A Complete Overview of Teeth Whitening

Ad Min - Friday, March 20, 2020

Whitening procedures are done primarily to bring the lost colour and shine to the teeth. This cosmetic restorative procedure is quite common across the world. One of the main reasons why people opt for this procedure is for the smile. Many are disturbed when their smile is less than perfect. This also affects a person’s self-confidence.

Overview of Teeth Whitening

It is important to know all aspects of teeth whitening before going ahead with the procedure. Many do the treatment at home and are often affected by abrasions on the teeth, teeth roughening and also loosening their natural protection. Some have also reported an increase in teeth sensitivity and gum irritation as the product used is unsuitable.

Discolouration of teeth is usually brought due to staining, which can be external or internal. External staining is seen on the dental enamel and is superficial. The entire tooth changes to yellowish in colour. The strong stains in the food consumed or tobacco will get caught in the pores of the teeth and it changes colour. Intrinsic staining is typically not spread all over the teeth, but on a particular portion of the teeth. This is usually deeper on the teeth, and is usually seen due to medication. Internal staining requires more care and treatment when compared with external staining.

Causes of teeth discolouration

There are many reasons for teeth discolouration:

Food and drinks
Food and drinks like coffee, tea, wine and even vegetables are known to bring discolouration to teeth. It is also caused due to tobacco chewing or smoking. The dental enamel gets eroded and loses colour. Aging also is one of the main reasons why teeth change colour. The protective dental enamel loses its strength as age goes by. When the protective covering loses its strength, it becomes easier for the stains to reach the internal part of the teeth.

Poor dental hygiene
Besides external causes bringing about staining of teeth, there are other reasons also. Poor dental hygiene is one of them. Many do not practice good personal hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing are important to maintain good dental hygiene. Plaque and stain causing elements remain in the teeth and stick to the teeth. Inadequate brushing and cleaning techniques do not remove tobacco or food debris and cause staining of teeth.

Disease conditions that affect dental enamel will bring about a change in teeth colour. Other treatments like those for cancer can also discolour the teeth. Chemotherapy and radiation will change the colour of the teeth, especially if it is in the head and neck region. If pregnant mothers have any infections, the dental enamel of the child will also be affected and a change of colour can be seen in that of the child.

Use of medicines for a longer period will change the colour of the teeth. Antibiotics if taken for a continuous period will make the teeth turn yellowish. Medicines for mental illness, or antihypertensive medicines will change the teeth colour. Some mouthwashes are known to have ingredients in them that bring about discolouration of teeth. Besides, if teeth or mouth area has suffered any trauma or accident then teeth will change colour due to the damage they suffered. Some people have discoloured teeth due to genetics as well.

Types of whitening products

There are many options available at your disposal to whiten your teeth.

Whitening strips and chewing gums

Many products are available that can be used at home as a whitening product. Whitening strips have whitening material like peroxide in it. It’s a gel-like material that is applied on the outer side of the teeth. Peroxide helps reduce the stain on the teeth and make it bright. The strip should be used for the time as mentioned on the product cover for maximum results.

Teeth whitening chewing gums can be used after each meal. They are available in sugarless variety as well. These gums help provide a refreshing taste and remove food odours after a meal. They also provide a coating on the teeth, this acts as a protection to the teeth and also helps prevent staining.

Tray-based whiteners

This product can be purchased from a drugstore and is also available from a dental clinic. The product is a mouth guard shaped tray that can be fitted onto the teeth. The tray contains whitening gel. Teeth are subjected to the treatment in the trays for a specific period of time and this helps to change colour from yellow to white. If at home, this can be worn for a couple of hours as part of the treatment. The peroxide will work on the stains and lighten it. The advantage of getting this from the dental clinic is the dentist can provide treatment that is suited for each person. Some may have sensitivity and irritation while using these trays. Dentists can help choose a treatment option that is suited to their needs.

Toothpastes and rinses

Whitening toothpaste are available in the market to help remove stains. It is mostly the external stains that can be removed using this method. The toothpastes contain mild abrasives that help remove the stains from the top of the teeth. Some also contain polishing agents that help to bring out the sparkle in the teeth. These polishing agents are mild and do not harm the teeth. Toothpastes do not clean out the stains fully, they only lighten it. Similar to the toothpastes, there are mouth rinses available that also help in reducing the yellowish stains in the teeth.

Whatever be the type of treatment that is chosen, expert advice from the dentist can be taken. Any type of dental treatment, be it simple or complex should be done after a consultation with the dentist. This is necessary to rule out any dental complications. Oral health is checked and the proper treatment is planned after proper diagnosis. This helps to maintain oral health and hygiene.

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