Tooth Whitening: Why You Need It0June 1st, 2010Articles
Tooth bleaching or “tooth whitening” has been one of the most searched dental procedures on the internet. Almost every local dentist offers the procedure, and now, more and more “at-home” do-it-yourself tooth whitening products are sprouting, offering a cost-efficient alternative against going to the dentist for a clinical whitening treatment.
A majority of people, though even in constant care of their teeth, are prone to discolorations caused by a variety of factors, most of the time being hereditary. But aside of being hereditary, most of the time, it is the fault of the person on why his/her teeth are yellow. Some contributing factors to yellowish teeth are:
1. Negligent/improper oral hygiene – brushing your tooth once a day isn’t enough to rid your teeth of yellow enamel. Person with white teeth, over time, will face the burden of yellowing teeth because of negligent brushing and flossing. Bacteria build up on the plaque, sometimes worsening the situation from the color to brittleness, and soon enough gum infections.
2. Smoking – though a narrowing issue in the 21st century, smokers have significantly reduced from the 60’s to the modern era. If you notice people in their 40’s, a lot of them have yellow teeth. The smoking revolution started in the 1960’s and has continued to purge a lot of teeth of their health. Smoking has profoundly deadly effects on the body, not just on the teeth.
3. Tea, coffee and other drinks with artificial coloring – though very superficial to be noticed as the cause of yellow teeth, these drinks “stain” teeth over time. It is important to brush your teeth when drinking colored fluids to ensure that nothing clings on.
For some reason, brushing alone will not make your teeth whiter. Regular measures like dental whitening products will do the job of restoring your tooth’s former luster. Of course, superficial whitening is not enough; it is important to pair white teeth with good oral hygiene to prevent the yellowish tint from coming back. Consulting a dentist before applying whitening products is imperative to avoid any future complications or allergic reactions to the ingredients of the whitening compound.
Tooth bleaching and tooth whitening are two very different procedures. Tooth bleaching means applying products on the teeth that contain bleaching compounds, such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. So bleaching basically doesn’t clean the teeth, it simply “bleaches” them to make the teeth appear whiter, without taking into consideration the accumulated bacteria and stains on the natural surface of the teeth. Tooth whitening, on the other hand, is the process of removing dirt and debris from teeth, giving it a natural white afterwards. Whitening products are often recommended by dentists, because they only contain compounds that clean the teeth. One good example of whitening products is whitening toothpastes such as the all-familiar Colgate. Other whitening toothpastes offer a faster and more reliable cleaning power, with the added tag price of course.
There are some disadvantages to tooth whitening. These include discomfort felt because of the rapidly changing surface of the tooth, which can cause all sorts of sensitivity attacks. Discolorations on the surface of the teeth are a possibility if the person who applied the whitening agent did not thoroughly apply it on every tooth.
It is important that one consults whitening experts such as cosmetic dentists before applying tooth whitening systems.