If your smile is beginning to look a bit dingy, it may be time to talk with your dhealth dentist about whitening your teeth.
The Process of Tooth Whitening
People sometimes refer to tooth whitening as bleaching. However, they’re actually different processes.
Bleaching is a process that actually whitens teeth beyond their normal color because the product used contains a strong bleaching agent. Tooth whitening, on the other hand, is the process of returning teeth to their more natural color. Even some toothpaste is capable of whitening.
There are three types of tooth whitening processes as well as benefits to each:
- Over-the-Counter Dental Whitening. By far the least expensive of the trio, over-the-counter tooth whitening products involve the use of bleaching gels with lower levels of the whitening agent. They typically involve trays, strips, or a paint-on application.
- At-home Dental Whitening. Your dhealth cosmetic dentist may provide you with an at-home tooth whitening kit. Some experts suggest this is the best of the three because of the at-home convenience, lower-level whitening agent, and cost. Using a less concentrated gel means you can keep it on your teeth longer – even overnight – without harm.
- In-Office Dental Whitening. If you prefer you can have your teeth whitened in the dental office by a cosmetic dentist. The primary benefit is the significant color change in a short period. The treatment costs more than the other two and it’s important to protect your gums, as a stronger whitening agent is used.
Whichever tooth whitening process your dentist decides is best for you know there is a limit to how much you can whiten teeth. Normally, teeth whiten two to seven shades depending on individual circumstances.
Tooth Whitening Does Have Risks
While tooth whitening is safe when done properly, there are certain risks dental patients need to understand.
- Tooth sensitivity. This usually occurs with in-office whitening where the whitening agent concentration is the highest.
- Gum irritation. Some people have experienced gum irritation from the whitening product or rubbing of the bleaching trays.
- Color variation. Some people refer to this as “Technicolor teeth.” It occurs because the material used in tooth bonding, crowns, and veneers doesn’t change color but natural teeth do. You may need to have them replaced.
Keep in mind that even after you’ve whitened your teeth, you must take proactive steps to keep them that way. Additionally, you may not see the full results of the whitening until a few weeks after the process.
If you want to make your smile shine, speak with your dhealth cosmetic dentist to gain a thorough understanding of the tooth whitening process.