Whitening Your Teeth Safely at the Dentist
Beautiful, radiant white teeth inspire sympathy and increase your confidence. It is therefore not surprising that teeth whitening is popular. More and more people are choosing to whiten their teeth and molars a few shades. However, there are many questions about this subject. Is it safe at all? What methods are there? Is it effective and do your teeth stay white for so long?
Teeth mainly consist of dentine and enamel. The color and thickness of the dentine determine the color of the teeth. It can ultimately vary from person to person.
Over the years, your teeth can become discolored. In addition, there are also other reasons why teeth are or become darker. This is caused by:
- Dead tooth due to tooth decay or an accident
- Aging process
- Developmental disorders
- Medication use
To get radiant teeth, you can choose to whiten your teeth. There are two different methods: bleaching from the outside (external bleaching) and bleaching from the inside (internal bleaching).
After a root canal treatment, it is possible to bleach a dead tooth from the inside. This is done by putting a paste with bleach into the tooth, after which it is sealed with a temporary filling. After a few days, the tooth becomes lighter in color, you must monitor the progress yourself to prevent the tooth from becoming too white. It may sometimes be necessary to repeat this treatment a few times. When the desired result is achieved, the tooth is provided with a final filling.
Whitening your teeth from the outside is usually done if you suffer from slight discoloration. This can be done in several ways. You can choose to whiten your own teeth or you can have yourself treated by a dentist.
Teeth whitening by dentist
During the whitening treatment, the dentist first starts by protecting the gums from the high concentration of peroxide that is used. The dentist does this by means of a special gum protector (a special gel or a special rubber, this is also called optragate). After the gum protector is applied, whitening gel is applied to the teeth. This gel should take effect, this may take a while.
To speed up the process, the dentist uses a bleach lamp or in some cases a laser. It may be that a small amount of peroxide can end up on the gums. This can cause white burn spots, which can disappear within a few hours.
Bleaching at home
You can also consider whitening your own teeth at home under the guidance of the dentist. The dentist will first make an dental impression of your teeth, after which a dental technician will make a so-called whitening spoon. See picture below:
When the dental technician is done with this, you will receive the whitening spoon, the whitening gel (carbamyde peroxide) and instructions. To achieve a good result, you need to hold the bleaching spoon three to six hours a day. You can do this at any time. Even when you sleep you can use this bleaching spoon. After about one to four works, there is gradually showing results. If the teeth are still severely discolored, the treatment must be repeated to achieve the result.
It is very important not to do the following during bleaching treatment, as they can affect the bleaching process:
- Eating foods containing dyes, such as fruit jam.
- Drink coffee, tea, carbonated soft drinks, citrus juice, or wine.
Note: always get advice from a dentist before you start whitening your teeth at home. There are products on the market with too high concentrations of peroxide, which can damage your teeth.
Tip: If you choose to whiten your teeth, always talk to a dentist first. He can determine whether your teeth are healthy and can indicate what result can be achieved. Fillings, veneers, crowns and bridges cannot be bleached!
The result of a whitening treatment can differ per person, because the whiteness of the teeth depends on the original color of the teeth.
If you keep good oral hygiene and a healthy diet, your teeth will remain white for a few years after the treatment. It is also possible that the teeth will start to discolour again as a result of growth of the dentine, smoking a lot and / or drinking a lot of coffee, tea or wine. You can still choose to whiten your teeth again.
Cost of teeth whitening at dentist’s office
The costs can vary a lot, the average cost of in-office teeth whitening is $ 650, although it can climb to $ 1,000 or more, depending on the type of product used and how much your dentist charges. In many cases, in-office teeth whitening pays off.
Image by: authoritydental.org