Contrary to what you may believe, there are a number of tooth whitening treatments used nowadays. In this article we’ll take a look at how these different processes work, what your options are, and also at the safety of these treatments. Just as with all medical procedures, there are certain possible risks and side effects. Pregnant woman in particular are advised against going for tooth whitening during pregnancy, so shouldn’t this maybe apply to everyone?
Tooth whitening products do of course have an effect on tooth enamel, and of course tooth enamel is crucial for protecting the inner core of teeth against wear and tear. The reason why teeth become stained is because when we chew food, the enamel starts to erode, and this leads to the formation of micro-cracks in which debris tends to collect.
Additionally, ageing and tooth trauma can also result in stains occurring on the interior of a person’s teeth. These stains can however be successfully removed with tooth whitening treatments, but with that said, they are quite difficult to remove, and they will often require extended treatment times.
The active ingredient in practically all tooth whitening solutions will either be carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Basically, both these ingredients begin to break down when exposed to oxygen, and as a result, the stains to which they are applied will also begin to break down. When the solution is removed from the enamel, the stains can then be readily removed.
Generally speaking, there are three basic tooth whitening options to choose from. The first option is an “in office” procedure which takes approximately one hour. During the process, a concentrated peroxide gel is applied to the teeth and is then activated with a special blue light in order to speed up the oxidation process.
The at-home treatment uses a less concentrated gel that is placed in custom-fit trays that fit your teeth. This solution is left on for 30-60 minutes once a day. Over the counter treatments are the cheapest option and most readily available treatment.
These are easily found at any drug store and contain a much less potent solution. Typically, over the counter treatments are most effective when used after a professional whitening treatment for maintenance.
All whitening procedures carry similar risks and side effects. Tooth whitening is a safe procedure, but proper application and adherence to directions are important if you wish to achieve maximum results with the least amount of discomfort.
The most common side effects of tooth whitening are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. These conditions will subside soon after treatment is stopped.
Those who experience tooth sensitivity can use sensitivity toothpaste if they wish. Those who experience gum irritation may also notice redness along the edges of their gums, and this can be accompanied by a certain amount of discomfort.
Swallowing the peroxide gel can be harmful to your health if you swallow more than the amount used in a typical application. This is also why it’s necessary to keep such treatments out of the reach of children. With that said, you will not experience any negative effects if you happen to swallow a relatively small amount during treatment.
Damage to the tooth enamel is extremely rare, and in fact, it can be avoided altogether simply by following your dentist’s instructions. For example if the treatment is left on for longer than is needed, it can begin to erode the enamel, but fortunately this is something which can be fixed, simply by using remineralizing toothpaste.
To date, there are no records of permanent tooth damage being caused by any of the tooth whitening products or procedures.
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categories: Tooth Whitening,Teeth Whitening,Cosmetic Dentistry,Cosmetic dentist,Dentist,Health