Teeth whitening for a brighter smile

Dental teeth whitening is not just a recent trend for the modern multitude, but rather a virtual necessity for every person seeking to gain the self-confidence and that much-envied “dream smile.” A smile can win the heart of a person or command the attention of a crowd; yet sadly, all too many people try to hide their smile for fear of displaying yellowed or stained teeth. With modern dental teeth whitening options, such public fears are no longer necessary.

There is some great (and possibly unexpected) news for people seeking dental teeth whitening: cosmetic dentistry is not always as expensive as people think. So with that having been said, let’s take a more detailed look at some FAQs regarding teeth whitening.

What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discolorations. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can significantly improve the appearance of your teeth. It is more convenient and less costly than other techniques. The majority of dentists perform teeth whitening.

What is tooth discoloration?
Defining tooth discoloration depends upon its many causes and it is important to distinguish between an external and internal stain.  •External stains - caused by tobacco, tea, coffee, and juices like grape and apple.

Internal stains - caused by excessive fluoride (during teeth formation), aging, trauma, nerve damage, and tetracycline exposure (while teeth are forming).

Only professional whitening procedures, such as the custom-fit bleaching tray, can remove both internal and external stains.  Over-the-counter tooth whitening products like toothpastes remove only very mild external stains.

Who can undergo teeth whitening?
Anybody can benefit from a teeth-whitening procedure. Patients whose teeth are stained by tetracycline may experience difficulty in achieving the desired whiteness. People with veneers, crowns, or fillings may also experience uneven whiteness because these dental fixtures do not whiten along with the rest of the teeth.

What preparation is needed?
Cavities need to be treated before teeth are whitened because the whitening solution can penetrate decay and reach inner areas of the tooth, which can cause sensitivity. Also, whitening will not work on exposed tooth roots, because roots do not have an enamel layer. Receding gums can cause roots to become exposed.  

Why are there teeth that do not whiten evenly with the rest?
The sides of your teeth and biting edges whiten more quickly than the rest. This is because of the thicker enamel in these areas. Teeth with thicker enamel respond faster to the whitening agent than teeth with thinner enamel.  

Is teeth whitening safe?
The most preferred teeth whitening procedure is the custom-fit bleaching tray that uses carbamide peroxide. This procedure, when done under the supervision of a dentist, is safe. Whitening is unlikely to cause side effects, although some people’s teeth may become more sensitive temporarily. There may be some mild gum irritation as well. Whitening procedures should not be done while a woman is pregnant; the effect of the whitening materials on the development of the fetus is not known. Since the procedure is cosmetic and an option, it should be postponed until after delivery.  

If you have any more questions that concern you but are not discussed in this article, consult your dentist. The more you know about teeth whitening, the more confident you will be before beginning this “smile enhancing” procedure.