As rightfully commented by John Heywood, “Look before you leap”, and the same goes in the case of teeth whitening. Though you might see numerous advertisements on television and in magazines that promote teeth whitening and sell teeth whitening products. Keeping that aside you should know whether you should choose teeth whitening or not.
First, you need to know what teeth whitening is. Teeth whitening is also known as teeth bleaching is the process of lightening the color of human teeth.
There are various reasons why your teeth get discolored or stained. Discoloration of teeth is very common, due to the stains of beverages, or consuming hard liquor. If you end up noticing discoloration in that situation you would choose to visit a dentist for whitening treatments. Or you can even try different teeth whitening products at home to get that sparkling smile.
Keeping all this in mind a quick reminder, “every coin has opposite sides.” Though you might be fascinated with the advantages of teeth whitening, there are several side effects of teeth whitening too.
Now that you know what teeth whitening is and how teeth whitening products work, you should know what teeth discoloration is and what are the two types of teeth discoloration.
What is teeth discoloration?
When the natural color of teeth gets discolored it results in discoloration of teeth. There are various reasons why your teeth get discolored. There are two different types of teeth discoloring.
This type of teeth discoloration occurs due to your unstable lifestyle, and consumption of beverages and hard liquor which results in staining your teeth. Consumption of beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco and smoking cigarettes can lead to this type of staining. Consuming these products can lead to staining affecting the other portion of your teeth.
If you face extrinsic discoloration, then it can be easily treated with the products like whitening toothpaste as they target your teeth’s outer stains.
This type of teeth discoloration occurs from the core of your teeth. The result of intrinsic discoloration is due to the medication cause, childhood illness, infection, tooth trauma, or aging. If you face this type of tooth discoloration in that case you would need professional bleaching to achieve that same level or better teeth whiteness.
After this now you should decide how you would whiten your teeth based on the type of staining that you have come across.
How to avoid stains on your teeth?
Nobody wants to get noticed because of yellowing teeth. Your smile speaks a lot and utterly increases your level of confidence. To maintain your sparkling smile, you need to follow certain steps so that you won’t have to go through the teeth whitening process.
Some steps to follow to maintain a blissful smile and forbid yourself from teeth whitening.
- Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly.
- Quit smoking.
- Visit your dentist for dental cleanings and removal of plaque and stains.
- Limit yourself from consuming coffee, tea, and hard liquor.
Is it worth doing teeth whitening?
If you want your teeth to emit the rays of the sun and shine brightly, then teeth whitening is a safer option for you. Before that, an important step is you need to talk to your dentist and know all the options before you decide to do teeth whitening.
Based on the research it is said that hydrogen peroxide products might result in damaging the proteins in your teeth’s dentin layer. Dentin is a hard tissue that lies inside of your teeth’s surface enamel and that results in the dwindling of your teeth. Studies have also shown that using whitening products might also result in roughing or softening your teeth’s surface.
It is important to consider what type of product you are using and how it would work for you. You need to keep in mind that forbidding hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide on your teeth and gums helps in avoiding sensitivity and irritation.
Side effects of teeth whitening
Teeth whitening is considered as a safe option if you want to achieve that pearly white smile. With something good comes its side effects. You might also experience some side effects from teeth whitening like teeth sensitivity and irritated gums.
This is a common reason one could experience after teeth whitening. Post-teeth whitening, your teeth might become more sensitive. You can experience this after your first or second treatment, and would eventually shrink with time. In that case, your dentist would recommend treating your sensitivity with products that contain potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride gel.
After teeth whitening you might also experience gingival irritation. This situation occurs when your gums become irritated. Such a situation persists when your gums come in contact with the teeth whitening product. Well, this side effect can go away after the treatments.
For a quick reminder, if the process of teeth whitening might sound like a fruitful option for you then you need to mind the fact that you cannot keep your teeth white permanently.
Even though you have extrinsic or intrinsic discoloration, you need to seek whitening treatments. You need to keep in mind that all these products are meant for natural teeth.
Teeth whitening products and other at-home options
Teeth whitening is mostly done by professional dentists and they are adhering to chemicals. However, you can also choose over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products for removing stains from the teeth. These are different from the products administered by a dentist as they do not have carbamide peroxide. It means that if your teeth have been intrinsically discolored, OTC teeth whitening products might not work effectively or this might also take longer time in whitening your teeth.
Some of the teeth whitening products are enlisted below:
Whitening toothpaste does not contain carbamide peroxide. These kinds of toothpaste directly target the surface of your teeth and have a variety of substances which includes abrasives and chemical blue covarine. In that case, it takes time for the whitening toothpaste to work, but the ones with blue covarine may show its effect just after one brush because the chemical present in it makes your teeth appear whiter.
The next option is whitening strips, you can purchase over-the-counter whitening strips for your teeth. This product consists of a smaller amount of hydrogen peroxide than other professional products. You can easily use this product once or twice a day for your teeth or for a set of times as instructed by the manufacturer.
There are a variety of whitening strips available in the market and each varies from the other in the terms of bleaching.
Activated charcoal and other home-based methods:
Many people choose homemade methods for teeth whitening. One such option is activated charcoal. Though this might sound like an easy option, there is no scientific proof to substantiate the same. It is a matter of curiosity that still now homemade methods are used for teeth whitening. But these methods are not scientifically proven and the chances of damaging the enamel enhance.
Teeth Whitening Options
There are many methods and options available for whitening your teeth. Among so many options would be confused about which one to use and which one is a safer option for you.
Well, there are three general categories of whitening methods and they are:
- Administered by your dentist
- Dispensed by your dentist to use at home
- Obtained over the counter or made at home without the oversight of your dentist
Among all, you may choose a certain method for whitening your teeth based on one or more factors:
The type of discoloration you have:
As mentioned above there are two types of discoloration one is extrinsic discoloration and the other one is intrinsic discoloration. Teeth whitening depends upon the type of discoloration that you have.
The cost involved in the treatment:
The amount of cost involved in teeth whitening is a factor for many. The charges of the treatment vary depending upon the kind of treatment that you have chosen.
The treatment method:
The way of treatment depends on the type of whitening that you want to get.
Thus before choosing teeth whitening you need to discuss with your dentist the type of whitening that you want to get. Looking into your dental history and the discoloration of your teeth your dentist would then recommend a treatment plan which suits best for you.
Maintaining teeth whitening:
Though you might spend money for getting that sparkling pearly smile. To turn the results of teeth whitening into a fruitful one you need to follow certain rules in order to maintain it. Your food habits and oral hygiene has an impact on how long your teeth whitening would last. After you go through the process of teeth whitening you need to forbid yourself from consuming beverages and certain foods.
If you develop the habit of brushing and flossing soon after eating and drinking then you would keep yourself at a bay from discoloration and in turn, the chances of plaque and tartar building up decrease.