9 facts you need to know before considering tooth whitening

There are many reasons for whitening your teeth: You may want a boost to your confidence, sport a younger appearance, you are getting ready for a special event such as a wedding, job interview or class reunion, you wish to make a positive first impression on others, or simply reverse years of everyday staining and yellowing.

Whatever your reason, you need to know the following 9 facts before considering the tooth whitening:

  • Whitening and cleaning aren’t the same. Dental clean and polish removes the stains and hard deposits and is a necessary procedure to maintain your gum health. However tooth whitening uses a chemical reaction to oxidise the internal stains trapped inside the superficial layers of the teeth.
  • Tooth whitening is basically a chemical process. Tooth whitening is done by using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals release free radical oxygen when activated. The radical oxygen then whitens pigments penetrated into superficial layers of the teeth.
  • Whitening isn’t permanent. It requires maintenance, you have to avoid food s and beverages which stain the teeth like tea, coffee, red wine or Indian curry. You also have to avoid smoking and tobacco chewing. Even with all these precautions, you will need tooth whitening touch-up every 6 months or year.
  • There may be some side effects: sensitive teeth and irritated gums are the most common side effect of using any bleaching system. Good news is that, these symptoms are very often temporary. We recommend using a pro.sensitive relief toothpaste several days before the procedure and for a few days afterward.
  • You may not be suitable for tooth whitening if:
  1. You are pregnant or a nursing mother
  2. You have very sensitive teeth or gums
  3. You have large cavities in your teeth which are not treated yet.
  4. You have receded gums and exposed roots or if you have active gum disease 
  5.  If you are under 18
  6. You grind your teeth and have worn enamel
  •   Not all types of tooth discolorations would respond to tooth whitening. Tooth whitening will not work for you if you have:
  1. Discolouration caused by chemical exposure to certain medications like Tetracycline.
  2.  Fluorosis due to excessive intake of fluoride in childhood.
  3.  Discolouration due to malformation of dentin or enamel like hypo plastic enamel, mottled enamel or dentin genesis imperfect.

          In such cases tooth whitening will not work and you have to look for other options such as veneers or crowns.

  •  Do not overdo teeth whitening, repeating tooth whitening too often will make your enamel lose its lustre and it will look lifeless. You can have a touch–up every six months or every year.
  • Tooth whitening products do not bleach crowns, bridges, veneers or fillings inside your mouth. If you want to make your restorations look whiter, you have to  speak to your dentist.
  • Tooth whitening is a professional job which can only be prescribed and carried out by the dentist. Dentists are the only people who can assess  your suitability for tooth whitening.There has been a recent rise in illegal practice of tooth whitening by hair dressers and beauticians in recent years. General Dental Council (the governing body of dental professionals) is trying to raise awareness about this issue and has prosecuted successfully many perpetrators.

At Caspian Dental clinic in Watford we provide professional advice and carry out safe tooth whitening with the brands which are pioneers in tooth whitening and have won many consumer awards. Should you wish to have your teeth whitened for the festive season, give us a call on 01923254979 or book online.

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