Teeth are a huge part of our daily lives. They chew our food, help us communicate and overall add to our appearance. However, since teeth are exposed to all these factors, they can become a bit discolored and worn down as time progresses. Many turn to teeth whitening as a solution to this, and while teeth whitening does have some aesthetic benefits, it’s important to pay close attention to the facts.
Teeth whitening is a bleaching process by the usage of the chemicals hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. When these chemicals are applied to teeth, an oxidizing reaction takes place, and stains are broken down.
Depending on the way you choose to whiten your teeth the process can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few months.
There are typically three ways to whiten your teeth:
This is the quickest way to whiten your teeth, and the process can take as little as 90 minutes. The dentist uses a higher concentration of whitening agents on your teeth while protecting your gums from the chemicals. They may also decide to use a laser if there are tougher stains on the surface. The result can show teeth up 10 shades brighter.
Whitening strips are a more generic form of whitening agents; however, they have a lower concentration of chemicals, so they are usually not as effective on teeth that have some form of severe discoloration.
These toothpastes don’t have the usual harsh chemicals in bleaching agents. Therefore, they don’t change the color of your teeth, only removing stains on your tooth’s surface.
If you are behind on a couple standard teeth cleanings, then whitening may not in all cases work for you. Also, discolorations that are a factor of medications will not be affected. Teeth accessories such as veneers, dental sealants or dentures will not be affected either.