All of us have found ourselves wishing, at least once, for those beautiful white teeth that are so common with all the celebrities. Every now and then, there is a tooth whitening paste advertisement aired on the television. Soon after, many people change to that particular toothpaste. And yet, after months of using it, people don’t achieve any results. Their teeth are nowhere close to the teeth shown in that toothpaste advertisement. But, it is important for people to note that toothpastes usually contain small particles of silica, aluminum oxide, calcium carbonate or calcium phosphate which helps rid the teeth of stains formed due to colored molecules from the food. The toothpaste does not work as a whitening agent on the actual color of the teeth.
Usually, the discoloring of the teeth happens over a period of time. The main causes are bacterial pigments, food-goods and vegetables rich in carotenoids or xanthonoids. Even some anti-bacterial medication can cause teeth stains or result in the diminished brilliance of the enamel. It is thus advised to steer clear of colored liquids like coffee, tea, cola or even red wine. Other causes may include tobacco, cigarette and enamel hypoplasia.
Since tooth stains are an inevitable ordeal for everyone’s smile, dental bleaching, also called swabbing, is one of the most sought after procedure in the field of cosmetic dentistry. This method involves the use of carbamide peroxide which reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide. At times, hydrogen peroxide is also used directly. The peroxide oxidizing agent penetrates the porosities in the rod-like structure of the enamel and bleaches stain deposits in the dentin.
Another method to accelerate the process of bleaching is through light-accelerated bleaching. This process involves isolation of soft-tissue with a resin-based, light-curable barrier, then the application of a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel and exposure to a light source for 6 to 15 minutes. Different types of energy sources can be used for this treatment, such as halogen light, LED or plasma arc. Due to the recent advance in technology, this treatment takes about 30 minutes to one hour. And, it can be done in a single visit to the dentist.
Before going for such treatments it is recommended to have the teeth examined by a dentist. The examination should involve an inquiry into health and dental history of the patient and the dentist should observe hard and soft tissues and the placement and conditions of restorations.
Although bleaching is an instant whitening treatment, it also has its limitations and side-effects. The side-effects may include chemical burns from gel bleaching sensitive teeth, over bleaching which is called the ‘bleached effect’, pain for ‘sensitive teeth’ caused by dentinal tubules, increased risk of hot/cold sensitivity and also a risk of bleachorexia (unhealthy obsession with whitening one’s teeth).
Bleaching is not recommended if the teeth have decay or infected gums. It is also advised that a person who is sensitive to hydrogen peroxide should not try bleaching before consulting the dentist. Bleaching does not work in cases where bonding has been used and is also ineffective on tooth-color filling. It is not advised for children under the age of 16 or in case of pregnant or lactating women. Bleaching is most effective with yellow discolored teeth.
Source by Prachetas Nair