Teeth whitening

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teeth-whitening-before-and-after

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Teeth whitening is a procedure used to brighten a smile, remove the stains from your teeth, and restore the natural color of the teeth. A teeth-whitening procedure can be done in-office and at home.

When is a teeth-whitening treatment advised?

teeth-became-yellow

Teeth whitening is needed when there are stains on your teeth or when your teeth have become discoloured. The discoloration of teeth can be due to many reasons. Some of the reasons why you might require teeth whitening treatment are listed below.

  • Having tea, coffee, acidic drinks such as cold drinks, and wine in frequent quantities.
  • The habit of smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco.
  • During childhood, a high amount of fluoride is consumed.
  • Ageing.
  • Medications such as tetracycline, doxycycline, antihistamines, and antipsychotics.
  • Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride.
  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Medical treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.

What are the symptoms one experiences?

Comparison after teeth whitening

Professional (in-office) teeth whitening:

This treatment is done by the dentist in the dental clinic. First, the dentist will examine your mouth and take photographs of your smile. The dentist will clean your mouth by doing scaling so that the thin layer of enamel and debris will be cleaned off. Then your dentist will apply the whitening product to your teeth. Some products require laser lighting after applying the product. This procedure will take almost 30 to 60 minutes, although the time depends on the severity of the stains and discoloration of the teeth. If your teeth are more discolored, your dentist will recommend some at-home whitening procedures.

The dentist will take an impression of your mouth and make an invisible tray. The patient is advised to apply the whitening product to the tray, fit it in the mouth, and let it stay there.

Also, with the advice of your dentist, one can use over-the-counter products for mild discoloration of teeth. The over-the-counter products are whitening gels, whitening strips, toothpaste, and mouthwashes.

What should I keep in mind after undergoing teeth whitening treatment:

It is advised not to eat anything that stains for at least the first twenty-four hours. If you do not take care after a whitening treatment, you will notice dull teeth in a few months. For treatment to last longer, the following are some tips to be taken care of:

  • Avoid coffee or tea, acidic drinks, or foods that stain your teeth.
  • Quit your habits like smoking or using tobacco.
  • Maintain your oral hygiene. Brush twice a day, floss every day, and rinse your mouth every day to maintain oral hygiene.
  • Every six months, you should go to the dentist

Are there any risks associated with teeth whitening treatments?

No, there are no risks associated with this treatment. Although one can feel sensitivity or gingival irritation for a few days, it will resolve itself. If you do not feel better even after a week, consult your dentist and have a follow-up check-up.

How much does teeth whitening treatment cost?

The cost depends on different factors, such as the extent of teeth discoloration, the type of treatment, the number of visits, the materials used for the whitening treatment, the location of the clinic, and the experience of the dentist. Considering all the factors, the estimated cost can vary from INR 5000–10,000.

Highlights:

  • The teeth-whitening procedure is used to restore the natural color of your teeth and remove stains.
  • One can achieve a brighter and whiter smile by going for professional teeth whitening or by using over-the-counter products.
  • Taking proper care after the treatment helps to last longer your aesthetic smile.
  • Consult your dentist for the treatment option and have a regular check-up after the treatment.

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FAQs on teeth whitening

Are teeth-whitening strips safe?

Yes, they are safe to use. They are inexpensive and are used to treat mild tooth staining and discolouration. Take proper advice from your dentist and follow instructions as stated.

Can teeth whitening be permanent?

It depends on the technique selected. The effect of treatment varies from a few months to three years. Although proper post-care will make the results last for a longer period of time.

Can teeth whitening cause permanent sensitivity?

No, it doesn’t cause permanent sensitivity. It lasted for only a few days.

Can teeth whitening remove tobacco stains?

Yes, it helps to remove tobacco stains and gives you a more attractive smile.

Can teeth whitening be done on crowns?

No, teeth whitening treatments are only effective on natural teeth.

Which teeth whitening method is best?

A different tooth whitening procedure is chosen depending on the severity of the tooth discoloration.

Will teeth whitening damage my teeth?

The only risks associated with teeth whitening are sensitivity and gingival irritation. But this will also resolve itself in a few days.

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