What Exactly Is Teeth Whitening?

Before and after whitening treatment teeth © didesign

Before and after whitening treatment teeth © didesign

Teeth whitening is a very popular treatment that people have to make their teeth appear whiter. It is typically carried out by professionals working in dentistry however there are a number of home kits available to. When thinking about having your teeth whitened it is best to have it done professionally to ensure that the procedure is carried out safely and correctly. Although some home kits haven’t been reported as damaging to the teeth there have been reports of others that have been.

Teeth whitening is the process of bleaching the teeth in order to remove stains and make them appear whiter. Not everyone has bright white teeth and as we age they start to darken in colour anyway. This is natural due to eating and drinking on a daily basis but some things can increase the effects. Liquids such as coffee and red wine can stain teeth easily but smoking is also highly associated with discolouring the teeth. The darkening of teeth can become a real problem for some people and therefore teeth whitening is an excellent choice for restoring their natural colour, and sometimes enhancing it.

To have your teeth whitened the dentist must first determine whether or not the treatment is suitable for you. If successful you will need to make various trips to the dentist as the treatment can take up to four weeks to fully complete. Upon your first visit the dentist will need to make a mouth guard so will require mouth impressions to be taken. Once impressions have been taken your next visit to the dentist will involve having the treatment.

A rubber shield or gel is placed on the gums before treatment begins to make sure that they are protected from the whitening product. Once this has been done the whitening product is applied to the teeth using a specially designed mouth guard that fits into the mouth. Within the product is an active ingredient, typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which begins to break down as it is left on the teeth. Whilst it does this Oxygen is able to get into the enamel of the teeth causing them to lighten.

Teeth whitening can last for up to three years however it does vary from one person to another. If you smoke heavily or consume food and drinks that are likely to stain your teeth the effects will not last as long. Brushing your teeth twice daily will help to keep them clean making sure that they remain as white as possible for the recommended amount of time.