How Does Teeth Whitening Actually Create a Whitening Effect?
Teeth whitening has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s an inexpensive, easy way to see big changes in your smile. But how does teeth whitening actually create a whitening effect? First, let’s talk about tooth stains.
Your teeth are made up of an inner dentin layer and a hard outer enamel layer. When you eat or drink, another layer gradually forms on top of the enamel layer. Other habits, such as smoking, can also contribute to that layer. What basically happens is that the foreign material builds up, forming a pellicle film over the layer of enamel.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Products for teeth whitening contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which are “bleaches” for teeth. What these bleaches do is break up the stains, making them less concentrated, so your teeth appear brighter and whiter. Whitening toothpastes use a mild abrasive to removed stains from the teeth.
Professional Tooth Whitening
Professional tooth whitening at your dentist involves carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, and the treatment will be tailored to your desired end result. Dentists usually offer in-office and at-home treatments. Professional tooth whitening is very effective at making your teeth several shades lighter.
Over-the-Counter Tooth Whitening
Many whitening products that are purchased over-the-counter also use carbamide or hydrogen peroxide gels. Most of these products are simple to use, and they do work to whiten teeth, although results are not as dramatic as they are with professional teeth whitening.
The Safety of Tooth Whitening
Tooth whitening is safe, although with over-the-counter whitening kits, there can be some gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. If you starting noticing sensitivity, it is recommended that you use the whitening products less frequently.
There exists the possibility of higher concentrations of carbamide and hydrogen peroxide weakening the tooth enamel, but these formulas usually contain fluoride, which works to offset this potential side-effect of the whitening process. Whitening gels that contain lower percentages of bleach haven’t been shown to cause damage to the tooth enamel.
If you are interesting in teeth whitening in Stillwater, MN, contact Dr. Bruce Filson and his team at Filson Gentle Dentistry today!