What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening can be very effective way of lightening the natural color of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete color change, but it may lighten the existing shade.
What it is used for?
There are number of reasons why you might getvyour teeth whitened. Everyone is different and just as our hair and skin color vary so do our teeth. Our teeth become more discolored as we get older. Your teeth can also be stained on the surface by food & drinks such as tea,coffee,red wine and black-current. Smoking can also stain teeth. Calculus and tarter can also affect the color of your teeth.
What does teeth whitening involve?
Whitening can be done in dental office or at home. Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. Your dental team will be able to tell if you are suitable for the treatment.
Firstly, the dental team will put a rubber shield or gel on your gums to protect them. They will then apply whitening product to your teeth using a specially made tray which fits into your mouth like a mouthguard. The active ingredient of the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as active ingredient broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth color is made lighter.
For whitening at home your dentist can make a tray to hold the whitening gel that fit your teeth precisely. Home whitening gel usually needs to be applied daily for two or three weeks.
When tooth whitening might not work?
Tooth whitening can only lighten your existing tooth color. Also it only works on natural teeth. It will not work on decayed teeth or any type of false teeth such as dentures, crowns, veneers.
How to maintain newly whitened smile?
Over time exposure to foods,drinks(especially tea,coffee coals) and tobacco will gradually darken your newly whitened teeth. Here are some tips to maintain your newly whitened teeth.
- Use whitening tooth paste to remove surface stains and prevent yellowing
- Brush or rinse immediately after consuming stain causing beverages or foods.
Depending upon whitening method you may need touch up in six months or after a year or two. If you smoke or drink a lot of coffee you may need a touch up more often.