Tooth whitening is an increasingly popular procedure. If you want to restore radiance to your smile, it is best to discuss it with your dentist during your next visit. The dentist should first clean your teeth and ensure, through a comprehensive review, that you do not have caries or defective restorations. He can then determine why your teeth are not as white as before, crucial step in successful treatment.
Several causes may be the source of teeth color change. First, the teeth may be covered with an accumulation of plaque and tartar. These deposits are colored if a person frequently drinks coffee, tea, red wine, or smokes. A simple cleaning and polishing of the teeth is sometimes enough to remove surface stains. Sometimes, however, the coloring is inside of the enamel and dentin. Possible causes are the natural aging of the teeth, tooth decay, consumption of tobacco products, certain drugs or too much fluoride during childhood.
Some people respond better to bleaching than others. Those having yellowish color of teeth usually respond better than those with brownish teeth. Sometimes the teeth may even have a grayish coloration. This results from taking tetracycline for treating certain childhood diseases or taking minocycline used by teenagers and young adults to treat acne problems. These colorations are more resistant to bleaching and in some cases it is unfortunately not possible to eliminate them completely. Furthermore, people whose anterior teeth were restored with dental materials discolored over time will need change to replace these old restorations to have the teeth of the same color.
The different ways to whiten teeth:
1. Home bleaching
Under the supervision of the dentist, you can whiten teeth at home. Before treatment, the dentist takes an impression of the teeth to produce a stone pattern. This model allows him to create a plastic trays adapting perfectly to your dentition. This tray serves to retain the small amount of carbamide peroxide gel in a concentration of about 10% to be applied to whiten teeth. The person will wear the trays during the day or at night, according to his preference. The treatment lasts about two weeks, or the time required to achieve satisfactory results if the stain is stubborn. Side effects may be tooth sensitivity and / or gum irritation. Tooth sensitivity usually disappears when stopping treatment. In such cases, the dentist may prescribe neutral fluoride or special toothpaste such as Sensodyne, that the person will place in its trays, 30 minutes for a few days.
2. In-office teeth whitening
People who do not wish to make a treatment at home can opt for whitening done by the dentist at the dental chair. The dentist isolates your teeth and protects the gums with a protective gel or a rubber dam. He applies a bleaching agent on teeth for a few minutes, usually a gel based on hydrogen peroxide of a concentration of 30 to 35%. He wipes the product and makes a second application. It is usually necessary to repeat these steps 3-4 times during the same session. This process takes 30 to 60 minutes. You should not be surprised if more than one session is required.
3. Chewing gums and whitening toothpastes
All toothpastes help remove surface stains on teeth because they contain mild abrasives. Some toothpastes called "whiteners" contain chemicals or abrasives which are more effective than others for removing stains. However, they do not affect the intrinsic color of the teeth, just as the whitening chewing gums.
4. Whitening products over the counter
There are several whitening products over the counter. Although it is tempting to try them, do not get caught in a trap. In order not to lose time or money, it is best to seek advice from your dentist. He will tell you what it is suitable for you and what product he recommends.
5. Cleaning and polishing
It is a usual treatment performed by your hygienist during your regular appointments. This treatment removes only the extrinsic staining so it must precede the in-office or at home whitening.
Tips for home bleaching:
Well brush and floss before inserting the trays in the mouth.
Fill the trays with the whitening gel about a third of the tank and place it in the front of the tray.
Insert the trays in your mouth and keep them the necessary time, according to the dentist's instructions.
Remove the trays after the required deadline. Rinse and clean them with a toothbrush, gently to avoid tearing them.
When whitening your teeth, avoid foods that stain such as red wine, blueberries, tomato sauce, coffee, cola, ... It is also not recommended to smoke during bleaching.
During bleaching, your teeth and gums can become sensitive, this is normal. If the sensitivity becomes intolerable, stop bleaching for one or two days. If pain persists, contact your dentist to let him know.
The end result is very variable and depends on several factors. For best results, you should be emphasized more, increasing the contact time of the peroxide with the teeth and the frequency of use, in some cases up to several months.