Elusive images on televisions and magazines have influenced a large chunk of the population to believe that whiter (and sufficiently brighter) teeth elude to a healthier and more appealing smile. This has led to a huge demand for teeth whitening procedures and consequently, dental practitioners are faced with a market flooded with many dental materials and methods centered around this booming fad. Reports suggest that Americans drop approximately $1.4 billion annually on non-prescription teeth whitening products to bleach away the effects of cigarettes, medications, and wine. With many fully invested and emersed in this thriving industrial practice, we come to wonder what other types of teeth whitening procedures are seeing the sun due to it.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth bleaching, colloquially known as teeth whitening is a common dental practice aimed to lighten the shade of your natural teeth and to remove stains, both surface (extrinsic) and deep (intrinsic). The active ingredient in most in-office and at-home bleaching products responsible for the “lightening effect” is peroxide, available in concentrations up to 35%. The strength of the whitening treatment will typically be dependent on the strength of the peroxide contained in the whitening product. The most acceptable percentages of peroxide in teeth whitening products present in the current dental climate are 10%, 16%, and 22%.
If you are one with a curious consideration for teeth whitening procedures but are governed with dire skepticism and circumspection, it is important to review the options with your dentist first. Once he/she gives you the green light to ahead with the procedure, you may dip your toes in the various types of teeth whitening products!
Types of teeth whitening procedures
Celebrity sponsored posts on social media and commercials have created a benchmark for the ideal smile, expectedly white and bright. While whitening trends make their way in and out of today’s social culture, there are more and more options for you available than ever before. We will briefly outline the various types of teeth whitening procedures to help you go over them with your dentist at your next visit.
Teeth whitening can be pursued with two strategies in mind: mechanical and chemical.
Mechanical whitening: These methods make use of abrasives to remove surface stains from teeth, commonly using ingredients like baking soda, clay powders, and hydrated silica.
Chemical whitening: These use a myriad of bleaching agents to remove both intrinsic as well as extrinsic stains. Most over-the-counter whitening products and office whitening systems use chemical methods to whiten teeth.
Whitening toothpaste contain mild abrasives and polishing agents to remove surface stains and give a slightly reflective appearance to the teeth. These kinds of toothpaste work more
effectively against surface stains, however, they are not designed to actually “bleach” your teeth and will not lighten the color of your teeth. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when conjuring teeth whitening toothpaste. They may take several weeks for the results to show up.
Whitening mouth rinses
A mouth rinse specially crafted to battle stains and discoloration can contain hydrogen peroxide as a bleaching agent. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), these products, if used daily, can counterintuitively cause the teeth to stain. Initial results can be seen in as little as a few days.
Whitening strips and chewing gum
Today, whitening chewing gum or dental strips are readily accessible to you at your local supermarket. Whitening sugarless chewing gum works by coating the teeth to prevent the staining from progressing. Whitening strips, on the other hand, are small plastic strips with a peroxide-gel flip side to adhere to the outer surface of your teeth. This is believed to facilitate a whitening effect if used up to 30 minutes a day.
Over-the-counter whitening kits
Teeth whitening kits can include trays and brushes that allow you to put a substance on your teeth for an extended period of time as compared to toothpaste. These kits usually make use of peroxide to bleach your teeth, even reaching deep stains. They may take one to two weeks for the results to be easily visible.
In-office teeth whitening
Acclaimed by many experts, in-office teeth whitening treatment consists of a single visit that can highlight maximum results in the span of an hour! Initially, a protective coating is placed on the gum tissue and lips to protect them from the harsh effects of the chemicals. Next, the whitening gel is applied to the teeth and ultraviolet light is used to activate the ingredient in the gel. The concentration of bleaching gel used in in-office teeth whitening procedures can be slightly on the higher end, but rest assured as this type of treatment yields the most readily visible as well as reliable results.
Some of the in-office teeth whitening methods inculcated to match the steadfast experience of the consumer base are:
Take-home kits: Many dentists provide take-home kits that include ready-made kits or custom trays with bleach.
Zoom teeth whitening: This method uses 25% hydrogen peroxide gel in conjunction with a special lamp to whiten your teeth.
Boost teeth whitening: Boost makes use of hydrogen peroxide-based power bleaching gel for removing stains with no special light required.
A whiter smile is within grasps of anyone. Although store-bought products cost less, they may offer a less dramatic result as compared to a professional whitening treatment. With a wide
variety of teeth whitening options to choose from, in-office teeth whitening remains one of the most trusted and reliable techniques to whiten teeth in a holistic and heuristic approach. Always talk to your dentist before you make up your mind about the right teeth whitening treatment for you. While you allow a whitening product to whiten your teeth, you can also indulge in a strict and regular oral hygiene regimen at home to ensure oral health and enhance your smile!
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