What is Teeth Cleaning?
Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it may lighten the existing shade.
Why would I need my teeth whitened?
There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant-white teeth, and our teeth can also become more discolored as we get older.Your teeth can also be stained on the surface by food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Smoking can also stain teeth. ‘Calculus’ or tartar can also affect the color of your teeth. Some people may have staining under the surface, which can be caused by certain antibiotics or by tiny cracks in the teeth which take up stains.
What does tooth whitening involve?
Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. Your dental team will be able to tell you if you are suitable for the treatment, and will supervise it if you are. First the dental team will put a rubber shield or a gel on your gums to protect them. They will then apply the whitening product to your teeth, using a specially made tray which fits into your mouth like a mouthguard.The ‘active ingredient’ in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter.
How long does this take?
The total treatment can usually be done within three to four weeks. First, you will need two or three visits to the dentist. Your dental team will need to make a mouthguard and will take impressions for this at the first appointment. Once your dental team has started the treatment, you will need to continue the treatment at home. This means regularly applying the whitening product over two to four weeks, for 30 minutes to one hour at a time.
What other procedures are there?
There is now laser whitening or ‘power whitening’. During this procedure a rubber dam is put over your teeth to protect the gums, and a bleaching product is painted onto your teeth. Then a light or laser is shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. The light speeds up the reaction of the whitening product and the colour change can be achieved more quickly. Laser whitening is said to make teeth up to five or six shades lighter.
Methods for Teeth Whitening
In-office teeth whitening offers excellent results. This procedure is performed in the dental office and can be done quickly, usually in a little over an hour.In-office bleaching is expensive, but the time that you save by having immediate results can make this option appealing.
Teeth whitening strips are popping up in every drug store across the nation. These whitening strips sold over the counter are fairly inexpensive, easy to use and most of them really work. Teeth whitening strips may take longer to produce the desired results depending on the strength of peroxide that they contain.
Teeth whitening toothpaste contain mild abrasives to remove surface stains. Some whitening toothpaste may have additional polishing agents and special chemicals that are more effective against stains than regular toothpaste, but teeth whitening toothpaste are not designed to actually “bleach” your teeth.