Keeping on top of your dental needs is an essential part of maintaining your overall well-being. Fresh breath comes from good oral hygiene, and it also helps prevent gum infections, leading to more severe health problems. Dental services like teeth whitening, on the other hand, can help you boost your social esteem with a healthier smile.
Individuals should maintain personal oral hygiene to keep their teeth and mouth healthy and avoid dental decay. Brushing after every meal and flossing daily at least once helps prevent disease-causing bacteria from multiplying in your mouth. Furthermore, a balanced diet that avoids high sugar and starchy foods aids in the prevention of harmful bacteria.
However, you cannot achieve complete dental care alone- it also involves regular visits to dental clinics. And, when you encounter dental issues beyond your hygienic practices, there are different dental services to help you. Moreover, most dentists can provide various dental procedures and treatments to correct or avoid these issues.
Different Dental Services Help Take Care of Your Teeth
Dental clinic visits will not only spare you money and aching, but they can also give you a happier smile. Dentists nowadays perform various procedures that can also help individuals who are conscious of their appearance. Cosmetic dentistry– as these practices are known- is concerned with the aesthetics of the teeth and gums.
Cosmetic dentistry involves the treatment of yellowed, damaged, deformed, and stained teeth, as well as dental cracks. Its main goal is to improve dental aesthetics in color, structure, alignment, and the overall look of your smile. However, many popular cosmetic operations are optional rather than mandatory, although some of these treatments have reparative results.
Cosmetic procedures can vary from tooth replacement to dental implants, thanks to modern advancements in dental technology. Most typical cosmetic dentistry operations are relatively straightforward, while some can involve more complicated and specific treatment. Of all of these procedures, teeth whitening is now the most popular and practical way to enhance your smile.
What Is Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is among the most general dental services in the United States and all over the world. It could be a very successful means to whiten the teeth’ natural tone without losing most of the tooth’s layers. It usually won’t alter the shade too much, but it will brighten the previous color effectively in most cases.
Your teeth may turn yellowish through time for various factors that you may or may not be able to control. For instance, brushing your teeth gets them clean, but with time, stains will develop, making the whiteness disappear. Coffee, red wine, cigarette smoking, and simply aging, as well as some drugs and tartars, can also stain the teeth.
There are many choices in terms of teeth whitening, some of which are more successful and reliable than others. There are some significant differences between these approaches, but the best path depends on your goal and general dental health. Any direction you take would be advantageous somehow since the risks are minor and only last a short time.
Different Causes of Teeth Discoloration
When the shade of the teeth changes and they don’t appear as white as they should- then that’s tooth discoloration. The teeth can darken, change color from bright white to darker tones, or acquire white or black patches. Moreover, teeth stains can appear on the tooth’s exterior or beneath the enamel, and some individuals get both types.
Teeth discoloration is highly prevalent, and it can be caused by various factors, although it makes people feel uncomfortable. Therefore, everyone who wants to keep or achieve a brilliant white smile should know these probable causes. Here are some of those reasons:
Various Food and Drinks
Because of their high acidity, drinks including coffee, tea, soda, and wine can discolor the teeth. In addition, certain starch-based dishes such as spaghetti and several vegetables and fruits, including cherries and potatoes, can cause stains. Therefore, as a basic guideline, any food that may stain the clothes will likely blemish the teeth.
Smoking and Tobacco Use
Chewing tobacco and smoking increases the chance of gum illnesses and other oral diseases and almost always accelerates teeth discoloration. Additionally, smokers have a more significant occurrence of tooth staining than non-smokers, according to various research reports.
The gradual wearing away of the teeth’ enamel is a natural result of age. With time, the enamel’s surface coating deteriorates, uncovering the dentin beneath, and the tooth’s transparency decreases, making it appear darker. Since dentin is yellowish in tone, most people’s teeth begin looking yellower as they become older.
Trauma or Injury
Falling and breaking or otherwise injuring a tooth can damage the surface, resulting in tooth discoloration. It is a problem that most commonly affects kids, but it can impact adults of all ages. When an accident or other trauma forces teeth’ blood circulation to decline or the nerves to die, the injury could darken adult teeth.
Inadequate Dental Practices and Hygiene
Poor oral care, such as failing to brush and clean the teeth, produces plaque and allows food residue to accumulate. It also permits bacteria to remain in the mouth and adhere to the teeth, causing tooth discoloration. In addition, putting off visits to a dentist and regular teeth cleanings might lead to stains.
Professional Teeth Whitening Methods
The bleaching ingredients utilized in professional teeth whitening treatments can include hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals remove stains and lighten the discolored enamel of the teeth, giving them a whiter and brighter appearance. Qualified dental professionals are the ones that administer this procedure- delivering less risk and more definitive whitening results.
Even though teeth whitening is a well-established process, certain people are nonetheless unsuitable for the treatment. For example, people with hypersensitive teeth and gums and severe and stubborn stains are usually ineligible for the procedure. Therefore, one underrated benefit of professional teeth whitening is examining your teeth to ensure that they are suitable for it.
Dentists typically employ two popular techniques to whiten teeth effectively- in-office and professional at-home kits. Many choose in-office procedures, while some favor the more affordable at-home bleaching kits from dentists.
In-Office Teeth Whitening Procedures
In-office teeth whitening involves non-invasive procedures done in a dental clinic involving professional bleaching solutions to whiten the teeth. The process typically takes around an hour, although some dentists would utilize a laser to speed up the process. Additionally, adequately trained dentists may use higher doses of whitener while safeguarding your teeth and gums, rendering it the most efficient.
An in-office treatment is more expensive than any other approach, and it’s noticeably less accessible, but the results are unquestionable. The specialized application procedure guarantees uniform effects across the teeth instead of spotty or inconsistent whitening from strips or kits. While the details may differ, the process follows a relatively similar pattern, with manageable or painless steps for most cases.
Some dentists also offer clients the option of using halogen light in conjunction with teeth lighting. The halogen light helps in the acceleration of the whitening solution resulting in quicker and better effects. Those who choose not to use this approach will need several treatments to obtain the degree of whiteness they want.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Teeth whitening choices that are both safe and effective are not exclusive to what one gets at a dental clinic. For those who prefer to undergo their treatments at home, dentists might offer different professional whitening kits. In addition, many individuals turn to specialized professional at-home whitening kits as a substitute for the more expensive in-office process.
Customized trays loaded with bleaching chemicals that comfortably fit over your teeth have been the most typical method. The trays are available in just several days and have a precise fit to your teeth, ensuring the best results. To prevent gum damage, the dentist will advise patients on how much gel to apply during each use.
Professional at-home whitening kits with a higher dosage of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide are available from a dentist. They generally cost more than over-the-counter bleaching products, yet they are less costly than the typical in-office operation. As a result, these products are ideal for people who seek expert guidance but don’t require immediate results.
Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits
At-home whitening kits come in various forms, including trays, strips, creams, and bleaches- all containing some amount of peroxide. DIY whitening is handy since you can accomplish it on your specific timetable and conditions, but it only works up to a degree. It also works best on solid and unrestored molars and people who have yellowish shades in their teeth.
Most are universal solutions that, generally, can help whiten the teeth gradually over weeks or even months. However, although these products are cheaper, they can’t improve the teeth’ natural color or remove deep stains in the enamel. Patients will notice observable changes in the brilliance of their smile for weeks, but the outcomes are not as spectacular.
Most over-the-counter solutions produce results ranging from several shades to whiter. In addition, over-the-counter teeth whitening products come in a wide array of options, including the following:
Teeth whitening strips include peroxide or bleach, which removes the pigment from the teeth and restores their natural whiteness. The majority of whitening strips are polyethylene, a thin and flexible plastic treated with varying peroxide concentrations. They provide immediate results that can be seen in as little as a few days and persist for several months.
Most kits include two sets of strips for the upper and lower teeth and directions for how long to keep them on the teeth. A person usually applies the strips for around thirty minutes before sleeping and observes an improvement in the teeth’ whiteness within a week. But, unfortunately, they won’t brighten restorations or remove stains produced by antibiotics or fluoride damage.
Over-the-Counter Bleaching Trays
Most OTC trays come in kits that include a gel-based whitening solution and bleaching agents with peroxide. They have a lower dose of peroxide than those from an in-office treatment because they are primarily for at-home application. However, it also implies that they aren’t as effective as in-office trays and that seeing improvements can take several months.
The manufacturer’s specifications determine how often one should wear the trays and how long they should stay on the teeth. Clients also report varying efficiency depending on the brand, with some of them mentioning significant effects and others claiming none. However, some of the whitening gels in these kits are unreliable and may have high peroxide levels.
Paint-on gels or coatings include hydrogen or carbamide peroxide in a mixture spread over the tooth’s surface by a brush. They stick to the teeth’ enamel, form into a coating that blankets them, and then disintegrate in the mouth. However, because of the strength of dental enamel, paint-on gels don’t permeate it, so the result doesn’t stay too long.
The whitener is simple to apply to the front surface of the teeth, and it’s ready to use after around thirty minutes. It also doesn’t necessitate the use of whitening trays or plastic strips to finish the whole procedure. There’s also no proof that tooth painting harms dental structures as long as it’s free of hazardous or dangerous components.
Whitening Toothpaste and Rinse
Whitening toothpaste involves moderate abrasives to help remove stains from the teeth’ external surface while brushing them. Specific whitening toothbrushes with special compressed fibers are also compatible with cleaning the teeth without friction. On the other hand, a whitening mouthwash may contain hydrogen peroxide to lighten teeth while also refreshing the breath effectively.
Whitening toothpaste only eliminates superficial stains and doesn’t include bleaching; therefore, it only brightens the color of the teeth lightly. A mouthwash after a toothbrush penetrates any gaps overlooked at first and enables the fluoride to wash into the enamel. However, unlike the ingredients used in clinical whitening processes, these remedies do not brighten the tooth’s natural color tone.
These over-the-counter whitening treatments are ideal for individuals with minimal discoloration and who want to keep their smiles looking bright. Additionally, they may be appropriate for pregnant women and anyone advised to avoid using more aggressive tooth whitening solutions. However, applying whitening solutions containing peroxide with caution is necessary because they might cause mouth discomfort and allergy.
Know the Appropriate Teeth Whitening Option
There are various methods and solutions available to whiten stained teeth, and knowing which are safe to use is crucial. You may have your teeth whitened by a dentist or over-the-counter items, though many people choose the former because of its effectiveness. Some prefer at-home treatment because of convenience and pricing, while others require quick outcomes and can pay for professional treatment.
Unfortunately, whitening items such as toothpaste and gels typically only last a limited amount of time compared to professional work. Additionally, because of the number of active ingredients, at-home teeth whitening kits are not as effective as professional procedures. Most professionals and experts also believe that these whitening options are considerably less safe than what dentists can provide.
With various teeth whitening methods available, deciding which approach is best for you might be challenging. The easiest way to start any teeth whitening routine is to visit your dentist and discuss the various options. Ultimately, you can choose which option to pursue by carefully assessing the benefits and drawbacks and your dentist’s advice.