Health and Tooth Whitening
Tooth whitening is a procedure used to lighten teeth, remove stains and cover up other imperfections. It is among the most common procedures performed by dentists, as it is rather simple to do, cost-effective and produces very good results. Unfortunately, being a primarily cosmetic procedure, it is not permanent and has to be repeated after some time if you want to maintain the white shade from the dentist’s office. The results last for a few months to a few years, depending on tobacco, wine, tea and coffee use, all of which can stain the teeth.
Tooth whitening is very effective and in most people can lighten the color of their teeth by a few shades. Dentists often show the patients the shade and color their teeth will look like, so as to avoid any disagreements and manage expectations. It’s important to work out with your dentist what you expect and what is possible so that both you and your dentist end up satisfied with the procedure.
Tooth whitening is only effective when performed by your dentist. It has been proven time and time again that the home whitening kits simply don’t work as well, if at all. Some provide only extremely short-term benefits that really are not worth the hassle. The whitening materials used are not concentrated enough to bleach the teeth, but may very well cause damage and irritation to the gums if improperly applied, and when doing it at home, there are no guarantees it will be.
In fact, whitening toothpastes often contain abrasive ingredients that may damage the surface of the tooth and cause pain, irritation and sensitivity to hot and cold. This is unavoidable, as that is the principle under which these whitening kits operate – they literally scrub the stain molecules from your teeth.
Proper professional tooth whitening is fairly simple and does not require much time. It is done in one to three appointments and they usually take an hour. Several methods are used depending on the severity of discoloration.
Generally, tooth whitening does not present any immediate health benefits to your oral health. It is a cosmetic procedure and will not make your teeth healthy if there are underlying issues – the cavities won’t go away on their own, after all.
However, tooth whitening generally presents no significant risks to your teeth. Transient sensitivity is possible, but it’s short lasting and not serious. Some mild gum irritation is possible, as well.
Before proceeding with tooth whitening, tooth cleaning can often be of great help. Thorough cleaning and debridement that removes plaque, tartar and stains sometimes solves the problem on its own. It’s simple and cheap, and it is beneficial to your overall dental health, as the plaque is removed and the risk of caries and gingivitis is reduced.
But we still haven’t talked about the most obvious health benefit that you experience when having your teeth whitened, and curiously, it has nothing to do with your dental health. We’re talking, of course, about the huge increase in psychological health. The boost of self-confidence is almost palpable and the patients feel better, happier and much more in control of their own life.
It seems strange that such a small thing could have such a large impact, but it really does. It’s easy to feel self-conscious about yourself, especially if you are aware of your imperfections. Some learn to deal with it, while some work on fixing them. We feel both methods are legitimate. Why not treat yourself to a wonderful smile full of white teeth if you think you will be more confident and less stressed after the procedure?
Greater self-confidence can bring about great changes in your professional, love and personal life. Morally right or not, the way you present yourself can often have great influence on how you come off to others. Some studies have shown that people with whiter teeth are more outgoing and positive. We won’t conflate cause and effect here, but it’s food for thought. So, the positive outlook you could get means that teeth whitening is much more than pure aesthetics – it can change the way you look at the world.
As we have stated, there is little to lose. Side effect are minor, if they even occur, and white teeth can serve as great motivational tool to help you keep your teeth in great shape. We believe everyone deserves a beautiful smile!
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