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  • 1 May, 2022

Teeth Whitening in Dentistry

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Article by : Dr.Aparna Pandya

We all want a closeup smile, that perfect pearly white smile that we often see in fashion magazines. In this era of instant everything-instant noodles, instant pizza etc, we want instant teeth whitening.  When it comes to teeth-whitening, there are two options: in-office-based teeth bleaching, or at-home care.

Whichever option you fancy, it all comes down to peroxide-based bleaching agents. At-home systems contain from 3% to 20% peroxide (carbamide or hydrogen peroxides), while the in-office systems contain from 15% to 43% peroxide.

Now one might think that the longer they keep a solution on their teeth, the whiter their teeth becomes. Well that is true..but it comes with a  cost.  Keeping the gel on longer will dehydrate the tooth and increase tooth sensitivity.

Both systems have flip sides, however one must remember to talk to their dentist before trying out bleaching systems at home.

In-Office Tooth Whitening

The bleaching solution in this case is generally stronger than at-home kits. Also, heat, light, or a combination of the two may be used to speed and intensify the whitening process. Your results can be three to eight shades brighter. Some dentists use techniques that can be done in a single 2-hour appointment (e.g. the Zoom system).

At-Home Teeth Bleaching Options

If you feel adventurous you may very well try bleaching teeth at home, the most common include:

  • Tooth whitening strips and gels: They are directly applied to the teeth with a brush or a thin strip. They are also peroxide-based products. They have to be applied once or twice a day for 10 to 14 days. Results last four or more months.
  • Tray-based tooth bleaching systems: Here, a mouth guard-like tray is filled with a peroxide-based bleaching gel or paste and placed over the teeth for one to several hours a day for up to four weeks. They are available over-the-counter or you can have one custom-fitted by your dentist.
  • Tooth whitening toothpastes: Because they're mildly abrasive, every toothpaste helps remove stains from teeth. Whitening toothpastes, however, also contain chemicals or polishing agents that help remove stains from teeth without the aid of a bleaching agent. Tooth-whitening toothpastes are relatively inexpensive and brighten teeth by about one shade. Some whitening toothpastes contain peroxides, but they aren't left on the teeth long enough to have a whitening benefit.

Post teeth whitening procedure, stay away from acidic and tannin-rich foods and beverages such as:

  • Black teas and coffee
  • Wine
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Berries and other strongly-coloured foods
  • Sauces

 

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