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teeth whitening

animation of the teeth whitening process


Tooth bleaching or whitening is a popular and effective cosmetic dentistry procedure. This very same procedure can be used to bring the glow back to stained enamel. This procedure has been very successful in bringing the smile back on a lot of faces. Tooth whitening can be done by yourself at your home or by your dentist at his office. Before trying any do it yourself product, always check with your dentist and make sure that it is right for your requirements. As the effectiveness of products change from person to person, it would be a smarter idea to undergo this treatment under a qualified doctor's watchful eyes.

Let Us Take A Look At The Two Types Of Tooth Stains:

Intrinsic Or Internal Stain

This type of stain originates from inside of your teeth. They cannot be removed by the use of normal brushing, flossing etc and will need the services of a dentist. Intrinsic Stain can arise as a side effect of the use of certain antibiotics like tetracycline or excess consumption of fluoride, especially during teeth formation age. Damaged teeth are known to show these stains.

Extrinsic Or External Stain

This type of stains are caused from outside due to external reasons like cigarette smoking, tobacco chewing, coffee drinking, sugary soda consumption etc. If you follow healthy oral hygiene routine like regular flossing and brushing, this staining can be removed to a certain extent.

Some of these stains need some special remedies and may need consultation with your dentist.

Some patients are known to suffer from problems like oversensitive teeth or gum, during these procedures. But these side effects will be gone in a few days after teeth whitening. In case you opt for do it yourself teeth whitening procedures, follow the manufacturer's instructions thoroughly. If you find any difference in the results or discomforts if any, from that offered by the product, consult with your dentist and make sure everything is all right.

Human beings of all ages have been trying to get their teeth whitened. Sticking to a healthy oral health regimen including brushing, flossing etc and seeing your dentist at specified intervals so as to remove any build ups can provide great results for most people. Only exceptions would be people with severe internal discoloration.

A great smile, displaying pearly white teeth, would brighten the day for every one in the room. But, such a smile won't come solely from brushing with normal toothpaste. You will have to get the help of your dentist for achieving this. Through teeth bleaching, the color of your teeth is lightened and any stains on it are removed. Usually teeth whitening involve the application of a bleaching agent on to your teeth. This agent can be applied with the help of transparent plastic trays and left on your teeth during your sleep. There is an option to do this during daytime as well. The whitening agent used does not affect any previous dental procedures done like caps, bonding, filling etc. The whole process can last a few days to a few weeks depending on the person and the nature of his stains.

Bleaching - Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Enhance Your Smile?

When a special occasion like wedding comes up, every one would love to get a smile make over. Tooth bleaching is an ideal procedure for such an occasion or any similar situations. A lot of normal people and celebrities are alike subscribing to this procedure to enhance their smile. This simple dental procedure can improve the brightness of your smile by a good margin and the effects can last as long as 5 years or so. Your dentist can provide the brightest and safest tooth whitening for you.

Is Whitening Right For You?

Tooth whitening has been effective for 90% of the people who opt for the procedure. But there are some who may not see the desired results. If your teeth are stained due to ageing, smoking, coffee, tea etc, you can opt for tooth whitening. Stained teeth with yellow, brown and orange colors are cleaned very well. Smoking stains, fluorosis stains, tetracycline stains etc are tougher to be removed. In case you have damaged enamel, periodontal disease, sensitive teeth etc, your dentist may stop you from going for this procedure.

What Are The Steps Involved?

You have to make an appointment with your dentist and let him decide if tooth whitening is appropriate for you and what type of procedure should you opt for. If you want to get the procedure done fast, then an in-office procedure would be the best choice. The cheaper and popular alternative would be to go for an in-home procedure under the dentist's guidance. He will create a customized lightweight tray to fit your teeth and can be worn even when you are doing some thing, talking or sleeping. The dentist will provide the necessary bleaching material and you need to apply it as per the instructions.

Certain whitening kits need you to apply the gel two to four hours every day. This type of bleaching kits is appropriate for people with sensitive teeth and they may need to do this for a period of three to six weeks to gain desired results. The next type of bleaching kits requires you to apply the gel while you are sleeping and can provide you satisfactory results in less than two weeks time.

How Long Does The 'Whiteness' Last?

This can vary from person to person, from a year to 5 years, based on their oral hygiene and habits like smoking, drinking coffee etc. You may have to repeat this procedure around this time. But you can use the old tray and hence would be a lot cheaper than the first time. The duration required for the second time would be much shorter than the initial time.

How Does Tooth Whitening Work?

Most of the bleaching agents contain carbamide peroxide (or urea peroxide) at 10% strength as their major component. Hydrogen peroxide released by this chemical, on contact with water, is responsible for whitening teeth.

Why Is My Teeth Whitening Uneven?

As the enamel is thicker than other places at the sides and biting surface of your teeth, these areas tend to whiten faster. The bleaching agent works better in these areas. If you stick to the routine for the prescribed duration, the effects will start to be visible in the remaining areas of your teeth. Eventually, the whitening will become uniform on all parts of your teeth.

Are There Any Known Side Effects?

It is proven from various studies that the procedure done under the supervision of a dentist is very safe. There may be temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity as seen in some people, which will subside after the end of the procedure. As there are no known studies conducted on the side effects of bleaching done on pregnant or lactating women, it won't be advisable for such women to whiten their teeth.

What Can You Reasonably Expect From Tooth Whitening?

As the results change from person to person, it is not possible to predict the results before the procedure. In most cases, people gain two-shade change in whitening based on the shade guide available with the dentist. The stains specific to each person's teeth and their enamel can play an important role in the results gained. If your teeth are gray in color, bleaching will only improve it to a lighter shade of gray. Any artificial things like resins, silicates, porcelains etc


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