Teeth Whitening, what you need to know

Dr. Yara Ramos D.D.S.

Dr. Yara Ramos D.D.S.

Cosmetic Dentistry Specialist

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Teeth whitening procedures

Discolored teeth is a common dental occurrence to many people. This makes whitening a very popular procedure among most of the victims. Everybody loves smiling. It is the first impression of how happy one is. It is essential for healthy social engagement. Having a wider smile makes you look more energetic and young. Smiling is cumbersome when you have discolored teeth.

Teeth color

teeth whiteningThe enamel, outer surface of the crown, scatters and reflects light. In addition to the color of the dentine below, it gives the teeth the white color. The unique genetic coding of every individual determines how smooth or dense the enamel is. A thinner enamel allows a majority of the light not to be reflected but to go through it. Smoothness or roughness affect the color too.

Reasons for teeth discoloration-extrinsic

Tobacco usage. Taking foods that are rich in staining agents like dark colors

Poor dental hygiene

Thinning of the enamel and darkening of the dentine due to aging

Intrinsic stains

The intrinsic stains are not as common as the extrinsic stains. Intrinsic staining occurs inside the tooth while extrinsic on the outer enamel.

Major causes of intrinsic stains are:

Teeth whitening is more effective when removing the extrinsic stains. A low success rate is recorded with ceramic, porcelain crowns or veneers. Receded gums expose the roots of the teeth bringing about a discoloration. Usually, whitening agents have no impact on such discolorations.

Preparing for teeth whitening

Teeth can be whitened at home or in the hospital. Both will require a qualified dentist to monitor the process. On the first visit to the dentist, the dentist examines the extent of discoloration. When other dental problems are identified, they are always dealt with first before the whitening procedure. Whitening agents can pass into the inner parts of the teeth making them more sensitive.

The second part of the preparation involves the cleaning of the teeth. Bacteria and food substances are removed.

Those who would love to have the whitening procedure at home, the dentist prepares trays that hold the whitening gel over the teeth. The trays fit the teeth precisely. Some shops sell over the counter whitening kits. It is highly advisable to talk to your dentist when planning to purchase the kits to prevent overuse that can damage the teeth. Follow the instructions to the latter.

Types of teeth whitening procedures

Vital whitening

The procedure is mainly for teeth that have live nerves. A gel that contains hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth surface. When done at the dentists’ office, a more powerful gel is used in this case. A special light or laser is used to activate the gel to accelerate the bleaching process.

The process takes an average of 30-90 minutes. For optimal results, it is repeated a number of times over a period of time as per the dentist. The frequency depends on how white you want the teeth to be, the severity of the stains and the method used. Different stains respond uniquely to the stain removal method applied.

In the case of in-home whitening, the dentist takes images of the dental formula and makes mouthpieces that fit precisely onto the teeth. This is necessary to aid in keeping the whitening gel in contact with the teeth. The dentist gives the whitening gel that is to be applied. After filling the mouthpiece with the gel, you wear the mouthpiece for the prescribed hours on a daily basis. It usually takes a week or two to achieve the whitening. However, in some cases, the process takes up to four weeks or even longer.

Non-vital whitening

The procedure involves teeth that have undergone treatment at the root canal and have an absent live nerve in them. Normal whitening gels used in the vital process may not seem to work with this procedure. This is due to the stains being more of intrinsic. A different procedure that involves the teeth whitening from the inside.

A special whitening gel is placed inside the tooth and a temporal filling over it. This is left for several days before removal. The frequency of the procedure is increased until the best shade of white is achieved.

The aftermath of whitening

It is highly advisable to follow up with your dentist in cases of pains or soreness in the mouth. White gums resulting from teeth whitening procedures should also be kept in check as soon as possible.

Teeth whitening is usually a temporal solution. The whitened teeth can get discolored after a short period of time when care is not taken. If one avoids the staining agents like tobacco and dark color foods, whitening should be done at least once a year.

Risks involved in teeth whitening procedures

It is very unlikely to encounter serious side effects as a result of undergoing teeth whitening procedures. However, minor side effects are occasionally reported after the procedure. This includes mild irritations of the gums, slightly more sensitive teeth that happen a short while before disappearing. Pregnant mothers should avoid the procedures since the procedure involves cosmetics. Cosmetics have in the past been proved to have negative effects on the fetus.

Avoiding the risks of teeth whitening

Using anti-sensitivity toothpaste. This is normally composed of ingredients that are geared towards relieving pain that is mainly caused by sensitivity.

Chewing gum. It has been scientifically proved that chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands to produce more saliva in the mouth. The act of chewing the gum distracts one from the pain too.

Avoid whitening for some time. Too much of anything is dangerous if not harmful. Whitening involves cosmetics that may not very well adapt to every individual’s body. Regulating the use of this products can be of great help. A qualified and experienced dental specialist should be in a better position to advise more on the usage of this products.

At 757 dental solutions that are found in Reynosa Tamaulipas Mexico, Dr. Yara Ramos and a qualified team will be key to solving all your dental solutions. Contact the team or schedule an appointment to learn more on teeth whitening and other dental solutions.

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