Teeth whitening is as easy as visiting your dentist. A whitening gel is applied to your teeth and activated by a safe LED light, which helps remove any stains or discolouration you have. This is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures today since it improves the way your teeth look.
What Teeth Whitening Is Used For
The outer layer of your tooth is the enamel and is what helps give your teeth their natural colour. If your enamel is thin, the underlying darker dentin will show through. Both of these areas can become stained on a daily basis as a thin layer of sticky pellicle forms. Some of the most common reasons for such stains include drinking or eating something with a dark colour, not taking care of your teeth properly, and aging.
Your tooth enamel has pores, like a sponge, so pick up stains, called extrinsic stains, which can be removed by teeth whitening.
Stains can also form on the inside of your tooth , in the dentine. These are known as intrinsic stains. They are caused from having too much fluoride as a child, taking tetracycline antibiotics, and trauma. Teeth whitening will not affect those stains; it only works on extrinsic stains.
How Teeth Whitening Works
When you are ready to have your extrinsic stains taken care of your dentist will first ensure you don’t have any cavities or gum problems. If you do have any issues these need to be treated first. This is important since the whitening solution can pass through the decayed areas of your teeth, reaching the innermost parts of your tooth and it can irritate the gum tissue.
It’s important to understand that there are two main types of whitening procedures:
Take Home Whitening Kits:
You will be provided with plastic trays which look like mouthguards. You apply whitening gel to the trays and wear them at home for half an hour to an hour, every day until you achieve the desired result
In Chair Whitening:
Your dentist applies whitening gel directly to your teeth. This is a a stronger gel than the type available in take home kits. The gel is then activated with special light for improved results. If you have strong staining on your teeth, you may be advised to follow this treatment up with a Take Home Whitening Kit.
Your Teeth After Whitening
After the procedure, you may feel some minor sensitivity throughout your mouth, but this should disappear quickly. Overall, you will find that this is an easy way to improve the look of your teeth for a year or two. Of course, how long the procedure lasts will depend on your diet and oral health care routine.