A lot of people have the opinion that a whiter smile makes for a more successful person. NPR reports that the cosmetic tooth bleaching industry is worth around $3.2 billion currently. It’s understandable why people would feel that way. Whiter teeth make for a more youthful smile. It inspires confidence in yourself and might even make you more attractive to others. However, the cost of bleaching might be more than just how much you pay for the procedure. There may be other things at play that could lead you to regret your choice to opt for a younger, brighter smile.
How Does Bleaching Teeth Work?
Making teeth whiter stems from a chemical interaction that helps to remove stains and discolorations. According to the Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice, teeth whitening or bleaching uses hydrogen peroxide to break down the chemicals that discolor teeth, called chromagens. The hydrogen peroxide contained in over-the-counter DIY compounds tends to be much lower in their concentrations of hydrogen peroxide than those used by dentists who deal specifically with Florida teeth whitening in their practice.
While there are some kinds of toothpaste that claim to whiten teeth, their technique doesn’t use hydrogen peroxide to achieve results. These kinds of toothpaste use microparticles to abrade the external layer of teeth. The effect is similar to using sandpaper on a metal surface. The teeth do become whiter, but over time, continued use of these abrasive kinds of toothpaste may remove significant layers from tooth enamel, making your teeth weaker. Even DIY bleaching agents are better than using abrasive methods for whitening teeth.
What Methods are There for Florida Teeth Whitening?
Just like there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there are several different methods for applying hydrogen peroxide to teeth to get a whiter grin. Some methods appeal to certain people more than others. There are both convenient and affordable ways to whiten your teeth as well as expensive techniques that could cost a lot. Whether it’s professional or DIY, each of these methods aims for whiter, brighter smiles.
Also known as laser bleaching, this method is administered by a trained professional. The Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry notes that laser bleaching uses a focused laser beam to force a quicker interaction between the hydrogen peroxide gel and the chromagens to speed up the whitening process. Among the benefits laser bleaching offers is that you can potentially get up to twenty of your teeth whitened in a single visit. The downside is that while you can target individual teeth, only the front ten teeth in each row (not that you’d want to whiten the back ones anyway). The procedure doesn’t take too long and may lead to sensitive teeth for a little while. Laser bleaching can be costly, however.
Using a similar gel to laser bleaching, tray-based whitening covers the teeth in the gel and just leaves it to interact with the chromagens. WebMD mentions that if you opt for this method, you may have to wear these trays on your teeth for a few hours a day or night for a period of a few days to a few weeks. The length of exposure differs based on how much whitening you want to occur. During that time, you might suffer from sensitive teeth as well, and the time-consuming nature of the treatment isn’t ideal for many people. However, it’s far cheaper than in-office whitening.
Several DIY solutions have emerged as an alternative to visiting a professional. These range from whitening strips and gels to whitening rinses. The strips or gel use peroxide applied directly to the teeth. The most popular methodology for using them is to apply the strips for up to thirty minutes, twice a day for fourteen days. Gels are applied using a brush to the surface of the teeth and have a similar application period as the strips. Rinses offer hydrogen peroxide in the solution. Still, because of the nature of the application, you may have to wait as much as three months to start seeing any significant difference to the color of your teeth.
What Risks Are There to Florida Teeth Whitening?
As with everything that can help your body, there are some important side-effects to take note of. Discussing bleaching your teeth with a dentist might lead them to raise some important concerns.
Hypersensitivity of Teeth
As mentioned before, laser bleaching and tray-based bleaching can lead to tooth sensitivity. The European Journal of Dentistry noted that the level of whitening and the sensitivity of teeth were similar for both methodologies. Hypersensitivity may come from a negative interaction with the chemicals used for the whitening process. If you have hypersensitive teeth after your treatment, then that is a regular occurrence. If hypersensitivity persists for more than two weeks, you should consult your dentist immediately.
Typically, many of the over-the-counter bleaching solutions for teeth don’t contain that much hydrogen peroxide in them. The chemical can be dangerous if overused, and the DIY kits usually have warnings to that effect. However, there is a tendency for some users to abuse the availability of the chemical. As the Oral Health Foundation notes, unsafe tooth whitening using DIY kits could be dangerous, causing chemical burns or even loss of teeth. There’s no over-the-counter way to get the same level of bleaching as from a professional. Attempting to do so may put you at risk.
Irritation of Gums
Custom-made trays are the norm for tray-based bleaching when administered by a professional. In DIY tray-bleaching, the kits try to offer a one-size-fits-all solution. The issue with these trays is that not everyone has the same structure to their teeth and gums. What happens when you use a tray like this is that the peroxide gel comes into contact with your gums. The contact may lead to irritation and in some cases, a bit of pain.
Whitening deals with lightening the color of teeth so that it looks uniformly brilliant when you smile. It doesn’t affect areas of teeth that are already white, and in some cases, especially with DIY kits, the whitening might not be consistent. Additionally, according to the journal Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, post bleaching consumption of coffee and red wine could lead to significant staining of teeth, with red wine being the worse perpetrator of the two.
Scientific studies into teeth whitening have revealed some concerning things. In-vitro studies reported in Clinical Oral Investigations note demineralization and pulpal damage as potential side effects. Currently, studies are ongoing regarding these potential side effects of Florida teeth whitening. However, there is a strong suggestion that individuals should consult a professional before embarking on a quest to whiten their teeth.
Should I Whiten my Teeth?
The decision to whiten your teeth should depend on how much you’re willing to spend on it, and if you want to dedicate the time to it. Over-the-counter methods can change teeth by one to two shades, but professional methods can do a lot better than that, they just take more time (and money). Before deciding to whiten your teeth, discuss it with a professional dentist. Anderson Dental can offer you advice on any dental issue you may have, not just teeth bleaching. Looking for a professional dental service that you can trust? Contact us today and schedule an appointment!