Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening and bleaching are cosmetic dental procedures which aim to lighten the teeth and to remove stains from their surface. With age, the mineral structure of the teeth transforms and the enamel acquires darker shading. Enamel becomes more transparent with the passage of time. Millions of microscopic cracks occur on the enamel surface even while chewing. Other factors such as bacterial pigmentation, dietary habits, antibiotic medications, and nicotine use affect the coloring of the teeth. Moreover, a thin coating forms on the surface of the enamel each day. This coating and the pores of the enamel easily pick up stains.

The teeth bleaching procedure differs from teeth whitening. The first procedure is used only when there is a possibility to lighten the teeth beyond their natural coloring. This rule applies to bleach containing products such as carbamide and hydrogen peroxide. On the other hand, tooth whitening serves to remove the stains and to restore the natural color of the teeth. Any product with a cleansing effect represents a whitener.

There are many teeth whitening methods such as bleaching gels, pens and strips, laser bleaching, natural bleaching, etc. Three main options compete for the most effective teeth whitening effects. The in-office whitening is a bleaching method that employs peroxide gel. The substance is applied to the teeth while protecting the gums. The procedure is repeated several times in fifteen to twenty minute intervals. Another option comes in the form of professionally dispensed take-home whitening kit. The kit contains low concentration peroxide gel which is applied and remains on the teeth for at least an hour. Bleaching trays help in the application of the gel. Finally, store-bought whitening kits, containing peroxide gel, stand for the most convenient and by far the cheapest option. The concentration of peroxide is lower than that of the professional whiteners. However, the kit cannot produce the same whitening effects as the two other methods.

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