How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening has no effect on the health of your teeth, so even if someone has pearly whites, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have good dental hygiene. However, the main benefit of teeth whitening lies in the psychological realm – it results in whiter teeth and a brighter smile. This can make people feel good about themselves and be more confident, which is especially important in our selfie taking world.
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There are two different kinds of teeth whitening:
- Bleaching – This changes the color of your tooth enamel and will remove any stains on your teeth and change it back to pearly white. You can either do this at the dentist’s office, or buy a kit that you can use at home. At the dentist’s office, an average visit will take another an hour. There will usually be a combination of a laser or light to speed up the bleaching process. The concentration of the materials used in the dentist’s office tend to be stronger than those that you would use at home. Your dentist may also give you a kit with a mouthpiece and a cream or a gel that has the bleach in it. Sometimes there may be strips that you lay across your teeth for a specified amount of time. Be careful though, as this is still a chemical procedure, so follow the instructions on the package, or as your dentist instructs. The main chemical involved is carbamide peroxide. Different products use different percentages of this chemical along with other chemicals that may have a wide variety of effects.
- Whitening toothpaste/scraping – this is often used in the form of toothpaste and may take a longer time than bleaching your teeth. There is possible damage to your enamel if you scrape too hard, or effects to your gums if you have a hard toothbrush. However, this is a much gentler way to clean your teeth.
Ask your dentist about potential side effects of the teeth whitening in San Diego. Some common side effects include sensitivity of teeth or gums during bleaching process. This usually goes away with a few days at most. Bleaching may not work as well for teeth that are extremely dark, or for those who often smoke tobacco and drink large amounts of dark liquids, such as coffee, tea or soda.