The teeth can become discolored or stained for a number of reasons and stained teeth can prevent a person from flashing a white, bright smile when they are greeting others. Patients who want to enjoy a smile filled with teeth that are brighter and whiter can visit their dentist for teeth whitening treatments or they can use at-home teeth whitening products. There are some side effects that might result from teeth whitening so let’s examine the safety of the treatment to ensure a bright and happy smile.
The discoloration of the teeth happens for a number of reasons such as consuming food and beverages that can stain the teeth including coffee, red wine, and tea. The teeth can also lose their white appearance thanks to smoking and tobacco. Discoloration can also happen from within the tooth thanks to medications, trauma to the tooth, and an infection or illness.
There are multiple options available to patients who are looking to whiten their teeth. The teeth can be whitened in the office of a dentist, the dentist can send patients home with a teeth whitening kit to use at their convenience, or a kit can be bought over the counter to use at the home of a patient.
The teeth whitening method that will provide the desired results will be determined by a number of factors such as the extent of the discoloration, the type of discoloration, the dental history of the patent (crowns and fillings), and the amount of money the person is willing to spend on the treatment.
Due to the different options available for teeth whitening, the teeth will need to be examined by the dentist to determine the best approach to eliminating the amount of discoloration on the teeth.
Even though the treatment can be performed at home or in an office, the method used will generally bleach the teeth with carbamide peroxide. In turn, this breaks down to hydrogen peroxide and urea in order to target the color of the tooth during a chemical reaction.
The teeth whitening treatment performed in an office works quickly and the results can often last longer than one performed at home. The reason it might last longer is because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the products used in a dental office are often greater than the amount in the products that are applied at home. In addition, the dentist might also use an application of light when applying the whitening products so the process will be performed in a quicker manner.
During an at-home treatment, the product can be bought over the counter or the dentist can send a product home with the patient for later use. If the dentist sends an at-home kit with the patient, the dentist might also be able to make trays that are customized to fit in the mouth. The patient adds a gel to the tray and wears it anywhere from a half hour to an hour each day (for a number of weeks determined by the dentist) to give the teeth a whiter appearance.
The teeth whitening products that can be purchased in a store either do not contain carbamide peroxide or they have much less than the products used by a dentist. Patients need to know this as these teeth whiteners might not be as effective as the ones used in a dental office. They might also take longer to whiten the teeth than the treatment performed by a dentist.
There are also whitening toothpastes and whitening strips that can be purchased at a store and they use a variety of substances such as abrasives and hydrogen peroxide to clean the teeth. Proper research should be performed to make sure the chosen product will provide the desired results.
Some of the side effects patients might experience while using teeth whitening treatments include increased sensitivity to the teeth that can be treated using products that include sodium fluoride gel and potassium nitrate. In addition, the gums might become irritated due to the whitening product coming into contact with the gums. The gum irritation should stop once the teeth whitening treatments are over.
It is important to know that patients cannot whiten their teeth on a permanent basis. The treatment can only be performed every so often and this can be determined by a dentist.
In order to maintain the results, the patient will need to avoid food and beverage choices that can stain teeth. Plus, the act of brushing or rinsing the teeth soon after eating or drinking can prevent discoloring agents from settling on, as well as into, the surface of the teeth.
Be sure and use medically-approved methods to whiten the teeth so the treatment is safe and addresses the individual needs of the treated teeth.