Tooth discolouration is the result of the combined effects of the yellowing of dentin with exposure to food and drinks that stain. If you are interested in finding out how does teeth whitening work, remember that professional teeth whitening treatments are the only way to whiten and brighten your smile.
What Causes Tooth Discolouration?
A lifetime of drinking coffee, caffeinated soft drinks or using tobacco products can cause your teeth to turn yellow. These kinds of stains develop on the outside of your teeth and are called extrinsic stains.
On top of this, the dentin inside our teeth also starts to discolour as we get older but because this is contained below the dental enamel it is impossible to remove without professional teeth whitening treatment. Professional dental cleaning can sometimes get rid of extrinsic stains but it is not effective against intrinsic staining.
So How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
In order to safely and effectively bleach the teeth, your whitening products need to penetrate the dental enamel – but they also need to add a level of protection so that your enamel is not damaged in the process.
Your dentist is authorised to administer whitening treatments that contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide, which you would not be able to purchase over the counter or from a pharmacy. These professional grade products can be used in the dentist’s chair, under the supervision of your dentist, or in the comfort of your home. If you opt for a take-home whitening kit, you will be given a lower strength bleaching agent and the whitening process will take longer to achieve your desired result.
The Pre-whitening Consultation
You will have a pre-whitening consultation with your dentist where you will discuss your whitening expectations and budget. Your dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and gums, to make sure teeth whitening is a safe option for you. He or she will also clean your teeth professionally to remove all traces of plaque and tartar, to provide an even surface for teeth whitening. Your dentist will make recommendations on the most appropriate treatment for you.
What To Expect From In-chair Whitening
If your dentist does whitening treatments, you could be done within your lunch hour. After protecting your soft tissue against the bleach, your dentist will paint a thin layer of the bleach into each tooth and leave it on for the recommended period of time. If necessary, he or she may apply a second layer of bleaching agent. It’s ideal for patients who want a whiter smile for a specific date or occasion.
What To Expect From At-home Whitening
If you are in less of a hurry and want to do the whitening treatment yourself your dentist will give you custom-made trays for your mouth and teeth. You will also be given a lower strength bleaching agent, which you will dispense into each section of the tray. Your dentist will tell you how long to wear the trays for.
Do you have questions about how does teeth whitening work? Please contact us for a confidential appointment: (02) 9181 3668.