Demystifying Teeth Whitening Treatments
Many cultures around the world have high regard for a bright, white set of teeth. People with whiter smiles are highly perceived in social settings where they are seen as being healthy, prosperous and even trustworthy. This high regard for a radiant smile forced some people to explore questionable, dangerous and sometimes even disgusting techniques to try and brighten their teeth. For instance, the ancient Egyptians used acidic stonewash applied with twigs while the ancient romans blended goat milk and stale urine to act as the whitening agent.
As the world modernized, better methods to whiten teeth were developed. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, dentistry experienced a great shift and professionals actively looked for better techniques to improve dental health. At the time, hydrogen peroxide was used to treat gum disease and dentists observed that when left on the surface of the teeth for longer periods, it treated the gums and whitened teeth too. This discovery led to massive advertisement of teeth whitening treatments. Over the years, the procedure has gained so much popularity and is one of the highly sought after dental cosmetic procedures.
Defining Teeth Whitening
At Jackson Square Dental Centre, we consider teeth whitening to be a cosmetic dental procedure. It describes any process that seeks to improve the color or shade of your teeth without interfering with the structure of the tooth. Stained or discolored teeth do not necessarily reflect on the state of your oral health and thus why the procedure is often optional. However, patients that have undergone teeth whitening in Hamilton, Ontario report positive effects after the procedure. Their confidence improves and they feel much better about themselves.
Patients can choose to use over the counter treatments or professional teeth whitening treatments. Dentists often insist on in-office treatments as they are more effective at tackling the cause of staining or discoloration. Over the counter treatments are general and contain a low concentration of the teeth bleaching agent to ensure safety. However, with professional whitening, your dentist is able to customize a treatment plan based in the severity of staining while also taking into account safety measures.
Does Treatment Guarantee A Perfect White Smile?
Whitening your teeth does not guarantee you a pearly white smile. The end results are determined by a variety of factors such the type and severity of staining, enamel thickness, age and the whitening technique used. While most patients do not achieve a perfectly white smile, the treatment is able to lighten your teeth by several shades for a much brighter smile.
You also need to keep in mind that getting your teeth whitened does not make them resistant to stain and discoloration once again. Factors such as lifestyle habits and ageing contribute to staining and as long as you still encounter them, your teeth will likely stain again in future. However, to ensure that your smile stays whiter for long, adjust your lifestyle by limiting intake of staining foods like wine, quit smoking and maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Like with any other medical procedure, there are some risks associated with teeth whitening procedures. They include sensitivity, gum irritation and in rare cases, nerve damage. This however should not scare you out of getting your smile whitened. To ensure safety, seek a well trained and experienced teeth whitening dentist. it also important to have a dental exam prior to the procedure to ensure your mouth is healthy enough. In case there are any issues, your dentist may advice to have them corrected before you can have your teeth whitened.
A dental exam will also allow your dentist provide a custom treatment plan. The technique used and bleaching agents can be tailored for your safety and convenience as in the case of teeth whitening for sensitive teeth.
Teeth whitening is truly a simple yet effective way of improving your smile. Nonetheless, it is not instant magic and you cannot expect stains that have built up overtime to be removed in a click. You need to be patient and observe all your dental appointments while also taming your expectations.