The Teeth Whitening Questions You Should Be Asking

One of the first things people notice about you is your smile. A beautiful smile is on everyone’s wish list. It is also crucial to have faith in your ability to share it with the people around you. When you realise that your teeth are yellow or stained, you tend to lose confidence. It forces you to hide your beautiful smile. This is where teeth whitening comes to your rescue.

Teeth bleaching, or teeth whitening, is an extremely common dental procedure. It is the process of lightening the colour of the teeth. This can be achieved by either physically removing the stain or by using the action of a chemical agent. Generally, your teeth are bleached to whiten them. Even though teeth won’t become dazzling white, their colour can be lightened by many shades.

Tooth whitening is done by a skilled and experienced professional like a dentist, dental hygienist, dental therapist, or a regulated dental professional. Beauty salons and clinics can also offer teeth whitening services if there is a dental health professional present.

Common questions people have about teeth whitening

It is extremely easy nowadays to successfully undergo teeth whitening treatments, either under the supervision of a dentist or using homemade kits. But before deciding to move forward with the procedure, it is important to know about its various aspects. You can decide on the best course of action after having a thorough understanding of the procedure. Below are some common questions people have about teeth whitening.

What are the major reasons for tooth discolouration?

Before deciding on teeth whitening treatments, it is important to understand the reasons for the discolouration. There are numerous reasons that can make your teeth look discoloured or stained. Your teeth can get discoloured as you age. In some cases, childhood accidents that hamper the development of tooth enamel can cause the teeth to darken. There are some lifestyle habits that lead to discoloured teeth. These include:

       Drinking alcoholic, carbonated, sugary, and caffeinated drinks like wines, tea, coffee, and colas.

       Eating too many starchy foods like potatoes and pasta creates conditions for discolouration.

       Chewing or smoking tobacco.

Certain other factors influencing tooth discolouration include:

       improper dental hygiene, causing food stains and plaque to build-up

       diseases that may hamper the proper development of dentin and tooth enamel

       some treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation for neck and head cancers

       medications like antihistamines, chlorhexidine, doxycycline, tetracycline, cetylpyridinium chloride, antihypertensive drugs, and antipsychotic drugs

       dental procedures like amalgam restorations

       environment and genetics

How white can the teeth get?

It is always better to have some realistic expectations once you decide to have a teeth whitening treatment. Your dental health professional can give you a good idea of what to expect. Teeth whitening will not work equally for everyone. The degree of whitening is also different for different people. The treatment may not make your teeth dazzling white but can make them several shades lighter.

What are the different teeth whitening options available?

Even though teeth whitening procedures done by a dental health professional are the safest and yield the best results, there are other options available for teeth whitening. The different teeth whitening options available for people are:

       In-office procedure: This is done by a dental care professional and may take about 20 minutes. In this case, the bleaching gel is applied to the teeth by the dentist and the process is repeated depending on the shade of white needed. This procedure is the most expensive.

       Home treatments: In this case, bleaching gels placed in custom trays can be worn at home instead of going to the dentist. The number of days the trays should be worn depends on the shade of white you are aiming to achieve.

       Whitening toothpaste: This is the least expensive method. It removes only the surface stains.

How safe is the teeth whitening treatment?

Teeth whitening treatment is a safe and non-invasive procedure with minimal risks when all the safety instructions are followed properly. In Australia, OTC whitening chemicals are stipulated to have no more than 18% carbamide peroxide or 6% hydrogen peroxide for safety purposes. A higher concentration of such chemicals can increase the chances of burns. Products having higher concentrations of chemicals can only be used by a skilled dental practitioner.

Are there any side effects or risks associated with the procedure?

Incorrectly performed teeth whitening treatments by unskilled professionals can give rise to numerous complications or risks. If the gums or soft tissues in the moth come in contact with the chemicals, there is a possibility of burns. When performed by a trained dental professional, there can be some minor side effects that will fade away in a few days. These side effects include gingival irritation and tooth sensitivity. Aggressive regimens can cause some undesirable effects like dehydration, demineralization, pulpal damage, and tooth erosion. It is always better to have a talk with your dental practitioner about the possible side effects before starting the treatment. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid whitening treatments as they may negatively affect the baby.

How long does the whitening treatment last?

Teeth whitening is not permanent, but generally, it can last about two years. In some cases, it may fade as early as six months. The longevity of the treatment is dependent on the kind of treatment you opt for and the post-treatment tooth maintenance. It is better to avoid foods and drinks like beetroot, tea, coffee, and alcohol. It is also better to quit smoking to avoid tooth staining.

Wrapping up

Teeth whitening procedures are a safe treatment for most people when done by a skilled and experienced dental health professional. It is a great treatment to restore the beauty of your gorgeous smile. It is non-invasive and has few side effects. Furthermore, it should be noted that people with certain medical conditions, those with sensitive gums and teeth, and pregnant women may not be able to get teeth whitening treatments. You should also be over 18 years old to be eligible for treatment. Having a consultation with a good local Varsity Lakes Dentist will help you know if you are suitable to undergo the procedure.

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