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Teeth Whitening Product Reviews And Information
Tooth whitening is often times referred to as tooth bleaching, and is presently one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments known worldwide. This treatment is a dental procedure that helps to eliminate tooth discolorations by lightening it, and whitening the discoloration on the enamel. Tooth whitening is therapeutic in nature because it can automatically change your looks for the better, and make you feel good about yourself. It can help you improve the quality of your life, make you feel younger, more attractive to both the opposite sex and people of your sex, and build your confident. In essence, because tooth whitening works, a lot of men and women from all over the world use it to improve on their smiles and lives in general. This dental cosmetic treatment is really in high demand all around the world, everyone is using it both men and women!
What is the difference between "Bleaching" and "Whitening"?
For clarity sakes, although in most countries and cities, most people often refer or associate tooth whitening to tooth bleaching, but from a recent findings according to the FDA, “tooth bleach” is only used when you want to whitening your teeth beyond their natural colors. Bleaching in a more simpler description, happen when you want to whiten your teeth beyond what they would ordinarily look like using products that contain bleach, or hydrogen peroxide or even carbamide peroxide.
While on the other hand, “teeth whitening” is the process of restoring your natural teeth surface color by eliminating dirt and debris. Therefore, any dental product that works as toothpaste does is a whitener. However, because the word “whitening” is more appealing to the ears than bleaching, people tend to frequently use it even when describing tooth-bleaching products.
Why Should you whiten your teeth?
Lucky for most people, because of their porcelain- like enamel surface, they naturally have sparkling white teeth and will not have to work much to achieve great smiles, but the same cannot be said for everyone.
Enamels are made-up of microscopic crystalline rods, and the primary function of the tooth enamel is to protect the teeth from the dangers of gnashing, chewing, acid aches and attacks from sugar. From a recent research, it is evident that enamels over a period of years, wears- down, become transparent and even turns yellow in color of dentin.
Now, the way that discoloration works is like this; when you chew (e.g. gum), the dentin in your teeth remains in a proper position, while there will be millions of micro cracks that will continuously occur in the enamel. However, it is the cracks and spaces made between the enamel rods (crystalline), that will gradually gather up with stains and debris. Eventually, the teeth will develop a dull, colorized, lackluster look.
Teeth whitening is internationally known to remove stains and debris, and will leave the enamel cracks open to exposure. Sometimes, saliva rematerializes some cracks quickly while others are refilled again with organic debris.
What are the type of stains that cause discoloration?
There are two main categories of tooth staining: Extrinsic and Intrinsic stains.
The extrinsic stains are stains that appear on the surface of the tooth caused by an exposure to very colored beverages, tobaccos, colored foods and snacks. In the extrinsic group, there are three known sub types of stains. They are; the superficial extrinsic stains, the stubborn extrinsic stains and the persistent extrinsic stains.
The superficial stains can be removed mildly by simply brushing your teeth always and “optionally” by prophylactic dental cleaning. The stubborn stains can be removed by a more complex method known as teeth bleaching. While the persistent stain, if not attended to early can penetrate into the dentin and become permanent.
Intrinsic stains are stains that are found on the inner side of the teeth. An intrinsic stain is caused from traumas in the teeth, aging, and exposures to certain minerals like tetracycline during an excessive ingestion of the fluoride and/or during tooth formation. In the past, people though that intrinsic stains were too tough to be corrected using the bleaching method but now, cosmetic dentistry professionals/ experts make us realize that even the toughest of intrinsic stains can be removed using a recommended teeth whitening solution, continuously over a period of months or years depending on the case.
What causes tooth staining?
Some of the main causes of tooth stains are:
Age: Aging is one of the major known causes of tooth coloration. The darkening of the teeth is because of stain accumulations caused by wear and tear. Teenagers who use teeth whiteners get better and faster dramatic results. For people in their twenties, they can use teeth whitening to get reed of yellow stains although they will need a little more effort. For people in their forties, the yellow stains on their teeth turn brown, and this may then require more than a normal maintenance. For people in their fifties, their stubborn tooth stains become more difficult to remove because they have absorbed too many stubborn stains over the years. Please note that no matter the age, tooth stains are not impossible to remove even if they are tougher and more complex to treat.
Origin Color: We all were born with an original inborn tooth color that may either be yellowish –brown or greenish grey and these stains intensify over time. From research, yellow-brown stains are generally easier to bleach using cosmetic dental treatments than greenish grey stains.
Translucence and Thinness: These stains come from our generic traits, and they become more pronounce as we age. Although all teeth show some translucency, those that are naturally thick and opaque are at an advantage. They look lighter in color, are more responsive to bleaching and sparkle more. The front teeth are the most notable, thinner and are more transparent, and have less pigment that are necessary for tooth bleaching. According to experts, transparency is the only tooth condition that cannot be removed using any form of teeth whitening.
Eating Habits: food products or beverages such as tea, coffee, carrots, oranges, red wine, cola and deep colored beverages and foods in general cause gradual staining over the year. In addition, foods that are acidic, rich in citrus or vinegar are also a cause of enamel erosion. Colored food catastrophe makes the surface of the dentin become more transparent, and yellow colored.
Smoking: Nicotine has been known to leave brownish spots, which gradually absorbs into the tooth and then creates an intrinsic discoloration.
Drugs and Chemicals: During tooth formations, the use of tetracycline produces thick grayish or brown long thin stains, which later becomes very difficult to remove. In addition, excessive intake of fluoride causes fluorosis, and may create white mottling in some areas of the teeth.
Trauma: This occurs when you fall or incur injuries from other causes. Teeth traumas can produce cracks of all kind on the teeth, which over times collects large amounts of stains and debris.
Grinding: This is most often caused by stress. Teeth grinding can cause micro –cracks in the teeth, and make the edges used for biting become darker.
What are my teeth whitening options?
There are three major teeth whitening options available today to anyone and everyone irrespective of age or statues. All three major options rely on varying peroxide concentrations and varying application times.
In- Office Teeth Whitening: The benefits of in-office whitening are that it gives you a significant amount of color change in just a short period. In-office whitening involves the careful use of highly effective peroxide gel, applied to your tooth by a dentist or an experienced technician. Before using the product, ensure that your gums have been securely covered with a paint-on rubber dam. People with stubborn tooth stains may require more than one bleaching session; or may be asked to stick with a home-use whitening method. The normal cost on an average for in-office teeth whitening is $650 per visit nationwide.
Take-Home professionally dispensed Whitening Kits: Experts say that professionally dispensed take-home whiteners can produce great results over a long period. These kits contain an easy to use system of treatments, and they have lower peroxide gel concentration that is suppose to remain on the teeth during treatment for an hour or more and most times overnight. One sure fact is; the lower the percentage concentration on the peroxide gel the safer it is to remain longer on the teeth. When using the gel, apply it to your teeth using a custom made bleaching tray that could pass for a mouth guard. Take-home professionally dispensed teeth whitening kits cost on an average; $100- $400.
Over The Counter Teeth Whitening: This type of whitening option is popularly the cheapest and most convenient of all options. It requires the use of a store- bought teeth whitening kit that contains a bleaching gel with a far lower concentration of peroxide gel unlike in the professionally dispensed take-home whitener. This whitener gel is applied to the teeth using a whitening strip; one size fits -all –trays or a paint-on applicator. On the down side, these applicators may only work in whitening a few of the front teeth while custom-made trays work better by whitening the entire teeth. The average cost of an over- the-counter teeth whitener ranges from $20 to $100.
Hydrogen Peroxide vs. Carbamide Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful, quick to use, fast acting bleaching preference for in office whitening. It contains a 9 to 40 percent peroxide concentration for teeth bleaching. When compared, the- home teeth whitening acts slower with carbamide peroxide, which later break down into hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide from research has a one-third percentage of the strength of hydrogen peroxide.
What results Can I Expect?
Results gotten from teeth whitening varies from one person to another, they are subjective in nature. Some results bring instant delights to the face of users while others may produce disappointing/ “not so instant” results. Ensure you seek the opinion and advice of your dentist before embarking on any whitening treatment. Open up to your dentist and ask every single question that you need to ask such as; “how realistic is the result or how long the treatment would take to achieve results.”
Tooth Shade Guides
Each before and after tooth color is specifically measured in dental offices with shade guides. There is a wide variety of hand held displayed range of tooth colors. Dentist in choosing tooth crowns also use them and other replaceable shades.
Teeth Whitening Risks To Consider
When procedures are followed strictly, teeth whitening treatments can be tagged as safe. However, the same cannot be said for bleaching. From a candid study, there are certain risks that are associated with teeth bleaching, and they are:
Sensitivity: bleaching can cause the gums and mouth in general to be abnormally sensitive, and can cause shooting pains in the middle of the front teeth.
Irritation of the gum: it has been discovered that a large percentage of people who use peroxide whiteners experience a huge amount of gum irritation. Therefore, it is advised that you go for peroxides with lower concentrations.
Technicolor teeth: bleaching does not affect your dental crowns or porcelain veneers. Therefore, when you bleach your teeth, the rest of your teeth turn white but the above-mentioned parts of the teeth retain their color, which off course would create two different shades or color of teeth.
How do I maintain my white teeth?
To enable your newly white teeth to last forever; your dentist would properly recommend:
1. Maintenance, whitening that must be done frequently, which is also called the at-home follow up whitening.
2. That you avoid dark colored food and beverages as listed above or that you sip dark colored beverages strictly with a straw
3. Practice regular oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth immediately after every meal and at night.
Words of Wisdom Before Whitening
It is also advised that you consider some very important information before embarking on a teeth-whiting treatment.
1. Note that no amount of whitening will yield an unnatural whitening result
2. Ensure to start your cosmetic bonding, veneers or any other restoration treatments two weeks after bleaching to ensure a uniform whitening result.
3. Replace tooth colored restorations after bleaching to avoid Technicolor.
4. The yellowish surface at the gum lines of a recessed gum is always very difficult to bleach.
5. For safety purpose, pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised to avoid teeth whitening, although the side effect of swallowed bleach on the fetus or baby or breast milk is still unknown.