Everywhere you look these days, people are talking about teeth whitening. There is a dizzying array of products on the market, making it difficult to sort out the truth about these smile-enhancing treatments. One thing is for sure, however, whitening is in and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon.
How It Works
Staining can be either extrinsic or intrinsic. Many extrinsic stains caused by everyday consumption of coffee, tea, tobacco, and wine are removed by daily brushing and flossing. Intrinsic stains, however, reside deeper inside the tooth and build up over an extended period of time.
Teeth whitening products typically contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These agents bubble into your teeth’s enamel, breaking up the discoloration. The extent of the results depends upon whether you’re using OTC products or receiving in-office treatment from your Carmichael dentist. Professional tooth whitening is more potent than white strips.
Types of Treatments
There are a few varieties of this cosmetic dentistry treatment to choose from. Most people are aware of the wide selection of “white strips” available over the counter. These products typically contain hydrogen peroxide as the active tooth whitening agent. While very affordable, OTC white strips will not get into all of the areas between teeth, and the results are moderate, at best perhaps a few shades of improvement.
In-office tooth whitening usually utilizes carbamide peroxide, at a much higher concentration than products designed for home use. These treatments take about an hour each and produce faster results than any other treatment. Some people do experience sensitivity after tooth bleaching, however this can be alleviated by using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.