9 Facts About Teeth Whitening Products and Procedures
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. It is not hard to understand why. A big percentage of Americans are not happy with their discolored, yellowish, graying or reddish teeth. While brushing and flushing can prevent staining and discoloration, teeth that have already been discolored and stained can be restored to their natural colors only by teeth whitening products and procedures.
Many people have misconceptions about teeth whitening products and procedures. Here are nine facts that we would like to share with you.
Stains never go away unless they are removed actively
Your teeth may feel like they are as hard and solid as rocks, but they have pores just like your skin. Anything that goes into your mouth gets absorbed by these pores and stays there. They will make your teeth darker over time. Coffee, tea, wine, dark-colored berries, tobacco, and smoking are the biggest culprits. Colored foods and beverages can also stain your teeth. Stains never go away unless you remove them actively. Teeth whitening gels work by getting absorbed into the pores and pushing the stains out. Whitening strips work the same way bleach works to whiten clothes. Whitening mouthwash also works in the same way. Never expect stains and discoloring to disappear by themselves over time. That will never happen unless you take action.
Teeth whitening does not harm your teeth
You may have been warned not to use teeth-whitening products and procedures because they can damage your teeth. This is not true. FDA-approved teeth-whitening products and procedures are as safe as your normal toothpaste. Their ingredients are safe, nontoxic and noncorrosive. They do not have any known risky side effects. They also have ingredients that will help your teeth remineralize and rehydrate after each whitening session. So, teeth whitening will not harm your teeth in any way.
Stains cannot be removed overnight
Nothing can remove the stains on your teeth overnight. There is no product or process that can safely penetrate your teeth deep enough to remove all the stains at once. Every available product or procedure takes at least four days to show some initial results and several months to restore the teeth to their natural colors. Staining caused by years of abuse takes a lot more time. Patience is the key to success. Self-discipline is also another requirement for success. You must abstain from activities that stain or discolor your teeth, such as smoking and chewing tobacco, during and after the procedure.
Teeth whitening is no rocket science
Despite some products and procedures with very impressive sounding names, teeth whitening is not rocket science. It is actually a very simple process. No surgery or complicated procedures are involved. Whitening products, such as whitening strips and a whitening pen, contain a bleaching agent (in the form of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide), which breaks down the stains and washes them away. Whitening toothpaste removes stains with their mild abrasive action. Some whitening toothpaste contains polishing agents. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on them to make sure they are safe to use. Tray-based systems dispensed by a dentist are plastic and have a bleaching gel within. The dentist custom fits the trays so all areas of the teeth are receiving the whitening treatment. They are worn for a prescribed period of time during which the effects of the whitening gel gradually takes place.
Caps, veneers, and restored teeth cannot be whitened
Teeth-whitening products and procedures can only whiten natural teeth. They cannot whiten caps, veneers, and restored teeth. This is because artificial teeth are made to match the color of the surrounding teeth. Their color cannot be changed by any bleaching products. They will not get stained either. If you want to have uniformly white teeth after a teeth-whitening procedure, you will have to get new caps and veneers. Therefore, if you are going to receive caps and veneers, consider receiving a teeth-whitening treatment first.
For maximum results it’s recommended getting your bleaching tray from a dentist
As one may have already noticed there are many places to purchase whitening trays from your local store to online or from a dentist. If you want the best results it is best to take the approach of going to a reputable dentist. You will be assured you are receiving both a high quality and safe whitening product. The concentration will be based on your own type of teeth. The trays will be custom made for you to receive maximum results, lower potential sensitivity side effects and stay in place in your mouth. Your dentist will start by giving you a complete pre-treatment examination where he will examine and evaluate to determine which whitening process is best for you. Not all teeth respond to all types of whitening systems and products. The dentist will then document the existing shade of your teeth and monitor the progress throughout the entire bleaching process. If side effects pop up the dentist will know what is the best way to get them under control. Toward the end, you will know when it’s best to stop or if the treatment needs to be extended and for how long. In the end, using a dentist vs doing by yourself might be more costly but when compared to the final results it may be a greater value.
Your teeth may not become perfectly white
Teeth-whitening products and procedures may not make everyone’s teeth perfectly white. They may only restore your teeth to their natural color. Sadly, not everyone has naturally bright white teeth that you see in toothpaste commercials. If your teeth are not bright white and become sparkling white after a whitening procedure, then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Most of us have slightly less than perfectly white natural teeth and that’s what we will get after using teeth whitening agents. To get the best results, the whitest teeth possible for your individual teeth it is recommended to use a dentist who specializes in teeth whitening cosmetic dentistry.
It is normal for your teeth to become sensitive after a teeth-whitening procedure
Nearly two-thirds of Americans have sensitive teeth. If your teeth are sensitive, the causes could be cracked or damaged teeth, thin enamel or genetics. During the whitening procedure, your teeth become dehydrated and lose their ability to insulate the nerves from the outside temperature. The tooth sensitivity can last up to 35 hours after whitening. You can try to reduce the sensitivity by using a post-whitening fluoride treatment or potassium nitrate, which promotes rehydration and nourishes your teeth. However, if you have any concern it is best to speak with a dentist who is experienced in dental whitening of teeth before you proceed. Furthering your treatment with a dentist who can help subside the sensitivity during the treatment may be well worth it.
Teeth-whitening products have similar ingredients
No matter under what name a teeth-whitening product is promoted, it contains the same or similar ingredients as other teeth-whitening products. So, where does the difference lie? The first difference can be with the quality of the ingredients and the second difference lies in the delivery device. A high-quality delivery device, such as a custom-fitted tooth-whitening tray can make sure that every surface of your teeth receives equal coverage and gives you whiter teeth. Due to this fact one should give more importance to the delivery device than to the product. A good dentist with a wealth of knowledge regarding teeth whitening products and procedures can custom make and fit the perfect device for maximum results which will make a big difference in the whole whitening process.
Teeth whitening products and procedures are safe and work. You must be patient and self-disciplined and must make sure to use only FDA-approved products. To maximize effectiveness and minimize potential side effects it is recommended to use a dentist who specializes in teeth whitening cosmetic dentistry.
Would you like more help and information?
Dr. Paul R. Feldman D.M.D. located in West Orange, NJ has over 3 decades of experience providing all avenues of dental care. He is an expert in the field of cosmetic dentistry. For more information on teeth whitening products and procedures contact Suburban Essex Dental, NJ. One of the courteous and friendly staff technicians will be very happy to answer any of your questions regarding teeth whitening products and procedures or any other dental related question.
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