The smile is our letter of introduction, which is why we are increasingly concerned about showing off healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. In fact, one of the most demanded services to dental professionals is teeth whitening, but what is tooth whitening? How should it be done? We solve these and other doubts in the following article.
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What is a teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening are cosmetic dental treatments to lighten the tone of the teeth , so they must be performed by a registered dentist, who will be the one who estimates the health prerequisites that we must meet.
Tooth whitening is done by applying a peroxide-based gel that penetrates through the natural channels of the tooth’s microstructure, until it reaches the darkest areas of the tooth. This is when the gel produces a reduction and oxidation reaction with which the bonds of the internal pigments of the tooth are broken. In this way, a progressive tooth whitening is achieved.
In which cases can teeth whitening be performed?
As we said, each case must be evaluated individually by the professional dentist, but broadly speaking, it could be said that teeth whitening is indicated for anyone who wants to improve the appearance of their smile by lightening the tone of their teeth. Although it must be borne in mind that there are cases in which tooth whitening will not obtain results , such as in cases in which the teeth are previously restored. Restorations with aesthetic veneers, composite, dental caps, etc., do not change color, so after bleaching on unrestored natural teeth, a lot of contrast can be seen with restored teeth.
In any case, the dentist will make a previous diagnosis , and will carry out an exhaustive control of teeth whitening so that everything works correctly, assessing that there is no danger to the gums, or the soft tissues of the mouth, or to the teeth. The dentist will check that the treatment is being carried out properly, that the right amount of whitening product is being used, monitoring the treatment directly with regular visits to the dental office.
What types of whitening are there?
After the previous diagnosis, the professional dentist will be the one to select the most suitable technique to use: treatment in the office or at home . Home treatment is performed by self-applying the whitening gel, but always under strict control by the dentist. The specialist will monitor this treatment with visits every week, every fortnight, etc., since home treatment is progressive.
Is teeth whitening safe? It is painful?
Professional teeth whitening is safe , as long as the professional’s instructions are followed. In general, it is not a painful treatment, although in some people tooth sensitivity may appear , although it usually disappears after the treatment is finished.
People who have dental hypersensitivity before performing whitening, will be more likely to experience an increase in tooth sensitivity, mainly to cold stimuli. These symptoms usually appear at the beginning of treatment and are usually mild. For this reason, it is very important that the dentist carry out a preliminary study to know the habits of the patient and their dental structure .
In cases of dental hypersensitivity, it may be necessary to apply some type of measure, either referring to modifying the treatment regimen or using mouthwashes or toothpastes that help to make the sensitivity decrease and disappear . The tooth sensitivity that can appear with whitening, usually lasts a few days and will disappear with total security after finishing the treatment.
Are there any special precautions to be taken?
When the person has very sensitive teeth, it is convenient to increase the check-ups with the dentist so that the problem is not accentuated. For the rest, the main precaution that should be taken in teeth whitening treatments is to control the intake of foods and beverages that stain the teeth , before, during and after the treatment. It is very important to take adequate hygienic measures, and to brush well after eating food with a lot of coloring.
It is also recommended not to smoke, since tobacco is one of the substances that darkens teeth the most. Likewise, the professional should be informed about the intake of some medications that cause the teeth to darken.
How long does teeth whitening last?
When teeth whitening is carried out under the supervision of a professional, the result can last for approximately ten years .
It is common for the white achieved with the treatment to fade over time or to lose vibrancy. In these cases, a professional dental cleaning can be performed followed by the application of whitening gel splints for a few nights. In this way, teeth that received a full whitening in the past will regain their tone again.