Blog Posts by Geelong Smile Studio

2 minutes reading time (495 words)

Teeth Whitening

Everyone is well aware of the importance of an amazing smile in today's society.

Improved confidence and self-esteem, beauty and greater success can all be boosted by a knockout smile.

One of the most effective and inexpensive methods of having a smile makeover is to have your teeth whitened by a dentist. However, there is a vast array of whitening techniques available today which can often leave the consumer confused.

Obviously the most natural and inexpensive technique of teeth whitening is to maintain the optimal oral hygiene practices of brushing and flossing twice daily.

Extrinsic stains found on the surface of the teeth can be caused by dental plaque, tars from cigarette smoking, coloured foods and drinks such as red wine, colas, coffee and teas. The good news is that these stains can be removed by your dental hygienist and removed from your diet.

These stains can be removed naturally by eating lots of fresh fruit and raw vegetables.

A paste of baking soda which is known for its cleaning agent properties can also be beneficial in removing superficial stains. But all proprietary whitening techniques today rely on oxidising agents such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.

Whitening gels work by the action of hydrogen peroxide breaking down into water and radical hydroxyl ions.

These hydroxyl ions permeate the enamel and enter the underlying dentinal tubules, where they attach themselves to stain particles and effectively break the stains apart.

This negates the colour causing properties of the stain particles and the teeth appear whiter and brighter.

When it comes to using whitening products, not everyone is suitable for teeth whitening.

Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid tooth whitening.

Also, those with tooth decay and periodontal disease should have these issues addressed prior to whitening.

Porcelain crowns, veneers, or large white fillings will not change in colour with whitening.

In fact, in these people, whitening will actually accentuate the discrepancy between the colours of the crowns and natural teeth, since only the natural teeth will whiten.

Not all teeth colours respond equally to the whitening gel.

People who have teeth that are more of a shade of yellow, will have better results in whitening compared to someone who has teeth with a base shade of brown or grey.

The two main whitening ingredients in whitening toothpastes are carbamide peroxide (or sodium tripolyphospate) and an abrasive agent such as silica.

Realistically, although we 'think' it is the whitening agent that is whitening our teeth, studies have shown that it is the abrasiveness of the silica which is removing the extrinsic stains, hence apparently whitening our teeth.

Since the concentration of the whitening agent in these pastes is very low and the amount of contact time with the teeth is very short, this method of teeth whitening is very inefficient to achieve amazing results.

The same can be said for chewing gums claiming to whiten teeth.

The next post will discuss effective whitening techniques administered by a dentist.

Teeth Whitening by your Dentist
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