Teeth whitening involves use of bleach and other bleaching agents to make them appear brighter/ lighter / whiter than the original teeth color. This practice is quickly becoming popular since people ant to have the perfect teeth. Teeth’s whitening is not a permanent procedure. There are various ways of whitening teeth such as use of whitening toothpastes, gels, strips and trays. This method is suitable for people who have yellow on their teeth.
Procedures involved in teeth whitening
- Use of toothpaste; normally all toothpastes can be used to clean teeth since they contain ingredients with abrasives that help remove stains. However, whitening toothpastes contain chemical agents such as carbamide peroxide that provide for a better stain removal effect. These products can be found in local stores and retails.
- Strips; this are almost colorless very thin strips that have been applied with peroxide or peroxide based chemicals. There usage varies according to the amount of peroxide and the directions provided by the manufacturers.
- Gels; this are peroxide based thick liquids that are applied to the teeth by a brush. There effects can be seen either immediately or after a longer period depending on the amount of peroxide in it.
- Whitening mouth wash; this is just like the normal mouth wash but apart from providing the user with the normal mouth wash benefits such fresh breath they also contain peroxides such as hydrogen peroxide which whitens teeth.
- Trays; this involves using a tray like object, filling it with the whitening agent then placing it in the mouth. They come in shapes similar to the denture arrangement e.g. mouth guard.
- Dentist facilitated whitening; this type of whitening is much more expensive than the rest although the effects are seen immediately and it does not take long. It involves applying the whitening agent then exposing it to a heat source. In this case it is normally a laser.
- Natural ways; some foods such as apples and carrots help in the whitening of teeth since they increase saliva in the mouth which is the mouths cleaning agent.
Ingredients of whitening agents
Some of the ingredients used in making of this whitening agents include; hydrogen peroxide which is majorly used to make gels, silica, calcium carbonate or phosphates which are found in toothpastes.
Patients are advised to consult with their dentists since it is important for people with problems such as gum disease not to do it. Whitening of teeth does not also work on ‘fake’ teeth such as crowns and fillings.
Side effects of whitening teeth
The chemicals used can affect the gums if they are not properly. This may in turn cause sensitivity of both gums and teeth.
Procedures such as using laser light may also affect one’s teeth and gum causing burns or making them become sensitive.