In today’s digital age, with everyone carrying a camera in their pockets, looking at your best has become a necessity. While we can always adjust our clothing and hairstyle, having stained teeth can ruin a person’s confidence. Moreover, it is the first thing that is noticed by everyone during a smile, therefore, it is not surprising to see that a large number of people are getting their teeth whitened. Here are some interesting facts about it:
1. How it Works
Teeth whitening is carried out using either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both of these compounds contain oxygen molecules that can be easily evaporated. As soon as the oxygen molecules come in contact with the teeth, they start breaking down chemicals on the surface of the tooth. It works more or less like bleach but for the teeth.
2. Accidental Discovery
The use of previously mentioned peroxides in dental care began in the mid-1900s; however, they were primarily used as an oral antiseptic gel for the treatment of gums. Moreover, mouthwashes containing hydrogen peroxide were quite popular for combating gum diseases. It didn’t take long for dentists to realize the side-effect of these peroxides, i.e., teeth whitening. Shortly afterward, companies recognize the potential business opportunity, and during the 1980s, hydrogen peroxides were used largely for teeth whitening.
3. Pored Teeth
Although it may be surprising, teeth have microscopic pores in them, despite them appearing and feeling like dense objects. Since teeth are full of minuscule pores, they absorb the color of each beverage and food you consume, and some of humanity’s favorite items cause teeth to change color excessively, such as wine, coffee, and dark berries. Other things that cause teeth to rapidly get stained are smoking and certain medicines. As for teeth whitening, teeth absorb the gel, and it causes stains to be removed from within.
Interestingly, only a registered dentist can carry out teeth whitening. An assistant or anyone else working at the dentist’s office is not authorized to whiten teeth. This law was set in place because the products contain copious amounts of hydrogen peroxide that can lead to sensitivity. Moreover, during the process, if the patient experiences any ill effects, the dentist can quickly take the necessary measures.
5. It Does NOT Damage the Teeth
The biggest concern for each individual before getting their teeth whitened is teeth damage. Fortunately, this process does not damage the teeth. Experiencing teeth sensitivity during the process is common because the pores in the teeth are temporarily enlarged for optimal cleaning of the stains. These pores shrink on their own after the process; however, if the sensitivity doesn’t go away, it is best to stop the process.
6. Customization is Important
Presently, to get your teeth whitened, visiting a dentist’s office is not a compulsion. DIY teeth whitening products are available under the category of over-the-counter medicines; however, such products are not designed to cater to each individual’s unique teeth contour. Unsurprisingly, it can lead to the whitening gel spilling out of the mold, resulting in the burning of the mouth. Therefore, it is best to ask for a teeth whitening kit from a dentist. They provide something known as a custom-fitting whitening tray. It is a mold created from the impressions of your teeth for a perfect fit. There’s only one downside to these custom-fitting trays, these can cost anywhere from $500 to $800, at least in the United States.
7. Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser or ultra-violet light teeth whitening is the quickest way to whiten teeth. The reason why it works quickly is that it accelerates the rate at which the whitening gel acts; however, there are two major drawbacks to this approach. The first problem is that it is only a temporary solution. Secondly, people that already suffer from teeth sensitivity cannot whiten their teeth using lasers because it can cause permanent teeth sensitivity.
8. Whitening before Sleep
According to dentists, the best time to whiten your teeth is before bedtime. As mentioned previously, the pores are slightly enlarged in teeth during the teeth whitening process, and it makes teeth more susceptible to staining.