Teeth Whitening (Bleaching)
Tooth color plays a big role in your appearance. It is possible to have teeth whitening in order to have whiter shades of teeth. There are two types of bleaching: Office(clinical) bleaching which gives a quicker result, and home bleaching where you follow a regimen to whiten your teeth.
What is in-office (clinical) bleaching?
It is the whitening technique that is performed by your dentist. It is a better solution for those who want to achieve the results quicker. Dentist applies a whitening gel onto your teeth and activates it with the help of UV light or laser and it nearly takes 1 hour. It is also called laser technique.
What is at-home teeth bleaching?
Your dentist firstly check and examine general condition of your teeth and performs a tooth tartar and plaque removal, which is called “scaling”. Your teeth are measured in order to prepare a whitening kit which contains a whitening gel inside. After you brush your teeth at night, you put the kit into your mouth and it should stay 6 to 8 hours. This procedure usually starts in the upper jaw and then follows the lower one.
Combining both in-office and at-home bleaching can provide the best results. Your dentist can inform you whether you can combine the two or not.
What Causes Tooth Staining?
Age: There is a direct correlation between tooth color and age. Over the years, teeth darken as a result of wear and tear and stain accumulation. Teenagers will likely experience immediate, dramatic results from whitening. In the twenties, as the teeth begin to show a yellow cast, whitening may require a little more effort. By the forties, the yellow gives way to brown and more maintenance may be called for. By the fifties, the teeth have absorbed a host of stubborn stains which can prove difficult (but not impossible) to remove.
Starting color: We are all equipped with an inborn tooth color that ranges from yellow-brownish to greenish-grey, and intensifies over time. Yellow-brown is generally more responsive to bleaching than green-grey.
Translucency and thinness: These are also genetic traits that become more pronounced with age. While all teeth show some translucency, those that are opaque and thick have an advantage: they appear lighter in color, show more sparkle and are responsive to bleaching. Teeth that are thinner and more transparent – most notably the front teeth – have less of the pigment that is necessary for bleaching. According to cosmetic dentists, transparency is the only condition that cannot be corrected by any form of teeth whitening.
Eating habits: The habitual consumption of red wine, coffee, tea, cola, carrots, oranges and other deeply-colored beverages and foods causes considerable staining over the years. In addition, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and vinegar contribute to enamel erosion. As a result, the surface becomes more transparent and more of the yellow-colored dentin shows through.
Smoking habits: Nicotine leaves brownish deposits which slowly soak into the tooth structure and cause intrinsic discoloration.
Drugs / chemicals: Tetracycline usage during tooth formation produces dark grey or brown ribbon stains which are very difficult to remove. Excessive consumption of fluoride causes fluorosis (discoloration marked by the appearance of faint white marks on the teeth) and associated areas of white mottling.
Grinding: Most frequently caused by stress, teeth grinding (gnashing, bruxing, etc.) can add to micro-cracking in the teeth and can cause the biting edges to darken.
Trauma: Falls and other injuries can produce sizable cracks in the teeth, which collect large amounts of stains and debris.
Teeth whitening, also known as dental bleaching or tooth whitening is a very common cosmetic dentistry procedure. There is a small difference between whitening and bleaching – bleaching is used to whiten teeth beyond their natural color while whitening restores the natural color of the teeth. In 2010, more than 100 million teeth whitening procedures were performed in the USA alone, making it one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures in the world.
Dental bleaching can be applied through different techniques:
● Teeth whitening laser
● Teeth whitening gel
● Bleaching pen
● Teeth whitening strips
Dental bleaching uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to whiten or bleach the teeth. This special solution infiltrates the teeth’s enamel and breaks away any stains.
What causes teeth stains?
Teeth can become stained due to bacterial pigments, color drinks such as wine, tea, coffee, and coca cola. Other teeth stain causes include:
● Genetic factors
● Tetracycline-based antibacterial drugs
● Enamel hypoplasia
● Poor oral hygiene
● The natural aging process
● Chlorhexidine – this substance is often used in toothpaste and mouthwash