Brightening and improving your smile has never been so easy today. With the latest dental technologies and procedures, you can visit a cosmetic dentist for a whitening treatment. If this is your first time seeking such treatments, you should note that it is not a one-time procedure. Read on to find out what else you should know about teeth whitening.
How is the whitening effect achieved?
Most types of whitening products use a peroxide-based chemistry and whiten the teeth through an oxidation process. The peroxide penetrates the inner aspect of the enamel, and with the organic molecules that exist within the tooth, a specific wavelength of light is reflected to achieve the desired color. Research has shown that if free radicals are released, the peroxide can oxidize the organic compounds (that produces color) within the enamel’s matrix. When those compounds are oxidized, the molecules left reflect less light and this eliminate discoloration to give the patient whiter teeth.
In-office whitening, for instance, uses both hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. The latter contains more than thirty percent hydrogen peroxide. This helps to create a more stable compound and allows for a shelf life that is more predictable. Also, it allows the peroxide to penetrate the tooth at a slower rate, which ensures patient comfort, compliance and better-controlled results.
Factors that influence the whitening process
The current color of the tooth is one of the factors that influence the whitening process. For example, a yellowish hue reacts more to whitening as opposed to patients who have brown or grayish hue teeth. Gray discoloration is often a result of constant exposure to different types of medications over a period of time. These medications include tetracycline, antibiotics and more. Brownish hues are often a result of an excessive intake of fluoride. Fluorosis, which that condition is called, creates a rather mottling look to the enamel and makes it hard for dentists and patients to achieve optimum results.
Duration is another influencing factor to take note of. Yes, it is basically the duration of time which the whitening agent remains in direct contact with the tooth or teeth surface. Each whitening agent needs a different timeline to provide precise and even whitening results. When you are receiving teeth whitening treatment, it is pertinent that you avoid any food and drinks that are acidic or dark in color. Orange juice, chocolate, grape juice, wine and coffee are the things you should cut down on.
Teeth whitening treatments are not suitable for everyone
Teeth whitening procedures are not recommended for patients who are under the age of 13 years old. While this may vary depending on the patient, the enlarged pulp chamber in young adults and children as well as the nerves of their teeth can be very sensitive. If you have any questions about age limitations, it is important that you consult a cosmetic dentist as soon as you can. Next, women who are pregnant and lactating should avoid any teeth whitening procedures as well.
Individuals who are receiving ongoing dental work, have exposed roots, undergone a tooth restoration procedure or suffer from gum disease will need to resolve these issues before commencing any teeth whitening procedure. If these conditions are not addressed, you may increase your risk for serious side effects and additional damage. Always talk to a reputable dentist before commencing any teeth whitening procedure so that he or she can advise you best in accordance with your situation.