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When it comes to whiter teeth, even those with an impeccable oral hygiene routine will suffer from some level of discoloration eventually. Conveniently, there are a number of quick and easy teeth whitening methods to lighten the color of your teeth without causing any damage to the tooth health. Most teeth whitening kits work using a bleaching agent, normally containing peroxide. This, when used at safe levels, is an effective way of removing the stains from within the tooth that cause discoloration.
There are a number of ways you can have a tooth whitening treatment administered:
This method will take a couple of weeks. After a consultation, your first appointment will involve having a mould of your teeth cast. Over the next 5-10 days a technician will use this mould to create a custom-made tooth whitening tray for you. Once the tray is ready, you’ll go back to the dentist who will instruct you how to perform the whitening treatment in your home. The tooth whitening tray is filled with a bleaching agent and worn like a mouth guard. The agent will oxidize stains and get into the enamel and dentin of the teeth, lightening their shade. You will wear tray for 2 to 3 hours per day for 2 to 3 weeks.
Anyone with a healthy mouth should benefit from a teeth whitening treatment. However, if you have gum disease or other dental problems, your dentist may decide that teeth whitening will not be suitable, until successfully treated. You should also be aware that whitening will only work on natural teeth; false teeth, crowns, bridges, fillings and veneers will be unresponsive to the process. This could potentially leave your with teeth with uneven coloration. If you have de-calcifications (white spots) on your teeth, these might actually become more noticeable after bleaching. It’s important that during the pre-treatment consultation you understand the need and cost for additional treatment to replace crowns, veneers and fillings. Treatment has been successfully carried out by professionals for decades and millions of people worldwide have benefited from this treatment.
Most people find that their teeth are much more sensitive for the next couple of days following treatment. This is not usually experienced as a constant pain, but intermittent bursts of discomfort. It’s recommended that you avoid especially hot or cold food or drink for around 24-48 hours after treatment. Your dentist will provide advice on how to manage the short-term pain after treatment.
When dealing with a bleaching agent such as peroxide, it is possible to burn yourself. As a result, DIY home kits, including teeth whitening strips, cannot be sold at the same strength as professionals would use. This means they will be less effective, or require a more frequent use to achieve the same results. This, in turn, could lead to gum irritation and sensitive teeth. Incorrect use or overuse of bleach could also damage the enamel, which is why these treatments should be avoided, even if they appear cheaper than professional treatment.
No. Your teeth will still be susceptible to staining after the treatment. This means the effect will fade, particularly if you drink tea, coffee, and red wine or are a smoker. The whitening offered by bleaching kits tends to offer more enduring results than laser treatment effects but takes longer to achieve.