feeling awkward and embarrassed.
How Do Your Teeth Become Discolored?
Teeth whitening, also referred to as tooth bleaching, is a process of removing stains and discoloration from your teeth using tooth whiteners or a form of bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide gel to make your teeth whiter and brighter. When you consume different types of food or beverages like coffee and wine along with smoking your teeth will have a tendency to become stained over a period of time. Many people do not realize that your teeth are very porous and what you eat or drink incorporate into the pores of your teeth and cannot be simply brushed away. The stains are deep within the tooth and the reason whiteners are used to actually penetrate these pores and remove the stain.
Types of Whitening Procedures: In Office vs. At Home
There are two different types of bleaching procedures that are offered to patients, one is an in office method that is provided in the dental office which has dramatic, immediate results and a second procedure called ‘at home whitening’. You are provided a whitening kit and a set of custom trays and over a period of a couple weeks using the whitening gel provided by the dentist your teeth slowly get brighter.
With the ‘in office ‘method, one can expect to have the procedure last about one hour. Your lips and gums are covered and protected because the bleaching gel is very strong and can cause irritation. The gel is applied to the teeth and usually activated by a special light or a laser. The nature of this method allows the dentist to control the entire process and the results are immediate. The advantage to this process is that results are instant and you are able to leave the dental office with a noticeable change in the brightness of your teeth. The disadvantage is the cost and possible temporary sensitivity that last for a short time.
The at home method varies from whitening kits provided by your dentist to over the counter whitening strips. Most whitening kits include a tray that the whitening gel is placed in and then the tray is placed in your mouth for a period of time ranging from about an hour to wearing the tray overnight. Over a 5-10 period your teeth will lighted to a brighter shade. People try to use the less expensive over the counter kits but for the most find the results less the desirable because the concentration of the whitening gel is not as effective in getting your teeth noticeably whiter. The whitening gels prescribed from your dentist are proven to be more effective. The advantage is that it is less expensive but more time consuming. Some individuals will experience sensitivity as with the in office method but this too will only last for a short time and can be controlled with special desensitizing gels.
Teeth whitening can be an effective way to increase your confidence and improve your looks. However not everyone is a good candidate to whiten their teeth. One should visit their dentist and ask if you would benefit from a whitening program and see what your dentist recommends or your optimal results.