Teeth whitening is a process by which a dentist is able to make a patient’s teeth appear whiter by artificially enhancing the appearance of the teeth. This can include any number of processes, including bleaching, UV light therapy, and more. Below, we look at how does teeth whitening work.
There are many different types of teeth whitening products available on the market as well. Different methods may work better for different patients depending on the condition of their teeth.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
If you’re interested in receiving professional teeth whitening treatment, take a look at this guide that describes how this popular treatment functions. It may help you decide whether or not pursuing the procedure is the right idea for your personal situation.
The Types of Teeth Stains
There are several different types of teeth stains that can afflict and discolor the teeth. These stains are categorized by their origin: intrinsic and extrinsic. Teeth whitening can positively impact both kinds of stains.
Intrinsic stains are stains that originate inside of your tooth enamel. Intrinsic staining is sometimes present in the teeth and gums from childhood. Some other sources of intrinsic staining include fluoride exposure and tooth enamel growing thinner as you age. There is some possibility that it can be genetic in origin as well.
Extrinsic stains are stains that occur on the outside of your tooth. These stains happen due to environmental exposure to things that leave the teeth discolored. Coffee, smoking, and other staining substances are the most common sources of these stains.
The most common tooth-whitening products include whitening toothpaste and whitening mouthwash. Some of these products may contain baking soda or charcoal. The former has mild abrasive qualities, as does the latter. Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide are two other very common ingredients in these types of whitening products.
Because many of these products are somewhat abrasive, they do have the potential to damage the enamel of one’s teeth if used too frequently for too long. Some contain fluoride to counteract this issue.
Home Whitening Kits
Home whitening kits often take the form of a gel or paste that is applied to your teeth using a brush or in the form of trips. Some kits involve covering the teeth prior with a whitening agent prior to placing a mouthguard on your teeth. Other at-home kits have a heat lamp, blue light, or UV light within the mouthguard to “radiate” the whitening paste.
At home whitening kits typically have much lower concentrations of the types of compounds that whiten the teeth than the ones you find at the dentists office. Thus, many patients have to use them for several weeks to notice any impact.
Whitening at The Dentist’s Office
Tooth whitening at the dentist’s office typically carries with it the advantage of offering patients concrete results more quickly. That being said, even this type of tooth whitening typically require multiple sessions in order for one to get their teeth as white as you would like.
In addition, many of these sessions can be expensive and aren’t often covered by insurance. You may have to contact your insurance provider independently to discuss whether or not your procedure will be covered.
Some of the primary tools in a dentist’s tool kit for teeth whitening include power bleaching and laser therapy. Your dentist will be able to determine which one is right for you during a screening consultation prior to actually receiving treatment.
When to Get Your Teeth Whitened
Teeth whitening has its aesthetic benefits, and can give patients a stronger smile and sense of confidence. However, it is not as important as the overall health of your teeth. Some of the factors that can cause staining on the teeth include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Medication side effects
- Lifestyle habits
- Coffee, soda and smoking consumption
Most patients interested in receiving teeth whitening treatment will find themselves eligible. However, its worth noting that those with dental implants or veneers are not candidates for teeth whitening. This is simply because teeth whitening processes will have no impact on artificial veneers.
Unless you actually are recommended veneers by your dentist, it isn’t a good idea to install them for aesthetic reasons. This is because they have the potential to damage one’s teeth in the long run, counteracting whatever benefits they might bring.
The Teeth Whitening Center of Encino
Encino Family Dental is the dentist people trust for their teeth whitening needs. If you’re considering whether or not you would benefit from this procedure, feel free to contact our family dentist and schedule an appointment today.