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Teeth whitening is one of the most requested procedures at a dentist’s office. It is also the simplest way to amp up the aesthetics of your oral cavity. The whitening procedure involves professional cleaning and the use of agents that whiten the teeth along with stain removal.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry stated that a survey conducted in 2015 showed teeth whitening was the top asked cosmetic procedure by patients. In addition to this, a 2018 U.S. Census Data survey reflected that more than 40 million Americans purchased tooth whiteners. Because nobody likes to have discolored teeth and it can be a source of low self-esteem in a lot of people.

While there are multiple store-purchased options for whitening your teeth, the most effective method is the one that occurs in the dental chair.

Teeth Whitening And Types Of Stains

The stains that people have on their teeth are mostly of 2 types –

  • Extrinsic stains: These are stains present on the surfaces of teeth and are easily removable. Extrinsic stains usually occur due to food and drink that are colored, for example – red wine, tea, coffee, etc. Smokers also have extrinsic stains present on their teeth.
  • Intrinsic stains: These occur in the tooth structure’s interior. Intrinsic stains occur due to aging, injury to the tooth, or ingestion of certain medications. These can be a little difficult to get rid of, but a combination of professional treatments and take-home kits usually does the trick.

Dentists consider a certain degree of yellowing in the teeth to be normal, particularly if the amount of enamel deposition is less. When there is less enamel, the dentin layer underneath, which is a soft, spongy yellow material, is visible. The more enamel present on the tooth surface, the whiter it appears.

Teeth Whitening Options

Walk into a store and you’ll find a plethora of whitening options – toothpaste, oral rinses, strips, etc. These are relatively cheaper options but they aren’t as effective as getting your teeth whitened by a professional.

At the dentists’ office, you have two options for the same – professional methods and take-home kits. You will receive professional treatment on the dental chair by the dentist. The take-home kits consist of customized trays and whitening agents that you dispense on the tray and apply at home. The dentists design the trays taking impressions of your upper and lower jaws and sent to the lab. Your dentist will guide you on how to make the most of your take-home kits.

Teeth Whitening – Procedure And Risks

Teeth whitening

Getting your teeth whitened in a professional setting is relatively risk-free. Your dentist will examine your oral cavity. In case there are any cavities or evident gum disease, rrrrryour dentist will take care of these issues before starting the whitening. They might recommend a professional cleaning session before whitening. This also takes care of some of the extrinsic stains. Next, after using a cheek retractor, they will apply a protective layer on the gums to prevent them from any harm. They will then proceed with the whitening gel. You can cure the gel using UV light. Your dentist will repeat this process if they feel like it is required.

Common symptoms of teeth sensitivity

The most common symptom associated with post-whitening is sensitivity. Below are some ways to minimize the sensitivity your teeth experience.

  • Use lower concentrations of the teeth whitening agent.
  • Reduce the frequency of bleaching. You can use take-home kits over an extended period with enough breaks in between to prevent the teeth from experiencing hypersensitivity.
  • Use kinds of toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth. Ask your dentist to recommend a toothpaste that serves this function. Brush gently twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush to notice a reduction in tooth sensitivity.
  • Avoid foods and drink that are either too hot or too cold. Extreme temperatures penetrate the tooth easily and can cause flare-ups in tooth sensitivity.
  • Your dentist might also prescribe medication to help with the pain. Moreover, an addition of a protective sealant over the teeth by the dentist also helps in reducing any pain you might be experiencing.

Should I go for DIYs for teeth whitening?

Avoid DIYs when it comes to teeth whitening. Search the internet and one of the more famous DIY options to whiten your teeth is by using lemon. While it may seem pretty plausible, lemon does more harm to your teeth than good. The acid in lemons affects the enamel structure and causes erosion, rendering teeth even more sensitive and painful than before. Even consuming drinks that are too acidic (like lemonade) can mess with the tooth structure (lemonade teeth).

Why You Should Go For Professional Whitening

Teeth whitening

There are multiple reasons why we would suggest that you opt for an in-house treatment rather than depending on store-bought options.

  • Professional whitening sessions are much safer than the ones you get at your local store. The store-bought options have a higher chance of damaging your teeth and causing sensitivity. The whitening done in a professional environment is much more controlled and has a lower risk of causing any harm.
  • While it may sound like a professional whitening session might take an insane amount of time, the reality is that it is much quicker compared to the results it gives. A regular whitening session takes about 60-90 minutes on average.
  • Your dentist provides a tailored teeth whitening procedure as per your requirement. The dentist conducts thorough assessments before delving into the process. Your dentist will recommend you the treatment based on the condition of your oral cavity.
  • When you opt to whiten your teeth yourself, you might miss out on certain tooth surfaces especially if they’re hard to reach. With a professional, you can avoid this situation entirely and take care of teeth uniformity.
  • Professional whitening leaves you with a feeling of renewed self-confidence. Because when you look your best, you feel the same way.

If you’re looking to enhance your smile, or simply get an opinion, get in touch with us at MPLS Dental today. We’re available at 612-332-1255.