Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that helps remove stains from the surface of the teeth. The stains are usually caused by consuming colored foods and beverages, smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, etc. Over time, these stains tend to spread on the teeth as they do not go away even with regular brushing and flossing.
A professional whitening procedure is carried out by a dentist or a dental hygienist. A suitable whitening gel that contains hydrogen peroxide is selected based on the severity of staining and will be applied to the teeth and spread evenly over them. The gel would be kept in contact with the tooth surface for a few minutes before removing the gel. The procedure can be repeated multiple times to achieve the desired brightness.
The use of a blue light activates the whitening agent molecules, which release oxygen molecules in contact with the tooth surface. When this happens, the particles that cause staining are removed from the surface of teeth and also from the porous structure of teeth. The procedure is painless and safe as it is carried out under optimum control using dental-grade whitening agents and blue light.
Teeth whitening can also be performed at home using a custom-fabricated tray and whitening gel. The tray will have to be used on a daily basis for a few weeks or months to get whiter teeth. When performing at-home whitening, it is essential to get instructions from the dentist about how to use whitening gel and trays correctly. If you do not do so, it could lead to tooth sensitivity or permanent enamel damage.
How long do results last?
The results of professional whitening usually last for more than a year, provided you maintain good oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing should be practiced twice every day to keep oral microbes away from the teeth surfaces and remove plaque deposits on them. Professional cleaning should also be done once every six months to get rid of any tartar deposits that could lead to tooth decay or cavities.
At-home whitening results may not last for long as they do not have any effect on microbes lodged in deeper cavities or under tooth-colored fillings. Hence, it is necessary that you regularly brush your teeth with an ADA-compliant toothpaste to get good results from at-home whitening.
To learn more, visit us at Helena, MT or call us at (406) 443-6160 to schedule an appointment with the dentist and we will be happy to help.