Teeth whitening is one of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry, and one of the biggest advancements in the field for the last several decades. Despite its popularity, however, there are still a number of common misunderstandings about teeth whitening, how it works, what it does, and who can get it. And that’s a shame–teeth whitening may be a cosmetic procedure, but it’s accessible and easy to implement. More importantly, it can make a big difference in the appearance of your smile and in turn your confidence. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some important facts about teeth whitening.
First off, there are a number of reasons someone might pursue teeth whitening. Teeth whitening works by using a chemical agent to remove staining and discoloration from the teeth. That staining and discoloration may occur for any of a number of reasons. Diet plays a big role–red wine, coffee, dark colas, and other richly colored foods can discolor teeth. Likewise, tobacco use can have a negative effect on the color and brightness of the teeth. In addition, some people are just more prone to having yellowed or off-colored teeth rather than bright and shiny pearly whites. All of these are valid reasons to get teeth whitening treatments.
Just as there are many reasons for someone to get teeth whitening treatments, there are a variety of teeth whitening services and products available. While we can’t discuss each and every one in detail, they broadly fall into two categories: at-home treatments and professional treatments performed by your dentist. At-home treatments have the advantage of being less expensive while also letting you do them on your own time. However, in-office treatments from a dentist use more effective products, are cleaner and easier for you and are much more effective due to your dentist’s skills and abilities and the professional materials used.
Now we move to an important point. Despite many rumors to the contrary teeth whitening is a safe and effective treatment and does not damage your teeth or gums. Professional teeth whitening products are formulated to remove staining from your teeth without damaging the enamel, dentin, or gums. The chemicals used temporarily open the pores in the surface of your teeth and allow the stain to be removed. When the treatment is over, the pores in your teeth naturally close, and your teeth rehydrate and remineralize, leaving them just as healthy as they were before.
The root of that last misunderstanding may come from this next fact about teeth whitening: teeth whitening can make teeth temporarily sensitive. However, that sensitivity wears off quickly as the tooth responds to the full treatment. Once the sensitivity has faded, your dentist may suggest a follow-up treatment to further whiten your teeth.
We hope that this list helps you understand teeth whitening, how teeth whitening works, and what the side effects really are. Teeth whitening is a safe, effective, and common procedure, and one that can genuinely improve your quality of life. If you’re interested in teeth whitening, get in touch today and make an appointment. Our friendly, helpful staff will guide you through the process.