There’s a reason they call them pearly whites. Though healthy teeth are already meant to have a yellow tinge, yellow teeth won’t exactly get you the type of attention you want. That why many of the 127.6 million adults in the U.S. who visited a dentist at least once in 2017 went there to get their teeth whitened.
This post will discuss the basics of the tooth whitening process and what you need to know before seeing your dentists for some whiter teeth.
What Is Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure focused on whitening the teeth. Since ordinary teeth have a yellowish hue, most people opt for the procedure since whiter teeth are considered more attractive.
A majority of dentists will first clean your teeth thoroughly to get rid of any plaque or tartar. The dentist will then apply some protective gel on your gums and some teeth whitening gel on your teeth too. He/she will then fit the blue light machine on your teeth and turn it on for about three 15-minute rounds. Your dentist will then prescribe to you some teeth whitening aftercare products to use after the procedure.
What Should I Know Before Visiting The Dentist?
Your dentist will definitely give you the breakdown, but here are a few things you should know ahead of time.
It Won’t Damage Your Teeth
If you’re worried that teeth whitening could damage your lovely set of teeth, then your worry couldn’t be further from the truth. Teeth damage will only come from carrying out the procedure properly or abusing the teeth whitening equipment. It is therefore important to have someone like your family dentist or any other professional dentists to carry out the procedure and not anyone else.
Teeth Whitening Products Have Different Strengths
Teeth whitening gels have one thing in common: they all contain hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen that reacts with dirt and other staining materials, lifting them off the teeth. Depending on the strength of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel, results may vary accordingly. The strength of the compound also determines how much time you’ll spend with the blue light machine on your teeth.
Sensitivity Varies Across the Board
Teeth whitening is not without its side effects. Dentists have highlighted gum irritation, mild pain, and teeth sensitivity after the procedure. The severity and duration of these side effects will depend on the products you use and the condition of your teeth. Some patients have even reported feeling nothing as far as side effects are concerned.
Teeth Whitening Can’t Remove Some Teeth Stains in One Sitting
Years of smoking and bad dental care habits cannot vanish after just one dental appointment. Currently, there is no safe method that guarantees such deep cleaning overnight without damaging the teeth. With that in mind, teeth whitening can last anywhere from four days to several months for a complete set of pearly whites. If you have more deep-seated stains, possibly from a history of smoking, then you might have to be a bit patient. The great news is your teeth will be easier to maintain after the whitening process is complete.
Not Everybody Can Whiten Their Teeth
Some circumstances and medical conditions may preclude you from having your teeth whitened. People with severe cases of gum disease may have to wait a while before getting their teeth whitened. Teeth whitening is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Lastly, if you have adolescents with stained baby teeth, you’ll have to wait till their teeth mature before getting them whitened.
Teeth whitening is a simple procedure with incredible results. Consult with your cosmetic dentist or family dentist to find out whether you are fit for the procedure. Remember, it may take time for some folks to get your teeth completely white, but the wait will eventually be worth it.