Teeth Whitening: 5 Things to Know Before Whitening Those Pearls
Teeth whitening is achieved by applying a peroxide-based gel to your teeth through various different processes. The most popular, effective and safe way is to wear a whitening tray containing the peroxide gel that will effectively change the colour of your teeth.
The whitening gel has a specific ingredient in it that opens up the enamel pores, allowing peroxide to seep into the dentine of your teeth. Dentine is the most important part of this process, as this is what will change the colour of your teeth.
The peroxide then breaks away the yellow layer of the dentine to expose the natural colour of your teeth. This is done over a series of sessions to have a lasting effect.
It is estimated that around 66% of people that whiten their teeth experience sensitivity during or after the dental treatment. The level of sensitivity can vary in intensity and duration; as we are all different, the process may affect different patients in different ways.
Sensitivity is caused by the process. The gel takes away the molecules in your teeth that causes discolouration. Unfortunately, this also means that some essential minerals will be lost for a short period of time and this is what causes sensitivity. Generally, the sensitivity will gradually subside as time goes by.
Whitening Sessions Required
The number of teeth whitening sessions required for the treatment to be a success varies, generally a 2-week cycle should be enough to achieve noticeable result but it may vary on the individual as everyone’s perception of white may be different.
The result of the teeth whitening process is reliant on the natural colour of your dentine, this is usually off white or a little grey looking.
Unfortunately, some people do not have naturally gleaming white teeth. Your dentist cannot guarantee that you will finish your whitening treatment with pearly whites, as very few people have perfectly white dentine. The colour of your dentine will be the colour of your teeth after this process.
There are a lot of cheap and fast whitening processes coming onto the market, found in supermarkets and pharmacy stores.
A trustworthy whitening process takes time, so you will most likely need more than one session that the supermarket-bought whitening suggests. Fast and cheap processes can be very dangerous to your oral health and are not advised. Also, if you have any underlying problems, whitening your teeth may make it worse.
To avoid serious long-term implications, visit your dentist for a proper consultation. During your consultation, your dentist will talk through the process and find the best whitening solution suits the condition of your teeth.
If you fall into one of these categories, you might not be able to get your teeth whitened:
– You have sensitive teeth already
– You’re pregnant
– You have cavities (developed or early)
– You have a visible crown or fillings
– You have receding or sensitive gums
– You think you might be sensitive/allergic to hydrogen peroxide