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Everything You Should Know About Teeth Whitening

Many people want to flash a bright and dazzling smile, but the problem is, not everyone has pearly white teeth. The good news is, people can get a whitening procedure from their local dental office. It’s one of the most common dental works and treatments available to those who want to achieve a healthy-looking smile. Here’s a summary of the things you should know about this procedure:

What Causes Discolored Teeth?

There are several factors that cause stained or discolored teeth. Genetics is one example. Some people are just born with a set of teeth that appear to have a yellow or light gray tint. This happens because the enamel of their teeth is translucent, and the dentine underneath it is partially exposed. The dentine is naturally yellowish, so there’s totally nothing wrong if a person’s teeth look a few shades darker than white. 

Meanwhile, reddish- or brownish-yellow teeth can be caused by the foods or drinks that a person normally consumes. Those who intake a lot of coffee, red wine, or tea are prone to having stains on their teeth. These beverages contain color pigments called chromogens that seep through the tiny pores of the teeth’s enamel and cause discoloration. The same effect happens to people who eat many dark berries, saucy foods, and candies. 

Stained and dark-colored teeth are also common among people who smoke. It’s because of the tar and nicotine found in cigarettes. These substances are naturally grayish-black and yellow, and they attach themselves onto the teeth’s surface, causing discoloration. These stains are hard to get rid of through brushing alone. You have to use different types of teeth whitening products. It’s also a good idea to visit your dentist and get the right kind of whitening procedure, such as in-office bleaching or UV light treatment.

Poor dental hygiene, periodontal diseases, and aging can also cause teeth discoloration. All of these factors usually damage the enamel of the teeth, which causes the dentine underneath to be exposed.  

What’s the Most Effective Way to Whiten the Teeth?

There are various ways to help whiten the teeth. One of them is using whitening toothpastes. These products have strong stain-removing agents and mild abrasives, such as magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate. All of these ingredients are highly effective in getting rid of stains on the teeth’s surface and preventing discoloration. 

Aside from whitening toothpastes, there are also other products available like stain-removing gels, bleaching solutions, and whitening strips, to name a few. When buying any of these, be sure to consult your dentist first to ensure that you’re safe to use any of them.

Another way to whiten teeth is in-office bleaching. It’s among the most common dental works offered by many clinics. This procedure is fast and easy, and it often requires just one visit to your dentist. It’s considered to be a long-term solution to teeth discoloration as its effects last between 1 and 3 years. 

During in-office bleaching, the dentist applies a thin layer of protective gel to your teeth and then using the bleaching agent. This substance contains highly concentrated hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, which effectively removes stains and makes the teeth white. It’s important to note that whitening activators, such as UV light, are sometimes optional. So, be sure to speak with your dentist first if you don’t want them to use these activators.

What Are the Side Effects of Teeth Whitening?

Most teeth-whitening treatments are generally safe, but patients sometimes experience side effects. Those who use whitening gels and bleaching solutions may feel a bit of irritation in their gums in their first few uses. 

Meanwhile, tooth sensitivity is very common for those who’ve had an in-office bleaching procedure. This happens because the peroxide seeps through the enamel and reaches the dentine, exposing the nerves to the chemical agent. As a result, they are irritated, sometimes producing a tingly feeling in the mouth.

Teeth whitening treatments are an effective way to help you achieve a bright and clear smile. They may have a few side effects, but they are all temporary and will only last for the first few days.