What is teeth whitening?
Today’s society is looking for beauty and some people want to improve their physical appearance to look good. A growing number of adults are turning to orthodontics to enhance the aesthetics of their smile and achieve a better masticatory function. People also want to get whiter teeth. Even if someone brushes their teeth two or three times a day and flosses once a day, these habits are unfortunately not enough to keep their teeth white.
Dental whitening therefore comes into play to restore radiance to a person’s smile.
Two types of whitening are offered:
- home bleaching with over-the-counter products;
- professional whitening in the dental office, sometimes including part of the treatment to be performed at home, under the supervision of the dentist.
In some cases, teeth whitening can make a noticeable difference to a person’s smile. In other cases, the results will be less important, depending on the nature of the stains on the teeth.
How does teeth whitening work?
The whitening agent acts on the surface of the tooth (enamel) and the dentine (located under the enamel).
It never reaches the pulp (inner part of the tooth) because it is not strong enough to have an effect on it.
The most frequently used products for tooth whitening are:
- hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide);
- carbamide peroxide;
- urea peroxide.
Supervision of teeth whitening is necessary
The effect of bleaching is directly proportional to the concentration of whitening product used; in theory, the higher the concentration, the more effective the product will be. In addition, a dentist must supervise a process of dental whitening when the concentration of the whitening agent exceeds a certain percentage. The duration of the treatment also depends on the color of the teeth and the origin of the coloring. For example, the darker the teeth, the longer it takes to whiten them.
The dentist remains the only specialist able to recommend the dosage of the whitening agent used.