The Ultimate Guide to Various Teeth Bleaching and Whitening Procedures
Many people today suffer from dental discolorations which may be intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic discolorations are due to a buildup of stains on the surface of the teeth. The stains may be caused by dental plaque, calculus, specific medical applications, betel chewing, and smoking tobacco. Intrinsic discolorations may be caused by dental caries, hyperemia, dental trauma, fluorosis, porphyria, bruxism, among other causes. So! The popular question remains: How white can my teeth get?
It is worth mentioning that even if you brush, floss and make regular visits to a dentist, various factors like the food you eat or the drinks you drink can still cause some teeth discolorations. Fortunately though, nowadays, there are several teeth whitening and bleaching options on the market today. While some are more effective than others, a good method can help patients eliminate dental stains and achieve their naturally white smiles. So what are the various teeth whitening and bleaching process on the market today? How white can my teeth get?
How white can my teeth get?
Over-the-counter teeth whitening and bleaching methods are fairly affordable options. They include toothpastes, mouth rinses and gels, whitening strips, and pre-made whitening trays.
- Whitening Toothpaste strictly whitens the teeth; they don’t bleach them. They have mild abrasives that help to remove surface stains from the teeth. Some contain chemical polishing agents which provide additional whitening effectiveness. Our recommendation is Arm & Hammer Advanced White Extreme Whitening Formula Toothpaste
- Whitening strips are thin plastic pieces coated with peroxide. The patient wears the strips attached to their front teeth for about 30 minutes daily for two weeks. The results are often sustained for up to 4 months. The results can be really nice however the price is high for these non-reusable strips. Because your teeth have a tendency to start to discolor again over time (some individuals more quickly than others) this could become an expensive choice to keep up with. The 3D Crest White Strips retail for $44.50
- Brush on whitening gels are also peroxide-based. They are applied on the surface of the teeth using a small brush. The results are comparable to the whitening strips.
- Mouth rinses contain small amounts of peroxide. Individuals use them just as they would use traditional anti-bacterial mouthwash. Often users are required to swish the whitening rinse in the mouth twice daily before brushing. Significant results may take up 12 weeks to appear. However, experts say that rinses may not work as efficiently as other over-the-counter whitening methods as they are in contact with the teeth for a very short time.
- Charcoal Tooth Whitening – Activated charcoal adheres to the surfaces of the teeth and removes stains that are caused by drinking tea or red wine, eating certain foods, smoking, chewing tobacco, etc. However, this method does not whiten teeth that are naturally dark or yellow. Also, it should be noted that many claims to this product have not been confirmed by the ADA. Charcoal is very abrasive and some researchers warn that the constant scrubbing with such an abrasive agent can make your teeth susceptible to future yellowing/staining more easily.
- Those Booths at the mall – You’ve seen ’em. Some of the mall kiosks claim they use a 35% bleaching agent. That is powerful! It is less expensive than the dental office, but many dentists and researchers argue that the employees working at these kiosks are not knowledgeable enough to perform the whitening procedure and can be a potential danger to consumers. Customers with sensitive teeth, receding gums, fracture lines or cracks, and exposed roots or dentin in the teeth can be especially susceptible to pain or irritation during, or after, the procedure. Additionally, these instant whitening results can most often be short-lived. If you do decide to go this route be sure to check with your dentist first to make sure you’re a good candidate, then, follow up with proper after-whitening regimens, such as avoiding stain-inducing foods and drinks and brushing with a whitening toothpaste twice daily.
- Dental office take home whitening kit – Until recently, custom made whitening trays were only available through the dentist and dental offices, at prices averaging $400 or more. This method includes taking dental impressions of your teeth, then having thin, clear custom trays made for your unique dental anatomy. Tray-based teeth whitening involve using a mouth guard-like tray in which you fill a carbamide peroxide bleaching agent before wearing it for a specified period. The excellent fit, ability to reuse the trays and quality of dentist grade gel makes the process rich with benefits.
The same take home whitening kit that is sold in dental offices for $400+, for a fraction of the price.
Sentinel Mouthguards Teeth Whitening System. Included in purchase: do it yourself dental impression kit(s), custom made upper and lower dental whitening trays, 3 syringes of ZOOM! Phillips Brand Teeth Whitening Gel
You take your own dental impressions just like they do in the dental office!
This option is a great alternative for those who have been thinking about buying the take home whitening kits from the dental office but can’t seem to justify that hefty price tag.
Our online service provides everything you need to take your own teeth impression on the upper and lower teeth. Plus, free, all-inclusive shipping in the USA! You will receive custom made whitening trays that fit like a glove, and 3 syringes of 22% ZOOM! teeth whitening gel.
Upon ordering, you will receive a do-it-yourself dental impression kit for both your upper and lower teeth. Following the easy instructions, you take an impression of your teeth, then mail the impressions to the Sentinel lab. Your whitening trays will be fabricated using EVA dentist-grade whitening plastics. Included in the outgoing package to you will be custom upper and lower whitening trays, whitening gel, and a retainer case for proper storage.
In-office teeth whitening processes
Much like the whitening kiosks at the mall, in-office teeth whitening procedures involve a single visit to the dentist that achieves the best results in less than 60 minutes. The dental expert will place a protective coating on your gums and tissues before applying peroxide-concentrated whitening gel on your teeth. An ultraviolet lamp is then shined onto your teeth to activate the chemical ingredients of the bleaching gel. This method yields significantly visible results immediately. Dental office prices typically range $500 and up
“What makes the teeth white during the bleaching process?”
The teeth bleaching procedure is actually very simple. Most bleaching products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, both of which are active bleaching agents. There are two major in-office types of teeth whitening procedures which include non-vital teeth whitening and vital teeth whitening.
Vital teeth whitening is usually performed on teeth with live nerves. A bleaching gel is applied on the teeth, and then a laser light is shone on it to activate it.
Non-vital whitening is done on teeth that do not have live nerves, for instance, teeth that have had root-canal treatments. Both procedures use concentrated bleaching gels.
Now whether or not you are using in-office or over-the-counter teeth bleaching procedures, here is what happens during the bleaching process: Once activated, the bleaching agent (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) releases oxygen molecules that penetrate through your dental enamel. As the oxygen molecules penetrate, they break apart chemical bonds holding the stains together, producing a whitening effect.
“Is this safe?”
The bleaching process is often safe, but it can cause temporary teeth sensitivity to cold. You may also get mild gum irritation, but this will go away after some time.
“How white can my teeth get? Are there people that can’t get their teeth whitened?”
Contrary to what you may be thinking, not all types of teeth are equally susceptible to whitening. In some cases, discolored teeth may not whiten as much as an individual wants. Why is this case? Firstly, teeth composition varies from one person to another. Therefore, various types of teeth have their maximum whiteness levels beyond which they will not whiten no matter what process is used.
Secondly, it is necessary to mention here that that smokers, coffee and red wine drinkers may not have their teeth as whitened as they would expect, especially if they do not refrain from smoking during the whitening or bleaching process. Also, bear in mind that only real teeth can be whitened. Whitening will not work on crowns, veneers, dentures, or fillings.
It was believed at one time that Tetracycline teeth stains were not treatable with any teeth whitening method. Now we know that there are options. Tetracyclines are a group of antibiotics that can cause bluish, gray or brown stains on the teeth.
KOR WHITENING is the recommended treatment for Tetracycline teeth before resorting to expensive cosmetic work. Though the KOR WHITENING will take out the yellow, you may still have the appearance of a whiter grey color. Another option to consider would be porcelain veneers, but to mask the grey areas they would need to have increased opacity as the grey can show through. Choose your dentist carefully for any cosmetic work. Seek out a dentist that specializes in smile restoration.
Why is teeth whitening so popular these days?
There are various reasons teeth whitening has become popular nowadays. They include;
I. Professional teeth whitening and bleaching services are now readily available. Besides, now more than ever, there are more dental professionals in the cosmetic dentistry industry today, so teeth whitening and bleaching services are now reasonably priced and affordable to many individuals.
II. The teeth whitening process involves a painless and quick procedure. Take the in-office teeth bleaching procedure for instance. The entire procedure takes less than an hour, and an individual regains their naturally white smile.
III. Some teeth-whitening processes, such as in-office procedures, are very effective and have long-term whitening results at affordable costs. Professional whitening appropriately done can leave you with a great smile for very long. In fact, reports suggest that professional in-office teeth bleaching can make your teeth stay white for several months to a year after the procedure.
IV. No one wants discolored or stained teeth. Everyone wants to have sparkling white teeth. Having stained or yellow teeth does not look very nice. Studies show that having stained or discolored teeth can result in self-confidence issues. And now that teeth whitening provides individuals an effective way to regain a confident smile, many people are turning to it.
“Okay so my teeth are white now. How do I keep them this way?”
Brush you teeth twice a day with a desensitizing toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to decrease tooth sensitivity while you whiten.
|AVOID tobacco, coffee, dark colas and red wines because these substances may re-stain your teeth|
|AVOID stain-causing beverages such as coffee, tea, coke for several days after the procedure, because your teeth may more readily absorb stain at this time. Try drinking through a straw, at least.|
|AVOID citrus fruits and other acidic foods while in process of bleaching. They can contribute to sensitivity by changing the acidity of your saliva and could cause damage to the outer tooth surfaces, or slow down the whitening process.|
There is no denying that a healthy smile can significantly benefit your life by boosting your self-confidence. Teeth bleaching and whitening allows you to achieve the results you desire. Have a question or want to add to our article? Feel free to comment below!