Common Questions About Teeth Whitening

What is the very first thing people often notice about you when they meet you? Your smile, of course! Since you never have a second chance to make a first impression, a whiter smile can help you make a lasting first impression and even help you feel better about yourself.

The problem, though, is that over the years your teeth become discolored. This is part of the natural aging process, as well as a function of what you eat and drink.

Today there are numerous teeth whitening procedures that can restore your teeth’s natural brilliance and the brightness of your smile. They range from professional techniques and products that can only be employed by a dental health professional to the most basic of teeth whitening products such as whitening toothpaste. The following questions and answers are intended to aid you in your understanding of teeth whitening, how it works, and what it can do for you.

Are all my teeth the same natural color to begin with?

No. Generally the teeth in the front of your mouth are the whitest, followed by the molars, and then the eye teeth. As a result of teeth whitening, all your teeth can achieve a uniform degree of whiteness.

What are the causes of teeth discoloration?

Usual reasons for teeth discoloration include aging, drinking beverages such as coffee, red wine, some sodas and tea, and smoking. Occasionally, taking certain antibiotics while your teeth are being formed will also lead to discoloration.

What ingredients are used as whitening agents?

Both carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are used as whitening or bleaching agents in the teeth whitening process. They work by oxidizing the stains on your teeth and lightening their color. If they are applied over a long enough period of time, they will also bleach the dentin under the tooth’s enamel, resulting in whiter teeth.

Does teeth whitening affect dentures?

No, teeth whitening only affects your real teeth. It will not whiten dentures or caps.

What are the best home teeth whitening products?

There are many home teeth whitening methods employing various over-the-counter products such as whitening toothpastes, whitening strips, and whitening trays. Without question, the best results are achieved with custom fitted bleaching trays. Whitening toothpastes are least effective, and whitening strips are somewhere in between in their effectiveness.

Is teeth whitening suitable for children?

No, teeth whitening is not recommended for anyone under the age of 16. It has been found that whitening before this age can lead to increased nerve sensitivity. Additionally, pregnant and nursing women are advised to avoid teeth whitening as well.

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