Some assume that the sole purpose of a smile makeover is to improve the appearance of a person’s smile, but the truth is that cosmetic dentistry can also improve one’s overall health. The mouth-body connection is very real, and when the teeth are healthy, there is a good chance the insides are too. How, exactly,…
Smile Makeover – Types of Teeth Whitening Procedures
Teeth whitening is a common smile makeover treatment for improving the appearance of stained or discolored teeth. Different factors can contribute to the color change, including aging, smoking and the intake of highly-pigmented drinks like coffee and red wine. Fortunately, teeth whitening procedures are available to remove the stains and contribute to a smile makeover.
Types of teeth whitening procedures
Patients who are considering a smile makeover with teeth whitening should review their options with the dentist before proceeding with any type of treatment. Only the dental professional can tell if the teeth and gums are in good shape to undergo whitening treatment. Some of the options include:
In-office teeth bleaching
This is the most effective form of teeth whitening. The dentist can safely apply a whitening gel with stronger concentration than those available in over-the-counter products, thus producing more drastic results. An over-the-counter whitening agent usually contains about 10 to 22 percent carbamide peroxide, equal to approximately three percent hydrogen peroxide. The agents used by dentists usually have between 15 to 43 percent hydrogen peroxide. They will also protect the rest of the oral cavity from exposure to the agents.
The whitening gels used by dentists also have a buffer that provides damage protection to the tooth enamel. Dentists can complete the whitening treatment in the office or provide a kit to use at home. The procedure yields result in about an hour of treatment, which cannot be said about other smile makeover options. For more drastic results, additional appointments may be necessary until the desired shade is achieved.
Teeth whitening toothpaste
Every toothpaste includes mild abrasives to clean surface stains from the teeth, which is why regular brushing is important. Whitening toothpaste is also available with unique polishing agents or chemicals for whitening the teeth. They do not exactly change the teeth’s color but remove surface stains. This means that several weeks may go by before noticing any change on the teeth. Only toothpaste with ADA’s seal of approval is safe to use.
Teeth whitening gels and strips
Teeth whitening gels and strips are peroxide-based products that are available over-the-counter. The gel is applied over the teeth with a small brush, although the instructions may vary depending on the strength of the peroxide used. It usually takes a few days to notice results and they will generally last for about four months.
Whitening strips work the same way. They are mainly clear strips covered in peroxide. Patients will apply the strips over their teeth every day for about 30 minutes at a time. This will continue for about two weeks. Results will be apparent within a few days and should last for about four months.
Teeth whitening treatment is a quick way to brighten your smile. When handled by the general dentist, the side effects are minimal and the results are far more drastic and last longer. When considering a smile makeover with teeth whitening, reach out to the dental office.
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