I guess it is not important if we choose to talk about Tooth Whitening or Teeth Whitening. Most of the time we mean the same thing, we talk about making our teeth whiter. As a good start it is advised that before using any whitening procedure you should first be evaluated by an oral health care professional to determine which application and program are best for you.
Why do our teeth have stains and discolorations? Well, most stains are caused by age, tobacco, coffee, or tea. Other types of stains can be caused by antibiotics and even too much fluoride.
There are good treatments now for stained teeth. A number of over-the-counter whitening systems, whitening toothpastes, and the latest high-tech option which is laser tooth whitening. By the way, for maximum whitening, experts agree that peroxide is usually the way to go.
A supervised bleaching procedure that is performed in office and at home have become among the most popular treatment options. Sometimes the procedure is performed entirely in the office, using a light or heat source to speed up the bleaching process. But in other cases, an oral health care professional gets the procedure started during an office visit and then gives you what you need to complete it at home. There are also a popular procedure where you do it entirely at home.
The procedures at home is sometimes called night guard vital bleaching, consist of placing a bleaching solution, usually a peroxide mixture, in a tray or “night guard” that has been custom fitted for your mouth by an oral health care professional. The bleaching solution is then worn throughout the night. An oral health care professional can advise you on the appropriate type of application. He or she can also advise on the length of time needed to whiten your teeth, based on the severity of tooth discoloration and your specific needs.
The bleaching is effective in lightning most stains caused by age, tobacco, coffee, and tea and based on clinical studies 95 percent of patients with these kinds of stains experience some lightening effect. With other types of stains, such as those produced by tetracycline use or fluorosis respond to bleaching less reliably and the bleaching systems are not fully predictable. Also notice that if you have a tooth color filling, the filling will stay yellow and will not be affected when tooth whitener is applied.
Side effects to tooth bleaching? Well, patients have experienced uncomfortable short-term side effects when having teeth bleached like increased temperature sensitivity in the teeth. Another side effect when night guards are used is that it often cause gum irritation.
An overzealous use of over-the-counter home bleaching products can wear away tooth enamel, especially with solutions that contain acid. So to be sure, perform the bleaching procedure under the care of an oral health care professional. The general health risks of bleaching systems are minimal as far as your body is concerned.
Bleaching kits for use at home is the most popular and common whitening option. These kits range in price from $300 to $500. There is also bonding, a composite resin that is molded onto the teeth to change their color and to reshape them. The material can stain and chip over time and bonding can usually be done in one office visit for $300-$700 per tooth.
Do remember the whitening toothpastes. Some whitening toothpastes can effectively keep the teeth cleaner and, therefore, looking whiter, the are more abrasive than others. Stronger toothpastes rely on abrasion to remove external stains as opposed to actually changing the color of teeth. Study the ingredients of the products and look at your teeth to see if it changes their color, and of course, consult your oral health care professional for customized advice.