What Exactly Is Teeth Whitening?
Dental bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry and in more recent times an online phenomena of teeth whitening products such as gels, pens and kits. A child’s deciduous teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth that follow. As a person ages the adult teeth often become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth, as the enamel becomes less porous. Teeth can also become stained by bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco. Certain antibiotic medications (like tetracycline) can also cause teeth stains or a reduction in the strength of the enamel.
There are many methods to whiten teeth: bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, laser bleaching, and natural bleaching. Traditionally, at-home whitening involves applying bleaching gel to the teeth using thin trays. At-home whitening can also be done by applying small strips that go over the front teeth or lately the “Whitening Pen” has come onto the market as a revolutionary way to whiten ones teeth while on the go.
Oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide are used to lighten the shade of the tooth. The oxidizing agent penetrates the porosities in the rod-like crystal structure of enamel and oxidizes stain deposits; over a period of time, the dentin layer, lying underneath the enamel, is also bleached.
Power bleaching uses light energy to accelerate the process of bleaching usually administered by a dentist or in clinics and beauty salons. Although this is fast becoming an expensive habit and today consumers can avail of LED Whitening Lights for home use which basically have the same light frequency to speed up the whitening process.
The effects of bleaching can last for several months, but may vary depending on the lifestyle of the individual. Factors that decrease whitening include smoking and the ingestion of dark coloured liquids like coffee, tea and red wine.
It was common practise for dentists and beauty salons to promote teeth whitening as lasting up to 5 years. This has been proven to be wrong and in general terms one should expect their white smile to last as long as the discolouration process takes.
For example, if you have white painted walls in your home. Will they stay white for 5 years?.
Certainly not! Nature and the modern environment will naturally discolour any surface including your teeth. Everything we eat today has some degree of colouring and even brushing your teeth after every meal will not stop the aging or discolouration process.
This leads to our point about what is teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening is a temporary whitening of the teeth that needs a maintenance program just as our skin and hair does.
So is it better to pay up to GBP600 for laser teeth whitening or doses itr make more sense to purchase a good home bleaching kit costing a slice of the laser treatment and allows you the freedom to maintain over time the bright smile we all desire rather than an expensive one off treatment which will need further maintenance in a short time.
“A smile takes but a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever”