Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure used in standard dentistry to make the teeth look whiter and brighter. With reference to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, whitening is used for the restoration of the natural color of the teeth; while bleaching is used to achieve whitening better than the natural color.
The need for whitening/bleaching may arise due to teeth stains from red wine, tea, coffee, tobacco, drug reaction etc.
What are my Teeth whitening options.
Teeth whitening can be done either in the dentist’s office, or at home using the several do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening kits available in the market today. Your dentist will come up with an appropriate recommendation on which solution is suitable for you based on the degree and type of stain on your teeth. For instance, discoloration from red wine may only require getting a DIY whitening kit for use at home, while stains caused by tetracycline would require an extensive bleaching procedure in a dentist’s office.
Patients with heavier stains from drugs such as tetracycline are normally handled in a dentist’s office. A shielding cream is first rubbed over the gums and surrounding soft tissues before the bleaching gel is applied to the teeth. Laser can then be used to speed up the bleaching process. This type of treatment requires several dental visits before completion.
If your teeth stain is not heavy, your dentist may advise you get a whitening kit for use at home. The length of time a home whitening takes depends on the type of result you want. Though it can take up to 15 treatments to get your desired result, whitening kits are cheaper than office treatments.
Home treatment kits usually contain 10% carbamide peroxide solution and a specially made mouth guard, which enables the solution to stay in contact with the teeth enamel. You can maintain the achieved whiteness by repeating the procedure once or twice yearly.