Teeth bleaching works. 15% of America has undergone teeth whitening, whether this is at a dentist office or with a home kit. Individuals routinely see either moderate or dramatic improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their teeth. Teeth whitening however is not a permanent solution.
The difference between the words whitening and bleaching is as follows. Whitening involves returning the surface color of a tooth back to its original color by removing staining. Even over-the-counter tooth base can be referred to as a whitening agent. To laymen, the word whitening is actually much more preferable than bleaching, so in teeth whitening advertising is more commonly utilized.
The word bleaching, however, is a term permitted by the FDA when the product can enhance the teeth whitening beyond its original natural color. The bleaching products typically used are either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
Unless one’s teeth color is destroyed by a metabolic disorder or taking something like tetracycline as a child, the teeth are sparkling white starting out. The enamel in teeth serve a protective role during trauma, chewing, and exposure to acidic substances. Over years the enamel wears out and becomes more see through. When this occurs, the dentin underneath starts to show through, and it is yellow.
As a person chews, the enamel sustained small cracks. The dentin remains intact. These tiny cracks fill up with debris from which the tooth loses a lot of whiteness. Bleaching of teeth takes away this debris but the cracks in the enamel remain exposed.
How do teeth get stained in the 1st place? As teeth get older, they darken due to tear and wear and stains accumulating. As people age, whitening of teeth may be more difficult to accomplish.
All teeth have a certain transparency grade, and some of this is genetically determined. Teeth that are more opaque tend to be whiter and brighter and respond better to teeth whitening. If a person has genetically thin teeth, less pigment is available for bleaching. One cannot alter the transparency of teeth with a bleaching procedure.
Is a person smokes it can lead to considerable tooth discoloration. They can leave brownish deposits from nicotine which can penetrate deeply into the tooth. If a person drinks a lot of coffee, tea, red wine, or cola it can also lead to dramatic staining. The tooth surface and become more transparent from these beverages which can lead to more yellow dent in showing. Foods like citrus and vinegar which are acidic can also cause staining.
Excessive intake of fluoride may lead to white mottling. Chronic grinding of teeth can also lead to tiny little cracks which can result in darkened edges.
There are 3 predominant teeth whitening options available today. One is in-office whitening which can provide a significant color change in a short time and last a very long time. Take-home whitening kits may produce excellent results, but take weeks to months for the results to be accomplished and often do not last for a long term. Over the counter teeth whitening is the most convenient and cheapest option involving one size fits all trays or stips. This may only whiten a few teeth.
The procedure that gives the best results for teeth whitening is an in office procedure that is done in one setting to the lasting less than 2 hours and gives great results.