Flashing a brilliant smile is a mark of confidence. However, there are times when smiles fade and are no longer as bright as they used to be. Teeth whitening is a common procedure performed in Cosmetic Dentistry to bring back the brightness of your smile and ultimately to increase self-esteem.
If you think that this procedure will help boost your confidence, here’s what you need to know about Teeth Whitening.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is the process of removing stains, lessening tooth discoloration, and returning your teeth to their natural shade or even a few shades lighter than their normal color. The procedure involves the application of bleach – either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide – to the teeth surface. The bleach will then remove stains on the outer surface, called enamel, and the layer under the enamel, called the dentin.
In most cases, stains on these external surfaces lead to a less than stellar smile, but intrinsic factors such as tooth decay also contribute to the discoloration.
What Causes Teeth Discoloration?
Drinking coffee, tea, red wine, or any dark-colored beverages accumulates deposits over the years and contributes to teeth stains. Smoking tobacco products can also lead to stain buildup over time. These lifestyle habits, combined with aging and poor oral hygiene, all lead to teeth discoloration. Other factors include fluorosis, tooth decay, dental trauma, and teeth grinding.
Should you Do-It-Yourself or go to the Dentist’s Office?
Developments in recent years have made it possible to whiten teeth on your own at home. Now, you can choose from a range of whitening toothpaste brands or at-home bleaching products using a gel and tray for your teeth. Whitening strips that you can simply stick on your teeth are also readily available in the market.
These do-it-yourself procedures help, but we highly recommend that you visit your dentist first for a consultation. Our dentists will be able to tell you if teeth whitening will suit you. For instance, if a tooth has undergone root canal or is showing a gray shade of discoloration, the whitening procedure will not work in these cases.
When it comes to effectiveness, nothing beats a teeth whitening procedure done in-office. Our dentists will ensure that trays fit your teeth and bite, unlike trays from store-bought kits which may not fit your size at all. Bleaching ingredients used at dental clinics are also more concentrated and effective compared to home kits.
How to Take Care of Your Teeth After The Procedure?
Think of your teeth as your favorite white shirt. Keep it white by staying away from food and drinks that can stain your teeth. If you must drink tea or any dark-colored beverage, try to use a straw to avoid liquid passing through your teeth. Avoid smoking.
Revisit your oral hygiene practices. Brush and floss your teeth after meals using a toothpaste with whitening elements. It will also help to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning session. So the next time someone tells you to flash those pearly whites, be confident and give them a bright and vibrant smile.