In-office teeth whitening
At-home teeth whitening
Teeth whitening is easily one of the best known and most-loved dental procedures. Whether you just want to brighten your smile or need to look your best for a special event, teeth whitening will get your smile shiny and new in no time.
Why Do People Need Teeth Whitening
The answer is fairly obvious — to get their teeth a lighter shade of color than they are now. But why do teeth discolor in the first place?
Over time the enamel of your teeth picks up particles that discolors them from white, to yellow, and even black. This will happen no matter how well you look after your teeth — healthy teeth are actually naturally off-white.
Dietary and lifestyle choices can make this much worse, however. Tea, coffee, and red wine are notorious for increasing the speed at which teeth discolor. Smoking likewise stains teeth yellow fairly noticeably.
Disease will also discolor teeth. Black teeth are typically a sign of disease and bacterial infections rather than just typical staining.
Types of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening comes in many shapes and forms. There are two broad categories — in-chair, also known as in-office, and take home whitening.
In-chair whitening takes place at the dental practice. A session usually lasts an hour or so, and achieves noticeable results very quickly. There are multiple in-chair whitening systems that use different technologies, from plain bleaching, to light-activated whitening, and even laser whitening.
Take-home whitening is made out of kits with two parts — a mould of your teeth, and a whitening gel. You use a mouthguard like instrument to make a mould of your teeth, put gel in the mould, and then bite down on it for about an hour or so a day.
Take-home whitening kits can be bought over the counter at any pharmacy. You can also get them from the dental practice. These will have better tooth moulds for a better grip and more effective results.
Both take-home and in-chair whitening can achieve the same results. The primary difference is how long it takes to achieve them.
Benefits of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a purely cosmetic procedure with no actual health benefits. It’s simply intended to change the color of your teeth, which for many people boosts their confidence and self-esteem. If there’s an underlying medical reason for the teeth being discolored, this should be addressed before getting teeth whitening.