Our teeth are supposed to be white in color, but due to various factors, they discolor and stain leading to a dull and not-so-white shade. Regular brushing should help keep your teeth white and maintain their color but still, some habits like smoking or drinking too much coffee can lead to staining. There is however no need to worry, if you find yourself overly conscious about the appearance and color of your smile, you can undergo teeth whitening treatment. The procedure is performed in cosmetic dentistry where whitening products that contain specific bleaching agents are used. Removing stains can also improve the color of teeth.
How Does it Work?
Teeth whitening techniques can improve the color of your teeth between 5 to 7 shades brighter. Each technique contains a varying amount of bleaching agent. Usually, the longer you keep a solution on your teeth, the brighter your teeth will become. However, note that a solution with a higher amount of bleaching agent will take a shorter time to change the color of your teeth. As you search for teeth whitening services near your area, consider how much time you are willing to invest to get the desired results. If you lack the patience for repetitive treatment, you are better of using a bleaching technique that contains a higher percentage of bleaching agent.
The bleaching agents usually penetrate the enamel of your teeth and release oxygen molecules that reacts with staining molecules and makes them loosen off. For non-bleaching treatment options, they work by physically or chemically removing the stains. A good example is toothpaste, which contains abrasive agents to physically and gently remove stains on teeth. On the other hand, whitening gels, pastes and professional cleanings contain special chemicals and polishing agents to remove stains caused by either food or tobacco.
What Options are Available?
Teeth stains can be classified as either extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are those on the surface of the teeth while intrinsic stains are deeper in the enamel and into the dentin layer. The extrinsic stains are easy to clean and can be done away with using whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses. However, for the intrinsic stains whitening agents such as opalescence gels are used. The agents usually contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide which penetrate the enamel of the tooth to bleach underlying stains. Your options to getting either of the treatments include;
- Professional dentist bleaching
- Teeth whitening trays and gels – These can be bought over the counter or have them prescribed by a dentist
- Teeth whitening strips
- Whitening toothpastes
- DIY treatment
Benefits of Teeth Whitening
The greatest advantage of whitening your teeth is the aesthetic appeal it offers. With a brighter and whiter looking smile, your confidence levels rise and this allows you to live life to the fullest without feeling self-conscious. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, over 90% of adults feel that an attractive smile makes the opposite sex more appealing while 74% feel that an unattractive smile hinders employment success. So, by undergoing a whitening procedure you remove the negative focus on your smile and allow people concentrate on other positive aspects you hold.
Risks and Side Effects
Our dentist in Marietta, GA makes it clear to all patients on what to expect after undertaking a whitening treatment. It is common to experienced tooth sensitivity and gum irritation after a whitening treatment. However, at Engineered Smiles, we strive to avoid any of these negative effects by offering a suitable treatment plan to your condition. Great controversy exists on whether bleaching does or does not interfere with the integrity of the tooth, particularly the enamel. So on our end we only recommend whitening when it is necessary and only use products we believe in.
Teeth whitening sure offers great cosmetic appeal but unfortunately it is not for everyone. Firstly, the treatment can be expensive and secondly, it may not work on all types of stains and discolorations. The American Dental Association points out that whitening won’t be effective on veneers, crowns and fillings. It is also less likely to change anything on brown or gray stains or discoloration caused by injury and use of certain medications.