As you age, your teeth’s color changes to yellowish. The reason for this is that the protective outer layer of the teeth called the enamel thins out because of your lifestyle choices. For example, if you like drinking coffee or red wine, you’re likely to experience discoloration on your teeth. A lifetime of brushing could also cause thinning of enamel. Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry has introduced teeth whitening to bring back the white color of your teeth. But does teeth whitening work?
Teeth whitening works. But it depends on the product you use. Whitening your teeth works by removing surface stains from the outer layer of your teeth. Another method is to modify the color of the dentin.
What it does is that it utilizes abrasives to remove surface stains. It only works on the outer or superficial stains. It doesn’t touch the inner dentin. Thus, the effect is only minimal. The result will be one shade lighter. And the effect lasts as long as you keep using it.
However, most teeth whitening toothpaste product contain abrasive ingredients that could cause damage to your enamel. For that reason, it’s ideal that you use toothpaste brands recommended by the American Dental Association. These brands or products are certified to be effective and safe to be used.
On the other hand, if you wish to change the dentin’s color, you’ll need to undergo teeth bleaching to receive a more dramatic effect. In that way, you’ll get up to eight shades whiter. The result will also last for three years, depending on how you maintain it.
Teeth bleaching products include hydrogen peroxide or carbide peroxide. These chemicals break down to release oxygen. As the oxygen mixes with the enamel, it lightens your teeth’s color.
If you want a more lasting result, then you must opt for professional bleaching. In here, your dentists at Kane & Kerper Family & Cosmetic Dentistry will add high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Because it could burn your gums, your dentist will protect your gums using a rubber dam. A light or laser is also used along with the bleaching product.
How about at-home treatments?
They usually contain a lower amount of peroxide. Thus, they’re not as effective as in-office teeth whitening treatment. But they’re safer to use at home.
Is teeth whitening treatment ideal for you?
Before you even consider undergoing this procedure, you should consult first with your dentist. For instance, if your teeth’s color is yellowish, you’re more likely to get a positive outcome. However, brownish or grayish teeth won’t bleach well.
Furthermore, if you have tooth-colored fillings, they can’t be bleached and neither do bondings. Any whitening products won’t affect their colors. Thus, if you have bonding in your teeth, your natural teeth will get whitened but not the teeth with bondings. In that case, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. If you have tooth-colored fillings, you may opt for dental bonding.
Your dentist will perform the bleaching procedure first before dental work. The reason for this is that dental fillings are not affected by bleaching. So, if you decided to get a dental crown or filling on your front teeth after bleaching, the filling or the crown won’t change color making your smile to be unaesthetic.