Dental discoloration is a natural condition that befalls us in some way or the other even if proper dental care is taken. Owing to various reasons- be it the quality of water, ageing, environmental factors or type of food- teeth can become discolored. The natural shine is only a transient state but thanks to advances in dental sciences, it can now be replenished. These methods have no side effects and hence can be used safely. But not all cosmetic products can be trusted. They come with instantaneous solutions but might affect overall oral health.
A common misinterpretation is that people assume bleaching and whitening to be the same. There is a thin line between them and so you should treat them as two different processes.
According to the FDA definition, whitening implies any kind of product that eradicates debris from the teeth. Bleaching comes with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Hence the effects are different in case of whitening and bleaching. In case of bleaching, a lighter shade of the teeth might be observed owing to oxidation which reacts chemically with the stains.
The following people should not opt for such methods:
- Patients having fabrications:
Dental crowns or dental bonding do not react to such agents. So for any whitening method to work, they will have to opt for replacements in the fabrication itself.
- Patients with gray discolorations:
Gray discolorations are a consequence of dead tooth. These are intrinsic stains which cannot be removed by general whitening methods.
- Patients with extreme sensitivity:
Such cases might be worsened by whitening.
- Patients with TMD:
Patients suffering from Temporomandibular joint disorder will not be able to use the traditional whitening methods.
Different types of whitening:
The different types of whitening at your disposal are:
- Over the counter methods:
- Toothpastes: Has limited scope as it can only help your teeth by getting it one shade lighter.
- Gels: The strength of the gel needs to be decided depending on the discoloration.
- Rinses: Rinses contain peroxides but then they are in contact with the teeth for a very short span of time.
- Whitening trays: Over the counter trays might not fit in properly. Custom-make it to obtain better results.
- Strips: These are coated in peroxides. They are directly attached to the front of the teeth. The strips will work their magic for around 4 months.
2.Home care methods:
Home care methods require medical supervision but then they produce excellent results. To avail custom-made whitening trays, one should opt for this method. It is suited for people with high gum sensitivity because of the low amount of peroxide concentration. The dentist will prescribe the amount of time these trays need to be worn. Overnight whitening is also one of the options available.
- In office whitening methods:
This is where the advanced forms of technology are used effectively. Laser technology might be applied for the required results, and the gel used will have a strong concentration of peroxide. The laser will initiate the activation of the gel and oxygen will react with the teeth to create a lighter shade.
As prescribed, a lot of permutations of both home care and in office whitening methods are available.