Everyone wants a white, brighter smile. Today, even though not many people were blessed to have naturally white teeth, everyone can make their teeth whiter. This is possible with a technique called teeth whitening or teeth bleaching, and it can be done either at home or at the dentist’s office. Public personas, celebrities and generally, people in the spotlight are usually the people who choose to whiten their teeth. However, that doesn’t mean that anyone who isn’t happy with the colour of their teeth is not supposed to do it. Quite the contrary, with the many teeth whitening products, today, it is possible to have a white smile in just a couple of days or weeks, and the best of all is that everyone can do it.
If you have decided that you are going to be one of these people, great -however, you must know that there are several pros and cons to this procedure. Please read carefully about the types of whitening and how they affect the overall oral health and decide which is the best next step for you.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a procedure that is part of the cosmetic dentistry which uses whitening products containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to whiten the teeth. It can be done at home with over-the-counter products such as gels and strips, or at the dentist’s office.
As a procedure, teeth whitening exists from around the 1980s. Before that, people used different ingredients to make the teeth whiter. However, modern teeth whitening made the process far safer and relatively inexpensive. The higher the concentration of the ingredients is, the less time it takes for the teeth to whiten. On the other hand, the faster the whitening effect is achieved due to large concentrations of the bleaching agents, the more problems are likely to appear with the general health of the teeth.
A popular misconception is that if the teeth are yellow, they are not healthy. This is the wrong thing to assume as the yellow colour comes from the dentin, which is the layer underneath the protective first layer – the enamel. People having a thin enamel have yellowish teeth because the enamel is not thick enough to hide the yellow colour of the dentin. With the whitening procedure, the yellow colour will disappear, and the teeth will become whiter.
Another note that is of great importance is that sometimes teeth can turn into brown, grey or black. If such a thing happens, teeth whitening is the last thing to do. Usually, brown, grey or black colour indicates that a more serious problem has occurred. Therefore, going to the dentist for a check-up is the next reasonable step. The dentist will examine the teeth and will diagnose the condition. Later they will advise you to go for teeth whitening or not.
Reasons to Whiten Your Teeth
- Whiter teeth, a brighter smile
- Greater self-confidence
- Low risk of side effects
- Relatively cheap procedure
- The versatility of the ways how to do it.
Reasons Not to Whiten Your Teeth
- Teeth bleaching can cause tooth sensitivity
- It won’t change the colour of the fillings or crowns
- It doesn’t provide permanent results; it has to be redone after a particular period.
Taking all things into consideration, it is obvious that teeth whitening is a powerful cosmetic dental procedure that will increase your self-confidence and help you feel better about yourself. In fact, some research has shown that whiter teeth can make you smile more often and emit positive vibes to the people around you. It can even help you do better at job interviews.
Regardless of which way you are going to choose for teeth whitening, precautions should always be taken before application. For example, regular oral hygiene which consists of brushing and flossing several times daily is a must; avoiding eating sugary, acidic or sticky foods that destroy the enamel, thus exposing the dentin is simply a must.
Finally, never opt for dramatic results that are guaranteed by products with a higher concentration of bleaching agents because this could seriously damage the teeth. Or, if you want to achieve such fast results, it is better to let the dentist take care of the procedure. However, do note that these safe and extra fast procedures will cost you a small fortune – something between $500 – $1.000.
The Bottom Line
Teeth whitening is a convenient procedure that will make your teeth whiter and hence make you a happier person. Whether you use opalescence tooth whitening systems as over-the-counter-products or other toothpaste or gels with the same effect, or you let the dentist take care of the procedure, never forget that the results are not permanent and you need to take extra care of the teeth to remain white, including redoing the procedure again in future.