Tooth Whitening

tooth whiteningHow do you feel when you come across a person having pale or yellow teeth? Don’t you feel a little put off? Teeth are an aesthetic asset of a person apart from being essential for eating, and speaking. Discoloration of teeth mars your smile, a very essential social requirement in developed countries. Humans, particularly females have since ancient times have been very particular about keeping their teeth white and shining. Various techniques have been adopted, starting from rubbing with a slender green stick, rubbing with the special tree bark, powders of charcoal, alum, and various other common substances. Modern practice revolves around basic hygiene-brushing, flossing, and rinsing- along with over the counter whitening and in most cases, professional whitening.

Avoid discoloring of your teeth

Teeth can be whitened, but it is best to avoid their discoloration. Teeth can get discolored due to many reasons, some beyond your control. Lack of oral hygiene is one important factor which can cause teeth to discolor. Teeth must be brushed at least twice a day, and for at least two minutes each time. Make sure to brush all teeth, inside and outside, without missing out any teeth. Certain drinks like coffee, tea, and alcohol can discolor your teeth. Avoid or minimize their consumption. The same can be said about sports drinks. If you are going to drink, use a straw to minimize contact with the teeth. Certain food items like, berries tomato sauce and hard candy have the same effect. If possible, rinse your teeth vigorously after consumption of any of these. Another important reason for discoloration of teeth is smoking or chewing of tobacco or beetle nut (common in certain Asian countries). In addition to discoloration of teeth this can also affect your chest and throat seriously. Certain medicines can also cause a discoloration of teeth. And finally, acid reflux can affect the color of your teeth over time.

Modern tooth whitening options

Tooth whitening is possible via bleaching and non-bleaching means. Non bleaching options use physical (abrasive) or chemical action to whiten teeth. All tooth pastes have a certain amount of abrasive for removing surface stains, but those categorized as whitening tooth pastes have special chemicals and additional abrasives.

Bleaching processes can be for use at home or in the dental office. Usually carbamide per oxide 10 to 22 % or hydrogen per oxide are the bleaching agents.

  • DIY, or At-home Whitening products are available over the counter (OTC). These are cheaper. The ‘trays’ with the chemical are to be worn over the teeth for a few hours every day for a few days. Trays may be bought from the market selecting a size which nearly fits, or custom trays can be made by your dentist which will fit perfectly.
  • Professional whitening at the clinic is worth the extra cost. Usually a stronger chemical is used which will do the whitening in about an hour in a single visit. The dentist will protect the gums before the bleaching agent is applied.

Post whitening care

In office whitening can give 6 to 7 shades improvement in one sitting. In all cases teeth will ultimately get discolored if the cause of discoloring remains. In such cases, whitening will need to be repeated. Sometimes, sensitivity may be felt after the whitening process, and anti-sensitivity treatment may be given by the dentist.
This tooth whitening information was written by a dentist. You should always consult your own dental provider when making decisions about your dental health. Find a dental provider in the United States at and get your dental needs at a discounted rate.

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