Smoking, foods, beverages, medications, trauma, and aging can affect the color of the teeth. The dentin, a soft area below the tooth’s white outer shell, gets thinner over time with brushing so this yellowish tooth material shows through. The solution to teeth color problems is whitening.
Teeth whitening treatment is simply using bleaches to break stains and make your teeth brighter. Before you undergo any teeth whitening procedures, it pays off knowing the important things below for your guidance.
1. Types Of Teeth Whitening Bleach
Dentists use teeth whitening bleaches such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, which are clinically proven safe. Home whitening kits are available too. Most online whitening kits contain baking soda or sodium bicarbonate and sodium chlorite.
However, there are risks of teeth whitening kits so, it’s crucial to consult a dentist before using them. Only qualified dentists can use teeth whitening bleaches with higher concentrated bleaching solutions at 30% active ingredient for in-chair treatments.
2. Types Of Teeth Whitening Treatments
There are different types of teeth whitening treatments, which include the following:
- Toothpaste and Mouthwash: They contain gentle polishing agents or abrasive to remove stains on the teeth’ outer surface while brushing. A whitening mouthwash product contains the bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth and freshen up breath. The results show after a few days.
- Whitening Strips: These small plastic strips have a peroxide-gel side applied to the outer surface of the teeth. They can be used up to 30 minutes daily for maximum results.
- Tray-Based Teeth Whiteners: Over-the-counter (OTC) tray-based teeth whiteners use a mouthguard-like tray containing a peroxide-based bleaching agent. Dentists can provide a customized take-home whitening kit that can be used once a day. Each session lasts 30 to 60 minutes and takes up to two weeks.
- In-Office Dental Teeth Whitening Treatment: Chair whitening treatment provides immediate results (less than an hour). A protective coating is applied to the lips and gum tissue. The dentist applies the whitening gel to the teeth and activates it using UV light (learn more about UV light teeth whitening treatment below).
3. Teeth Whitening Procedure Duration
You can apply over-the-counter whitening touch-ups every six months. However, you can avoid undergoing the initial whitening procedure all over again by applying OTC whitening once or twice a month. Don’t apply the whitening strips more often than that, because overuse can cause gum irritation.
4. Teeth Whitening Safety Considerations
Are teeth whitening treatments safe for pregnant women? Because of its critical nature, it’s important to know which dental treatments are safe during pregnancy. While there’s no hard evidence to prove that teeth whitening or bleaching during pregnancy can be risky during pregnancy, experts highly recommend waiting until childbirth is over. Similar to restorative flilings, it should be handled by a certified dentist.
5. Teeth Whitening Kit Storage
Heat inactivates the hydrogen peroxide in teeth whitening strips. Don’t leave your strips in your car while running errands. Store your teeth whitening products in the refrigerator to extend and preserve their shelf life.
6. UV Lights Aren’t The Best
Some dentists use ultraviolet light or UV lamps in teeth whitening to activate the solution and reduce the time procedure. UV teeth whitening treatment use special guards to protect the gums and tongue from UV exposure. However, this procedure can dry out the teeth and lose their shine, giving a false result. It’s best to use chair and professional teeth whitening kits that don’t use UV light to avoid this problem.
7. Teeth Whitening Results Don’t Last Forever
It takes two to three weeks for teeth whitening kits to work, which will keep your teeth whiter for one to two months. Most online teeth whitening kits provide four solution applications that usually last about three weeks, which require you to purchase more products to maintain your smile.
Choose professional teeth whitening kit that can provide 10x solution applicators. By doing so, you’ll ensure that you get the expected results you want and maintain your beautiful smile and white look of your teeth for a reasonable amount of time.
Teeth whitening treatment is an economical way to enhance your smile, making your teeth 3 to 8 shades lighter. In-office teeth whitening usually costs US$500 to US$1,000. The average cost of take-home trays is US$400 and under US$100 for OTC strips.
Teeth whitening treatment is an affordable way to achieve pearly white skin. You can undergo a dental chair whitening treatment and touch-up with teeth whitening kits at home. Now that you’re knowledgeable of the things you should expect, you’ll be more confident undergoing this cosmetic dental procedure.