Tooth whitening is a popular dental treatment that helps in removing teeth discoloration and stains. Tooth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure, and almost all dentist perform tooth whitening. Tooth whitening is not just a one-time procedure, it involves series of sessions to maintain the brighter teeth color. Enamel is the outer layer of the tooth and the colors of the teeth is created by light reflection and scattering of light off the enamel in combination with the dentin’s color. Genetic factor greatly affects the smoothness and thickness of the enamel. The dentin shows more color with a thinner enamel, and a smoother and rougher enamel greatly affects the color of the teeth due to the amount of reflected light.
The teeth becomes discolored because of the follicle of thin coating created by the teeth that picks up stains and the teeth enamel also have pores holding stains. The most common causes of yellowish or stained teeth include tobacco smoking, poor dental hygiene, and excessive intake of dark-colored liquids like cola, coffee, tea and red wine. As people age, the teeth becomes less bright, wherein the dentin becomes darker, and the enamel becomes thinner. Intrinsic stains or stains inside the tooth also happen because of too much fluoride exposure in childhood while the teeth were still developing. Tooth whitening is considered the most effective on extrinsic stains. Prior to teeth whitening treatment, it is important to treat any tooth cavities because whitening solution can pass through the decayed areas, reaching the inner parts of the teeth. It is harder to whiten teeth with cavities because exposed roots that appear yellowish and discolored cannot be whitened by teeth whitening products. Your dentist will be taking a photograph of your teeth prior to the procedure to help in monitoring the progress of the treatment.
Your dentist will be cleaning your teeth to remove bacteria, food particles, and other substances that build up your teeth, contributing to staining, and after this, the whitening procedure starts. Whitening gel products can also be applied at home daily for two to three weeks, and your dentist can make trays to hold the whitening gel to fit your teeth properly. Whitening gel can be used or whitening agents activated laser light or heat. A dentist may also use different teeth whitening procedure to whiten the tooth inside, by placing a whitening agent inside the tooth and putting a temporary filling over it, left for several days and removed.