What is Teeth Whitening?Teeth whitening is largely known by the name of teeth bleaching or dental bleaching. Dental bleaching is a common procedure in general dentistry, but takes an important place in cosmetic dentistry. According to the Federation of Dental Association, bleaching whitens the teeth beyond the natural color. Generally, the deciduous teeth of a child are whiter than the ones that follow. With passage of time, adult teeth experience change in color because of changes in mineral structure, eating habits, food goods, tobacco, etc. Some medications can also cause tooth enamel to lose its brilliance, shine, and color. Dental bleaching is not recommended for children under the age of 16, as the process could irritate the pulp or cause it to become sensitive. The procedure is also not recommended in pregnant or lactating women. Usually, tooth whitening does not change the color of fillings and other restorative materials, which means it does not affect porcelain, dental gold, or other ceramics, but can show some effect on restorations made with composite materials, cements and dental amalgams.
Generally, whitening potential can be easily assessed holding a white printer paper next to the teeth. If teeth look yellow, the stains are like to be superficial, and can be removed using whitening procedures. In case the teeth look grayish, there are chances that the discoloration is inside the teeth and bleaching would not be able to help a great deal.
Why Teeth Whitening?
Change is inevitable. With passage of time, everything deteriorates. White color of your teeth is also prone to change, but depends a lot on your lifestyle and diet. With age, the enamel on teeth becomes thinner and more transparent. As a result of this, the inner layer, called dentin, looks darker. Your eating habits, brushing habits, and a lot more contributes to color of your teeth. Colored liquids that you consume throughout your life also play a vital role in color of your teeth. The most common agents that can push you to undergo a dental whitening procedure are tea, coffee, cola, red wine, cigarette, and tobacco. Chewing, smoking, and consuming tobacco products causes teeth to lose their normal shine, color, and even strength. Moreover, there are times when some fragments of certain colored foods get stuck in your mouth for a longer period of time. Such fragments can cause the teeth to get colored or yellow in long run. In addition to all this, improper brushing habits can result in teeth getting stained and yellow.
Therefore, to get whiter teeth, one has to undergo dental whitening procedure from time to time.
Different Types of Teeth Whitening Methods
Per ADA (American Dental Association), dental bleaching can be done in clinic by a professional dentist, at home by the patient using different bleaching methods, at home by patient using over-the-counter bleaching methods, and using non-dental options usually offered at kiosks, spas, salons, etc.
All in all, largely, these methods can be classified into two broad categories teeth whitening by a professional dentist and teeth whitening using various techniques at home.