How Does a Tooth Whitening Procedure Work?

Even if you floss and brush your teeth once or twice, preferably twice, every day, your teeth still need a regular cleaning and whitening procedure at your dentist’s office. Why? Simply because your teeth will become healthier, as will your oral health overall, if you are keeping up with regular cleaning and whitening. When it comes to getting a bright, beautiful smile, it’s always worth it, but patients always have questions as to how these teeth whitening procedures work.

Why Are Tooth Whitening Procedures Necessary?

tooth whitening

This is a question that a lot of dentists receive from their patients, and is a question that is very easily answered. Tooth whitening procedures are a necessity when it comes to perfect oral health because of the following.

The Aging Process

Your dentin, which is located below your enamel, begins to show through as you age. It’s one of the many culprits that yellow your teeth, considering the dentin itself is yellow in color, as the outer layer of your enamel, the shell on your teeth, begins to thin as you age.

Your Tobacco Usage

If you smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, or smoke cigars, expect your teeth to yellow greatly. Nicotine and tar, both chemicals that are in tobacco and tobacco products, cause stubborn yellow stains that are very difficult to remove without a tooth whitening procedure at your dentist’s.

What You Eat and Drink

Red wine, tea, coffee, and various foods, including blueberries, for example, stain your teeth like you would not believe. Chromogens, which are intense color pigments found in certain foods and drinks, attach themselves to the enamel on your teeth and cause them to become discolored.

How Do Tooth Whitening Procedures Work?

When it comes to tooth whitening procedures and how they work, you have two options available to you at your dentist’s office; a procedure using bleach, or a procedure that does not use bleach.

Bleach Whitening

Bleach whitening works by brightening your teeth from five to seven shades, and is best used as an in-office procedure, meaning your dentist will need to conduct the procedure to ensure best results. The hydrogen peroxide or the carbamine peroxide, both present in bleach as one or the other, remove both surface and deep stains from your teeth.

For the bleach whitening procedure itself, you can go with a whitening session that utilizes a whitening activated light, or a custom mouthpiece that is created for you personally by your dentist. Chair-side bleaching, the common term for light-activated bleaching, is the better option, however, because you receive instant, lasting results.

Non-Bleach Whitening

This whitening procedure on the other hand, works through chemical and/or physical action to remove the surface stains when you are in between visits to your dentist. Though these types of whitening procedures are more common, they are not as effective and do not last as long as the results that you would receive from your dentist.

However, your dentist can use an abrasion and polish to remove the majority of the staining that is on the surface of your teeth, but even still, non-bleach whitening procedures and treatments are still not as effective as bleach whitening.

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