Is Tooth Whitening Safe?

When it comes to getting rid of your coffee and tobacco tooth stains, you have several options to choose from. You can either visit your supermarket and pick an at-home whitening formula, or you can visit us your dentist for professional tooth whitening. The options are virtually endless. Numerous brands to choose from! So, which […]

When it comes to getting rid of your coffee and tobacco tooth stains, you have several options to choose from. You can either visit your supermarket and pick an at-home whitening formula, or you can visit us your dentist for professional tooth whitening. The options are virtually endless. Numerous brands to choose from! So, which option is the safest and most effective? This article will tell you everything you need to know about tooth whitening.

What is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure in which a bleaching agent is applied over the surface of teeth to remove stains which ruin your smile and facial esthetics. When the bleaching agent is applied, it forms volatile compounds such as hydrogen peroxide which penetrates beneath the outer enamel layer of the teeth and chemically dissolves adherent stain. As a result, you observe a visible reduction in the shade of your teeth once the procedure has been completed. This is why tooth whitening has become one of the most sought after cosmetic dental procedures.

Who can Benefit from Tooth Whitening?

You can benefit from tooth whitening if you have any of the following problems:

  • Poor oral hygiene leading to staining of teeth
  • Coffee stains
  • Tea stains
  • Tobacco stains
  • Stains caused due to excessive intake of foods which stain teeth

What are the Different Types of Tooth Whitening Available?

Generally, there are two main types of tooth whitening; at-home and professional tooth whitening. Let’s discuss each option separately.

At-Home Tooth Whitening

As the name suggests, this type of tooth whitening is performed at home. Domestic tooth whiteningformulas are easily available at supermarkets, and as over-the-counter products at pharmacies. At-home tooth whitening options include:

  • Whitening Formulas – these whitening formulas are mostly available the premixed form. The at-home whitening formula comes with stock whitening trays in different standard sizes. These trays are filled with the bleaching agent and worn over the upper and lower teeth for a time duration specified by the manufacturer. Afterward, the trays are removed, and the teeth are rinsed with water. After one cycle of tooth whitening, you will feel a visible improvement in the shade of your teeth. However, more applications may be required for teeth with very severe stains.
  • Tooth Whitening Strips – like the whitening formulas, whitening strips also contain a bleaching agent. These strips are applied to each tooth for a specified duration, after which they are removed, and the teeth are rinsed.
  • Tooth Whitening Pastes –unlike the whitening formulas and strips which work by chemical removal of tooth stains, a whitening toothpastephysically removes stains on the teeth. Instead of a bleaching agent, they contain a higher concentration of abrasive agents which remove a very thin outer layer of the teeth, thereby removing the surface stains.

Professional Tooth Whitening

Professional tooth whitening is performed under the supervision of a trained and experienced dentist. Unlike the domestic tooth whitening options, professional tooth whitening formulas contain a higher concentration of bleaching agents which make the comparatively more effective. Here’s how professional tooth whitening (tannbleking) at Vinterbro Tannlegesenter, one of the leading dental practices in Vinterbro is done:

  • Consultation and Fabrication of Custom Trays – first our dentists will perform a clinical examination to assess the cause and extent of your teeth stains. This is done because some teeth stains which form inside the tooth require special procedures. At this stage, we will also make impressions of your teeth to prepare custom-made whitening trays.
  • The Whitening Procedure – during the next appointment our dentists will perform the tooth whitening procedure. First, we will apply a protective agent like cocoa butter or Vaseline on your oral soft tissues to prevent accidental bleaching of the gums, lips or the cheeks. Next, the whitening trays will be filled with the bleaching agent and you will be asked to wear them. The bleaching agent will be activated by exposing it to a special light. This procedure will be performed for about 30-45 minutes. After the trays are removed, you will observe a remarkable improvement in the color and shade of your teeth. In the case of severe teeth staining, more than one sittings may be required.

So, which Tooth Whitening Option is Safe and effective?

The bleaching agents used in all types of whitening formulas are generally the same. However, they differ in their concentration, how fast the bleaching reaction occurs and how they are applied on the teeth. Over the counter whitening systems and strips contain too low concentrations of bleaching agents. Due to the lesser concentration of the bleaching agent and a “one fit for all” application method, they are not very effective in removing stains and in worse case they can damage and burn the gums. This is because the system isn’t made for “your teeth and gums”. These systems are not individually fitted. Cause everyone’s teeth and gums have different form and shape. Therefor there is high risk of an uneven and incomplete bleaching of tooth surfaces. This is very difficult to resolve when it happens. There is also a possibility of burn and damage to your gums.

On the other hand, professional whitening is performed by professionals under precise conditions and a controlled environment.This is done after making sure that all teeth are in good conditions which prevent serious damage to the teeth and their nerves. This is done by producing individually fitted trays which you will have to use at home.Therefore, it is much more effective than domestic whitening formulas.It gives an even homogenic long-lasting bleaching result. 

Bleaching may be an effective method for getting rid of tooth stains, but what if you could learn the best method to prevent them in the first place? It’s simple. Just make sure you brush and floss daily, avoid excessive coffee, tea or tobacco intake and most importantly, visit us regularly for checkups.

Happy Smiling!

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