Teeth whitening is a brisk business, with drug stores dedicating whole sections to DIY bleaching kits. General and cosmetic dentists also spend large portions of their time performing professional teeth whitening. Have you ever wondered why dentists charge for a procedure that you can do in the comfort of your home? The answer may not…
Teeth Whitening vs. Teeth Bleaching
Teeth whitening is a popular treatment that your dentist can administer in the office. This professional process could be the right way to remove stains from your teeth and help you achieve a beautiful smile. It is good to understand how this procedure works and whether you are a good candidate. You can learn how it is similar to and different from teeth bleaching.
How teeth become discolored
It can be difficult to maintain that natural white color of teeth. While some people’s genetics cause their teeth to turn yellow or light brown, much discoloration will occur because of diet. Eating and drinking certain foods and beverages can stain teeth over time. Tomato sauce, cola, coffee, and tea have this effect. Also, ignoring daily brushing can gradually change the color of teeth. Even some types of medication have dye in it that can cause staining.
An explanation of teeth whitening
Many people use whitening and bleaching interchangeably. However, there is technically a difference. People take whitening products to restore the natural color of their teeth. This is a different shade for everyone. For some people, this may mean making the teeth a light gray. For others, the teeth will be a whiter shade than the next individuals.
Whitening is designed to remove yellow and brown stains by using various chemicals and compounds. These are generally in over-the-counter products. Stores sell toothpaste and whitening strips to accomplish this. These items ordinarily contain carbamide peroxide or sodium perborate.
An explanation of bleaching
Closely related, teeth bleaching aims to remove unsightly discoloration from teeth. The bleaching procedure’s goal is to make teeth even whiter than the natural shade of the patient’s teeth. Achieving this is possible with highly concentrated sodium peroxide. The dentist will apply a gel with up to 35% hydrogen peroxide on the patient’s teeth where it will stay for about an hour. Light or heat helps to activate it as the molecules penetrate the enamel and start to break up the stains.
What to choose
Every individual has different needs when it comes to teeth whitening or teeth bleaching. Patients should meet with their dentist to find out what makes the most sense to them. In-office bleaching procedures can produce immediately visible results. The person will also only have to come in for one or two treatments. Also, the person can have whiter teeth for a few years before having to do another round of bleaching.
Some whitening methods take a few weeks or months to produce the effects the person wants. However, patients who are diligent about using the product can be happy with whiter teeth. Using store-bought products can work well. The dentist can also recommend whitening gel from the office that the patient can apply overnight and wear on mouthguards or trays.
Feel good about your teeth again
Even if you brush regularly and take good care of your teeth, you can still struggle with discoloration. Along with oral hygiene, you may need professional teeth whitening or bleaching. Consider how these processes work. Then, make an appointment with your dentist so you can accomplish your goals.
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