Tooth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that’s done on patients with discoloured teeth. You could use an at-home tooth whitening kit or visit the dentist to get it done professionally. Home teeth whitening kits usually contain bleaching trays and a re-mineralising paste and are generally more affordable than whitening procedures performed by the dentist. Some DIY kits contain moulds that require you to take an impression of your teeth. These impressions are sent back to the distributor who makes a custom-made tooth whitening tray.
The tray that holds the bleaching agent has to sit perfectly on your teeth so that all the surfaces of your teeth are well covered. The better the fit, the lesser the amount of bleaching gel required. Excess amounts of bleaching gel tend to ooze out and touch other parts of the oral cavity causing sensitivity. At-home teeth whitening kits contain a lower percentage of Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide in comparison to the pastes used by the dentist. This is a precautionary measure so that consumers don’t end up accidentally intoxicating themselves or damaging their teeth.
If you have undergone a teeth whitening procedure at the dentist, you’ll have to take a few precautionary measures yourself, so that your teeth don’t get stained a few months after whitening.
Tips to Keep Teeth White
Avoid consuming beverages that are known to cause stains. Examples of these are tea, coffee and wine. Highly acidic foods also erode the enamel and change its colour so it’s best to maintain a right diet to keep your teeth looking their pearly best.
Smoking is one of the most common causes of tooth discolouration so try reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke if you haven’t quit already. Another thing you can do to prevent your sparkling smile from reverting back to its original state is to brush and floss twice daily. The better the oral hygiene, the fewer the tooth problems you face. This will effectively help to keep your whitening intact.
Lastly, use a tooth whitening toothpaste from a reputable brand. These toothpastes remove mild stains, helping you prolong the results of your whitening treatment.
Things You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening
Although the bleaching chemical works on natural tooth enamel, it doesn’t have a good effect on porcelain crowns or fillings. If your crowns or caps don’t match the colour of the rest of your teeth you might have to get them replaced. Despite taking precautionary measures, your whitened teeth are likely to turn dull or slightly yellowish in colour after one year. You will have to undergo a tooth whitening procedure every couple of years to make sure your smile stays bright and beautiful. Since stains respond differently to the treatment you may also need more than one sitting at the dentist’s clinic to remove stubborn patches.
You could use DIY kits to brighten up your teeth every now and then, but overuse or incorrect use will only do more harm than good. Also, talk to your dental practitioner about the brand you’re thinking of buying so that you make an educated choice.