The quality of a great smile has significant impact on the lives of most people. Studies show that beautiful, bright, white smiles make people look more attractive, younger and lead to greater self-confidence. Achieving a bright, white smile can be quick and easy with teeth whitening.
Whitening processes will make teeth appear whiter in color. There are two types of products for whitening; bleaching products and non-bleaching.
Non-bleaching products work by physical or chemical agents to remove surface stains only. Examples are bleaching toothpastes that polish the tooth with abrasives and remove superficial stains or discolorations. These products can be too harsh for people with sensitive teeth or gum recession. These products will often increase sensitivity.
An alternative to abrasives are bleaching products which can change the natural color of the teeth. The bleach removes deep stains and surface stains. Examples are crest white strips, professional dental take-home bleaching supplies and in-office dental treatment bleaching products.
Tooth whitening material is comprised of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Fluoride, potassium or nitrate can be added to help reduce tooth sensitivity.
The mechanism of tooth whitening involves the unstable peroxide chemically breaking down larger pigmented organic molecules within the enamel matrix into smaller less pigmented molecules. What this means is that the darkly colored foods and drinks that we consume such as tea, coffee, blueberries and even chocolate will darken and stain our teeth over time. Bleaching products work by dissolving these pigmented stains into smaller molecules. Dissolving away these pigmented molecules reveals a brighter and whiter, natural tooth color beneath the stains.
Dental bleaching products are available in a variety of strengths to make teeth whiter. The more bleaching treatments performed per day, the faster you will achieve a whiter smile. However, this concentrated use of bleaching agents can also increase sensitivity. The majority of side effects involving tooth sensitivity resolve within 24 to 48 hours of discontinuing the use of the bleaching material. You should discuss any tooth sensitivity that develops with a dentist.
Professional take-home bleaching typically takes 2-3 weeks to achieve optimal results and in-office dental treatment for teeth bleaching can whiten and brighten your teeth in one visit. Discuss these options with a dentist to determine which type of bleaching would be best for your individual needs.
Please keep in mind that teeth bleaching treatment is rarely permanent. The effects typically last 1 to 4 years and then stains will begin to build-up and discolor your teeth again. How fast your teeth will begin to stain is dependent on your habits such as how often you drink tea and coffee and whether you are a tobacco smoker. Touch-up treatments will be needed to maintain your bright, white smile.
If you have restorations such as crowns or fillings these will not bleach or change color. Only natural tooth structure will lighten. Your fillings or crowns may need to be replaced with a lighter shade to match your new brighter, whiter smile after you have completed dental bleaching treatment.
The long-term effects of bleaching agents on the teeth of pregnant or nursing mothers have not been studied. Therefore, women who are pregnant or expect to become pregnant should postpone any bleaching treatment.
How you look has never been so important. Fortunately, enhancing your smile has never been so predictably or easy. Professional teeth bleaching products are an easy, cost-affordable way to dramatically increase the value or your smile. Everyday, more people are enjoying a greater sense of self-esteem and self-assurance because they have a more attractive smile. Professional teeth bleaching can give you a more confident smile as well.