The term 'whitening' strictly speaking is a misnomer. This is because natural color of teeth is never perfectly white. It is a combination of white and yellow in varying proportions. Broadly, the procedure aims at restoring the natural white color of the teeth.
Bleaching can be done By the dentist in the dental clinic or at home by various commercially available bleaching kits. However, before directly jumping to the home bleaching, it is important that a dentist be consulted. This is important since home bleaching product may not be effective or indicated for every individual. Generally, the first bleaching is done at the dental office, with the follow up being done by the home bleaching products. However from a safety point of view and for best results both home and office bleaching should be monitored by the dentist.
Teeth presents with 2 types of stains:
Extrinsic Stains: These stains are caused by tea, coffee, cigarettes, pan masala and other tobacco products, spicy food containing lots of red chillies and turmeric. Since these stains are of exogenous origin, they can be removed by bleaching.
Intrinsic stains: These stains are of developmental origin being incorporated within the structure of the tooth. These stains are caused by factors which operate at the time when the tooth is being formed. Common factors responsible for intrinsic staining include drinking of water with high fluoride content, ingestion of tetracyline medication, and injury to the tooth. Bleaching does effect these stains too but the effect varies depending on the severity of the clinical condition.
Teeth whitening FAQs:
Am I a candidate for bleaching?
Answer: Yes you definitely are a candidate for bleaching if you have tea, coffee or cigarette stains. Today, whither teeth are no longer a monopoly of film stars and models. Even you can get your teeth bleached provide you have a desire for a bright smile with whiter teeth.
Is bleaching associated with any side effects?
Answer: Bleaching of teeth in some cases causes temporary sensitivity of teeth and slight irritation to gums. But both these problems are transitory in nature and might probably be avoided if the manufacturer's instructions are followed.
How long does the whitening lasts?
Answer: Tooth Whitening may last up to 5 years depending on your food habits, personal habits and your oral hygiene. Food habits which effect bleaching are spicy food with red chilies and food with turmeric. Personal habits include tea. coffee and smoking. Lastly and most importantly, how you maintain your teeth after bleaching with regular brushing will decide the time the whitening stays.
What can I expect after treatment?
Answer: Bleaching of teeth is generally associated with unrealistic expectations. It is a very common misunderstanding that teeth become perfect white after bleaching. Generally the shade of the teeth gets light by 2 to 3 shades. Nobody can predict with absolute certainty the result before the start of the procedure. Individual results varies depending on the types and intensity of the stains and the quality of the enamel in the tooth. Sometimes, within the same tooth some areas respond to treatment in a better way than other areas depending on the thickness of enamel.
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