Teeth whitening is one of the simplest and most economical cosmetic dentistry procedures that can help brighten up your smile. People now have the option to get their teeth whitened professionally through dental bleaching, or opt for one of the many over-the-counter teeth whitening options available in the market today. To avoid commonly occurring side-effects associated with teeth whitening, it is ideal for getting it done professionally by a dentist.
Types of Teeth Whitening
In-Office Dental Bleaching: This type of teeth whitening offers the best results and is done professionally by a dentist. Depending on the kind of results you desire, the entire procedure may be done in 2-4 sittings, with each appointment lasting about 30-45 minutes. For enhanced teeth whitening results, the dentist may even have custom-made dental bleaching trays fabricated for you. These trays are filled with the bleaching gel and worn for a couple of hours at home. This process, in addition to in-office dental bleaching, helps get better and faster results of teeth whitening.
At-Home Teeth Whitening: Several over-the-counter products are readily available in the market today, which can help lighten teeth shade and improve the appearance of your smile. Some of the most commonly used products include teeth whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, and even mouthwashes. These products are considerably more economical than professional dental bleaching. Still, they do not provide the same results as obtained by in-office teeth whitening.
Does Teeth Whitening Cause Any Dental Problems?
Teeth whitening is considered to be a very safe procedure that is best performed by a qualified dentist in a professional setting. Since teeth whitening is done using a bleaching agent like hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, getting the procedure done by a trained dentist is an ideal way to avoid unnecessary complications and risks of teeth whitening and achieve the best results.
Some risks that may possibly be associated with teeth whitening are –
- The bleaching agent can potentially irritate the gum tissue if it comes in contact with it. This is why your dentist applies a layer of protective agent around the teeth that covers the gums before beginning the bleaching procedure. The higher the concentration of the bleaching agent, the higher the potential for irritation. There is no permanent damage caused to the gums through the bleaching agent, though, and whatever irritation that might heal on its own upon removal of the bleaching agent.
- Tooth sensitivity is another common complaint seen after dental bleaching. The outermost enamel layer of the tooth may become sensitive to changes in temperature after a teeth whitening procedure. This type of tooth sensitivity is a transient phase and usually goes away on its own. Using toothpastes aimed at sensitive teeth can help ease any discomfort temporarily.
People who choose to get over-the-counter products to whiten their teeth should follow the instructions carefully given on the package. Make sure the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval is present on the product you choose to purchase. It is also advised to speak to your dentist first about using any teeth whitening product at home.