What is Teeth Whitening? What are the types?
Teeth whitening is one of the cosmetic dentistry treatments applied to visually improve people’s teeth. Due to various reasons, teeth lose their white color and partial or complete discoloration develops. This process can be performed professionally by dentists or with home whitening methods. Although this method, applied cosmetically, is considered safe, it may also have risks due to the corrosive effects of the substances used. At the same time, it may not be applicable to everyone as its effects will vary from person to person.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening allows the teeth to regain their white color that has faded over time. The whitening level varies depending on the structure of the tooth and the substances applied. Teeth whitening is an optional procedure and depends on the person’s wishes. Chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide are often used as whitening products, whether professional or not. However, the amount of these chemicals varies among products. These substances, called bleach, are absorbed through the enamel layer of the tooth and reach the dentin, which is slightly softer than the enamel, and lighten dark colors.
Why Do Teeth Lose Their Whiteness?
Dark spots may appear on tooth enamel for various reasons. These stains can develop inside or outside the tooth enamel. Stains inside the tooth enamel are called internal stains. Intrinsic staining can sometimes occur during childhood, before the teeth emerge from the gums. Additionally, stains may be due to antibiotic use, high levels of fluoride exposure, and thinning of tooth enamel due to aging. External stains are outside the tooth. These occur due to environmental exposure to discoloration of tooth enamel. Teeth losing their whiteness from the outside can be caused by many reasons. Consuming certain foods and beverages, especially coffee and tea, using tobacco, aging, and the use of certain medications such as antihistamines and chemotherapy are effective.
What are the Types of Teeth Whitening?
Although professional solutions are offered by dentists to whiten teeth, people may want to whiten non-serious stains themselves. Whitening results will not be fully visible until approximately two weeks after whitening.
Whitening products are available in the form of whitening toothpaste and mouthwash. Whitening products may contain carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. However, these substances are not as concentrated as in professional whitening applications. At the same time, fluoride may be added to minimize the damage to the teeth.
At Home Teeth Whitening Kits
At-home whitening kits are available in gel or paste form. These products contain fewer chemicals than professional ones. Therefore, whiteness can be achieved with more applications. However, these products are not as long-term effective as dentist applications.
Professional Teeth Whitening
The chemicals applied by dentists contain high amounts of carbamide and hydrogen peroxide. Applied by a professional dentist, these chemicals are used for a quick and longer-lasting effect. Professional teeth whitening may require several sessions depending on the amount of stains. Professional teeth whitening involves rinsing the teeth with a strong hydrogen peroxide solution for 20 to 30 minutes. After some applications, laser application can be applied on the chemical to increase permanence.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Teeth whitening can be considered safe when applied correctly. It is a procedure that is considered safe when performed by a professional dentist and recommendations are followed. The most common condition after the procedures is sensitivity. Whitening sensitivity does not last more than a day or two, but in some cases it can last up to a month. But commonly reported risks with teeth whitening include increased tooth sensitivity and mild gum irritation. The degree of these side effects is directly related to the concentration of the peroxide bleaching ingredient, the duration of treatment and the non-bleaching composition of the product used. Tooth sensitivity usually occurs during treatment and may last for several days; Gum irritation begins within a day after treatment and may last for several days.
What are the Side Effects of Teeth Whitening?
The most common side effect of teeth whitening procedures is temporary tooth sensitivity. Hydrogen peroxide used in whitening products is one of the biggest causes of this sensitivity. When teeth are whitened, the gums should be protected during treatment to reduce side effects. However, when consuming hot and cold products, there may be sensitivity in the form of tingling in the teeth. Some abrasives can damage tooth enamel if used too frequently or for long periods of time. Side effects subside within 48 hours after the procedure. However, in rare cases, if symptoms persist or become more severe, a dentist should be contacted.
Are Natural Teeth Whitening Methods Harmful?
Natural teeth whitening methods have not been confirmed to be safe for individuals. Natural products used to whiten teeth can cause serious gum irritation. It can also cause tooth enamel to gradually weaken and wear away. When this essential protective layer is gone, teeth are bound to be more vulnerable to cavities and more susceptible to staining in the future. Many homemade teeth whitening agents can only lighten teeth one or two shades. However, if tooth enamel is stripped as a result of incorrect application, tooth staining may increase and serious oral problems may occur.
How Long Does the Teeth Whitening Effect Last?
Whitening effects are temporary and can last from a few months to 3 years. If a person chooses to have their teeth professionally whitened at the dentist’s office, the results can last up to a year or even longer with proper care. Regularly using dark colored products such as coffee, tea or tobacco may cause the teeth to turn yellow again in a shorter time. The same goes for very colorful or acidic foods, such as fruit or tomato sauce. Teeth should be brushed and cared for regularly during the day. For the longest result, the dentist’s recommendations should be followed.
Can Anyone Have Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is suitable for most adults. However, some special situations may restrict the security of this process. Especially pregnancy and breastfeeding require that chemicals used for whitening should not be used. Apart from this, people with sensitive teeth and gums and cracked teeth are not suitable for teeth whitening. At the same time, the whitening process cannot whiten fillings and crowns. The dentist should decide whether the person is suitable for teeth whitening and precautions should be taken when necessary.
Is the Effect of Teeth Whitening the Same for Everyone?
The results of the teeth whitening process depend on the person’s dental characteristics. However, the amount of chemicals used during professional teeth whitening and the number of sessions can be changed. The goal is to achieve the whitest teeth possible for each tooth. However, at this point, the aim is not to harm teeth and health. At the same time, a person’s lifestyle may affect the permanence of whitening effects in the short term. However, getting the maximum effect may not be possible with home whitening procedures. Maximum whiteness can be achieved by drawing a personalized plan with the service provided by dentists. In rare cases, results may not be achieved because whitening agents cannot penetrate the person’s teeth.
It is important for people who are not satisfied with the color of their teeth to consult a dentist to determine whether they are suitable for teeth whitening. Otherwise, undesirable side effects may occur.