How Exactly Does Teeth Whitening Work?

How Exactly Does Teeth Whitening Work?

A brighter smile is a necessity in today’s fashion world. Every person wants a smile that sets them apart, a smile that will make them look attractive. Although, one thing that takes away the charisma of a smile is plaque.

Plaque is formed when tartar gets accumulated on the teeth and gums. You may recognize it as the yellowish layer accumulated on the surface of your enamel. The best way to have them squeaky clean is by the process of teeth whitening.

When it comes to teeth whitening, you get two options: either in-office bleaching or at-home care. Before diving deep into that, let us first know what it actually is and how it works.

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a simple and safe process. It can transform the way you smile and boost your confidence ten folds. The treatment uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to break down molecules that stain your teeth. As these molecules get smaller, they get separated from the tooth, which gives it a whiter look.

Although it cannot make your teeth look crystal white, it lightens them by several shades and makes a significant difference to the smile.

As mentioned earlier, both whitening options work with the help of peroxide-based bleaching agents. At-home systems contain around 3% to 20% peroxide in them.  The in-office systems have a higher percentage of peroxide, which ranges from 15% to 43%. The longer a solution stays on your teeth, the whiter they become. 

Whitening Options

Now that we have a basic idea of how teeth whitening works, let us look at the different whitening options. Although before you try at-home tooth bleaching methods, make sure to consult a dentist. Not everyone will see good results.

If you are a tooth bleaching candidate, here are the ways you can follow to get an attractive smile.

Stain Removal Toothpaste

You can try this option in the comfort of your home. It requires the toothpaste that you usually use to clean your teeth. All tubes of toothpaste have mild abrasives that scrub the teeth. They help remove the surface stains. 

When buying toothpaste, look for a toothpaste that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for stain removal. You will find the seal on the package of the toothpaste. They have additional polishing agents that are safe for your to use. Unlike bleaches, the ADA accepted products do not change the color of your teeth. Their main aim is to only remove the stains on the surface.

These are generally inexpensive and brighten the teeth by one shade. Some toothpaste may even contain peroxides (hydrogen or carbamide). They do not show enough whitening benefits as they stay on the teeth for shorter durations.

In-Office Bleaching

Teeth whitening done by your dentist is a safer way to get brighter teeth in a shorter period. The bleaching solution used is usually more concentrated than at-home kits. The dentist may even use heat, light, or both to speed up and intensify the process.

The results are typically better than the at-home kits. You will notice that the tooth gets brighter by three to eight shades. This procedure may take several 30 to 60-minute in-office visits. Although some dentists use techniques that can whiten your teeth in a single 2-hour appointment.

The cost of in-office whitening can be expensive for some people. Usually, the total expense of in-office treatment ranges from $500 to $1,000.

At-Home Bleaching From Your Dentist

If you do not want to have in-office bleaching, your doctor may provide you with a custom-made tray for at-home whitening. You can also buy tray-based whitening systems from the local shops or online.

In this case, your dentist provides you with instructions on how the tray is used.

Typically, the tray is filled with a peroxide-based bleaching gel or paste and is placed over the teeth. The whole procedure may take several hours a day for as long as four weeks. It is suitable for those people who want to complete the whitening process in their homes. The cost for this option can range from $150 to $600.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products

You may have seen various products like gels or strips that guarantee to whiten your teeth by bleaching them. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance in these products.

These products are applied directly to the teeth with a brush or a thin strip. Usually, they are used once or twice a day for 10 to 14 days. Their results last for four months and more if you are lucky. They are not that costly and will cost you around $10 to $55.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Every treatment carries some level of risk. There is always a chance that your gums may become sensitive to some chemicals used during the process. Nonetheless, teeth whitening is a very safe and effective process where many patients don’t experience any side effects.

Temporary tooth sensitivity may also develop, but it usually subsides within 48 hours of the treatment. Bleaching gels are also a safe option. If any gel were to leak out of your mouthguard, the enzymes present in the saliva would neutralize the solution.

During the initial stages of the treatment, you may notice some white spots emerging on your teeth. They may persist for the first few days, but the color wears out after three or four days. If they don’t, consult your dentist.

Start Your Whitening Session Today!

Your teeth are an integral part of your body that forms the oral cavity. Hence, their hygiene is vital for you and your body’s health. Therefore, cleaning it is a must. Sometimes a plaque may develop on your gums, but you can remove it with the help of teeth whitening. 

However, you should consult a dentist before undergoing any treatment. It will drastically minimize the risks involved. Make sure that you don’t overuse whiteners as they can damage tooth enamel and gum. 

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