What is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth whitening is used to lighten the teeth and help in removal of stains and discoloration. Whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures and can be very effective in improving the way your teeth look. Most of the dentist perform tooth whitening procedures on a daily basis. It should also be noted that teeth whitening is not a onetime procedure and may be repeated after every 2-3 months if you want to continue to have a bright colour.

Outer layer of tooth is known as enamel and the colour of natural teeth is created by reflection and scattering of this enamel, which is combined with the colour of dentin under it. Genes are affected by the smoothness and thickness of enamel. If the enamel is thinner, then it allows more of the colour of the dentin to show. If you have rougher and smoother enamel, then it can also affect the reflection of light and colour of your teeth.

Every day, a small coating or pellicle is created on the enamel due to food intake which can pick up stains. Tooth enamel also has pores which can hold onto stains.

Most common reason for yellow or stained teeth are:

  • Drinking dark coloured liquids like cola, coffee, red wine or tea.
  • No taking proper care of teeth.
  • Use of tobacco.

Aging can also be a factor which can reduce the brightening of your teeth as the enamel will get thinner and dentin will become darker. Staining can also be a result of stains inside your tooth which are known as intrinsic stains. For example, intrinsic strains are normally caused by excessive exposure to fluoride in childhood while teeth are developing. Another ingredient that causes stains are tetracycline antibiotics. These antibiotics can stain a child’s teeth if it is taken by the mother during second half of pregnancy. It can also happen if taken by child whose age is 8 years or less.

Vital Whitening

There are a number of procedures through which dentists perform teeth whitening, and the most effective of them is vital tooth whitening. In this process, a gel is directly applied on the surface of your teeth. This gel is called hydrogen peroxide. Tooth whitening can be performed at home or at dentist’s office. The results are better at the dentist’s office since he / she has a variety of equipment available.


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