TEETH WHITENING: A GUIDE TO BRIGHTER AND HEALTHIER TEETH
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that aims to lighten the colour of the teeth and remove stains and discoloration. There are various teeth whitening options available, including in-office procedures and at-home treatments. At a dental clinic, a dentist or dental specialist can use a stronger concentration of the bleaching agent and apply it directly to the teeth. This method is known as in-office teeth whitening and can provide faster and more dramatic results than home treatments. Home treatments, on the other hand, typically use lower concentrations of the bleaching agent and require the use of trays or strips that are worn for a certain amount of time each day.
WHAT IS TEETH WHITENING?
Teeth whitening is a process that uses a bleaching agent to remove or lighten stains and discoloration from the teeth. The most common bleaching agent used in teeth whitening is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These agents penetrate the surface of the teeth and break down the molecules that cause discoloration. Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment that can enhance your smile and boost your confidence. It is important to consider both the pros and cons of the treatment and to have a comprehensive dental exam before undergoing any whitening procedures.
HOW DOES TEETH WHITENING WORK?
In-office teeth whitening, also known as professional teeth whitening, is performed by a dentist or dental professional and involves the use of a strong bleaching agent, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, that is applied directly to the teeth. The procedure is typically completed in one visit and can provide significant results in just one hour. At-home teeth whitening kits involve the use of custom-fitted whitening trays and a lower-strength bleaching gel that is worn for a specified amount of time each day. This type of treatment is slower and less intense than in-office whitening but is still effective and can provide good results with proper use. It is important to understand how teeth whitening works before undertaking this treatment. It is recommended that a dentist examines your oral health and determines your suitability before you try an at-home whitening kit, and that these be used under the supervision of your dentist. Our dentists at Woodbourne Dental can provide a custom-fitted tray to use with your at-home teeth whitening gel, and provide guidance on how to apply the gel correctly and avoid damage to your gums.
THE PROS AND CONS OF TEETH WHITENING
Teeth whitening can be an effective treatment for tooth discoloration. Some of the benefits of teeth whitening include:
Improved appearance of your teeth: Teeth whitening can make your teeth look brighter and more attractive, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Safe and non-invasive: Teeth whitening is considered a safe treatment and is well-tolerated by most people. It is recommended that you visit your dentist for a professional opinion on whether teeth whitening is the best option for you and advisable for your desired results.
Affordable: Teeth whitening is a relatively affordable way to improve the appearance of your teeth and is often less expensive than other cosmetic dental procedures.
However, teeth whitening also has some drawbacks, including:
Temporary results: Teeth whitening results are temporary and can last anywhere from several months to a year. To maintain the results, you will need to undergo additional treatments or use at-home touch-up products. Regular teeth cleanings by a dental hygienist will also help curb tooth discoloration.
Sensitivity or discomfort: Some people may experience temporary tooth sensitivity after undergoing teeth whitening.
Cost: As teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment, it is unlikely that the cost will be covered by the NHS.
Ineffective: The results of teeth whitening can vary depending on the cause and severity of the stains. Your dentist can advise on the best treatment for your individual situation.
Gum damage: Applying whitening gel incorrectly and to your gums may result in gum damage, which is why it is important to follow your dentist's instructions carefully and to use a custom-fitted tray for application to your teeth.