Teeth whitening also called teeth bleaching is a cosmetic treatment that improves the appearance of your teeth by removing the underlaying stains from the enamel of the tooth. This procedure whitens the tooth and takes out any effects of cigarettes, coffee, or any other substances that permanently discolor teeth.
Prior to any procedure, the patients have a detailed oral examination to see if the whitening can be done, since it may not be recommended for pregnant, nursing women, people with gum disease or sensitive teeth. Additionally, all cavities need to be filled before treatment starts because patients can experience a bit more sensitivity when the treatment material come in contact to the inside of the tooth. Your dentist will advise of different whitening methods to choose from, once he/she has determined that you are a good candidate to have your teeth whitened.
In Office bleaching: In office bleaching, the dentist applies a protective gel or rubber shield to protect the patient’s gum and tissue. Then, the whitening solution that contains hydrogen peroxide is applied on the teeth. This procedure offers excellent results and can be done in an hour. However, whitening may not work well on some stain colors of the teeth, dentures, colored fillings, crowns or porcelain restorations.
Teeth Whitening Trays and Gels: This procedure is highly effective and convenient to use at home since the trays can be either prescribed by your dentist or bought over the counter. These are plastic or silicone mouth guards that fit over the teeth after a peroxide based whitening gel is applied to each tooth. These are used for a couple of hours a day or overnight and may take 3 days to a couple of weeks before you can see any results.
Teeth Whitening Strips: These are thin plastic peel off strips coated with bleaching agents that wrap around the top and bottom of the teeth. It is recommended to apply it for about 30 minutes twice a day for a period of 5 to 14 days. Depending on the amount of peroxide they contain, teeth whitening strips may take longer to have the desired result.
Teeth Whitening Toothpastes: These products do not exactly bleach your teeth, but
contain mild abrasives and polishing agents that remove surface stains of the teeth.