Teeth Whitening: 10 Questions and Answers

In order to ‘fix’ our mouth’s cosmetic flaws, there are a number of techniques available. In addition, teeth whitening is one of the most sought-after and stylish treatments. Is it apparent to you what it entails? If you’re interested in learning more about this therapy, we’ll try to answer a series of questions regarding it.

Is The Tooth’s Enamel Broken?

When it comes to teeth whitening, one of the most common questions is if the enamel is damaged. After years of research and expertise, the Rosales Clinic, where Paula Echevarra goes to maintain her smile, can attest to the fact that the enamel remains intact. As a result, they say that the teeth are unaffected by the procedure, save for minor post-treatment discomfort.

What Are The Most Common Methods?

As described in Smylife, the most typical approach is to combine therapy in the clinic and at home. In the dental office, a whitening agent is applied and triggered by an LED lamp to open the enamel’s pores, allowing the dentin to be bleached. Typically, two or three sessions are required, each lasting around 20 minutes, depending on the individual. You’ll need to wear splints with a product for two or three nights while you sleep, or for a few hours in the afternoon, as a reminder of the therapy at home. With a lower proportion of hydrogen peroxide, they offer the same bleaching result. The colour of the tooth will change after a few days.

Is The Procedure Painful? What Precautions Should We Take Following The Whitening Procedure?

After treatment, the tooth is sensitive for 72 hours, but the discomfort subsides after that time. At Smylife they recommend avoiding meals that cause stains during those first 72 hours, therefore it’s crucial to pay attention to cleanliness throughout those 72 hours and avoid certain items. As an additional precaution, smoking should be avoided because it might cause teeth to discolour. The teeth darken as a result of nicotine deposits that build up over time. As a result, many smokers seek out a whitening procedure.

Is It Possible For Anybody To Do It, Or Does It Have Any Kind Of Restriction?

Anyone who has a cavity-free mouth and no tooth sensitivity should avoid therapy since it might exacerbate the condition.

Is It Capable Of Removing All Forms Of Stains From Teeth?

No. Over time, teeth tend to become yellow or lose their natural whiteness. It is possible to lighten teeth with more strong stains (orange or grey tones), but it depends on the tone and has to be checked by an expert, because in the most severe situations, such excellent results are not always produced. ” Tetracycline-caused stains leave teeth with a grey colour that can’t be whitened. If this is the case, veneers, caps, or crowns would have to be used.

Are Men Or Women More Likely To Bleach?

Between the ages of 30 and 40, the clinic sees a higher percentage of female patients and a lower percentage of male patients. According to the Smylife specialists, women have higher expectations and desire a “whiter” white.

What Foods Might Have A Detrimental Impact On Our Teeth’s Colour?

Tea, coffee, fizzy beverages, tomato and curry, strawberry and raspberry, as well as cigarettes.

If you don’t brush and floss your teeth, can you get away with using teeth whitening instead?

One of the most common misconceptions about teeth whitening is that it may be used as a substitute for a professional dental cleaning. You are being deceived by these claims. Whitening is a cosmetic procedure, not a substitute for proper hygiene. In addition to removing germs, brushing helps to improve enamel and preserve teeth.

Is It Possible To Become Addicted To The Whiteness Of One’s Teeth?

Patients who have whiter teeth are more confident, according to Opencel. As long as you don’t worry over the “white” of your teeth, you’re OK! It’s a condition known as ‘blancorexia,’ which refers to an extreme bleaching of the teeth. The colour of a person’s teeth is determined by their enamel, which varies from person to person. People who are obsessed with getting their teeth “perfectly white” might face a number of oral health issues.

Where Can We Get Started?

Requesting information and undergoing a teeth whitening procedure may be done at numerous cosmetic dentistry practises.

Teeth Whitening: Is It Effective And Sustainable?

Having beautiful white teeth is trendy! A bright smile is today a real social asset, a sign of good health and self-care. Whitening at the dentist, kit at home, correction pen … There is no shortage of proposals. But what is tooth whitening really all about? How to sort through all these offers? It works ?

Depending on our diet and our genetic makeup, our teeth tend to turn yellow over time. To overcome this phenomenon, dental whitening techniques are booming.

‍Teeth Whitening At The Dentist

In the office, the dentist has several techniques to whiten your teeth. As you will see, they are quite similar (in principle) to those used at home.

First of all, your dentist will carry out a complete oral examination allowing several points to be specified: interest of whitening, risks incurred, chances of success, causes of tooth staining … This examination will also be an opportunity to detect and treat any diseases that could affect your teeth, such as:

  • Cavities
  • Periodontitis (Inflammation Of The Gums)
  • Enamel Wear …

Indeed, your teeth must be in perfect health before being whitened: the product used can attack them if they are damaged. Finally, a scaling and polishing of the teeth will be carried out. Sometimes this is even enough to restore some shine to the teeth.

After this first phase, the dentist will begin the treatment itself, which can be done either in the office or at home. In both cases, the technique will be similar: the application of a gel composed of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which is the whitening agent. It is also the latter that can damage damaged teeth and cause hypersensitivity to cold, heat …

➡ In the office, you will have one or more sessions during which the dentist protects your gums and lips. Then he applies the whitening gel to your teeth and activates it using blue light or a laser.

➡ At home, you have a custom-made gutter in which you put the gel. The aligner is then to be worn for several hours a day for one to several weeks, under the supervision of the dentist.

Home Whitening: A Real Alternative?

Today there are many ready-to-use kits, allowing you to do your own teeth whitening. Used properly, they can whiten teeth at a lower cost. Although they are not as effective as bleaching at the dentist. These kits are available in many forms:

Ready-To-Use Kits

These solutions are the closest to those offered by the dentist. They usually include a tray, peroxide gel, and a blue lamp to activate the gel. They offer relatively effective and lasting lightening, for an average cost of between 40 and 60 euros.

Self-Adhesive Transparent Strips

Very easy to use, they are coated with gel and are applied directly to the teeth for an average cost of 15 euros.

The Pen

It is applied locally on the small yellow spots of the teeth. It is therefore effective if you have a few tasks in places, but not if you want overall clarification.

How Do These Kits Work?

These kits contain hydrogen peroxide (or carbamide): it is the same whitening agent that is used by dentists. However, in kits intended for the general public, this agent is present at a much lower concentration.

European products are controlled by standards. The regulatory maximum concentration is 0.1% over the counter compared to 6% or more at the dentist. This is not the case everywhere! Be careful, in particular, of products from the United States, which risk being too concentrated and therefore potentially dangerous. In addition, the peroxide concentration is not always indicated on these products: be careful to read the labels carefully.

It can also cause irreversible damage from dental hypersensitivity. When highly concentrated, it should only be handled by professionals.

And In Terms Of Efficiency?

In short, ready-to-use kits are – if they meet safety standards – less concentrated in bleach. They therefore have less bleaching power than professional preparations. The results obtained will be more discreet.

Finally, note that tooth whitening should not be performed on a decayed tooth . If you choose homemade whitening, still remember to visit your dentist regularly to make sure your teeth are in good health!

What Are The Dangers And Impacts On Health?

If you opt for whitening at the dentist, the risks involved are minimal. The practitioner does everything in his power to ensure that the intervention has no harmful effects. The main risks are hypersensitivity or pain in the teeth / gums. This would lead to the treatment being stopped immediately.

Regarding treatments at home, the risks may be greater if you use products imported from abroad and escaping European regulations. As the concentrations are higher, use outside the control of a dental surgeon could result in:

  • Pains
  • Dental Hypersensitivity
  • Deterioration of the enamel (which can lead to premature wear of the teeth)
  • Irritation of the gums linked to the aggressiveness of the product.

In addition, the aligners are not completely adapted to the teeth of each one (unlike those of the dentist). The product could then end up on your gums.

‍Teeth whitening at the dentist therefore remains the safest solution and guarantees the best results. In return: a significant price which is between 500 € and 1200 € on average. The results are not final and last 1 or 2 years. Much more economical, homemade whitening kits have been very successful in recent years. However, we must be aware of the potential risks incurred as well as their reduced effectiveness.

Teeth Whitening: Techniques And Risks

Causes Of Staining Of Teeth

There Are Two Types Of Tooth Enamel Staining:

Superficial coloring. It is due to smoking, insufficient oral hygiene or the consumption of coloring foods (coffee, tea, red fruits, curry, saffron, etc.). For this type of coloring, the most common techniques are generally sufficient to obtain good results.

The deep coloring. It can be due to taking tetracyclines (antibiotics) during childhood, to excess fluoride, loss of vitality of the dental pulp or certain  dental fillings . This type of staining is more complex to treat and requires an intra-dental intervention in order to apply a product inside the tooth in contact with the dentin .

The choice of the lightening technique depends on the cause of the tooth staining, it is therefore recommended to seek advice from your dental surgeon.

Descaling: The First Step!

Descaling is an “obligatory step” before any bleaching. It must be performed by a dental surgeon and consists of removing tartar and dental plaque by “scraping”, then polishing the surface of the tooth to recreate a healthy environment and facilitate cleaning of the teeth.

Very often, in the event of superficial staining, this simple descaling may be sufficient. In the case of staining requiring other care, it helps prepare the dentition for treatment.

Over-The-Counter Techniques

Lightening action toothpaste. It is an abrasive paste which, used alternately with the usual toothpaste, will gradually and gently polish the surface of the tooth in order to remove the stains.

The “whitening kits”. They come in the form of strips, pens… and contain hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide), carbamide peroxide or sodium perborate. These products have a strong oxidizing power and allow the coloring substance to be discolored. Over-the-counter, without prescription, usable by all, they are subject to the regulations in force which impose a low concentration of peroxide (max: 0.1%) for use without any particular risk.

Techniques of the dental surgeon

Gels with a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The bleaching gel is applied in a gutter. The splint is then placed on the teeth so that the product remains in contact with the teeth. The treatment is carried out in one or more sessions. The first session is always performed by the practitioner in his office. Additional home sessions may be prescribed for the patient.

The products used in the dental office contain between 0.1 and 6% hydrogen peroxide . They can only be sold to dental surgeons. In addition, the first treatment is limited and can only be performed by practitioners. This treatment is reserved for people over 18 years old.

Sometimes the use of an oxygen peroxide gel can be associated with exposure of the teeth to the light of cold lamps .

These treatments should be reserved in the event of highly troublesome or pathological staining. For aesthetic reasons, the risk is not justified.

What About The “Smile Bars”?

For some time now, smile bars have been developing in France. These companies offer teeth whitening combining gel and exposure to cold light. This treatment lasts from 3 to 6 months if one avoids consuming coloring products. The council of the order of dental surgeons has alerted the national health authorities to the doubts that exist concerning the products used in these “smile bars”. Indeed, the results displayed – several shades of lightening gained in a 20-minute session – raise concerns about the use of more powerful products than those authorized (less than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide). In addition, the staff have no medical training. However, there are risks that customers should be aware of.

What Are The Risks Of Hydrogen Peroxide Products?

A high dosage or prolonged and repeated use of hydrogen peroxide causes irreversible effects on the tooth, gum and periodontium:

A tooth hypersensitivity (appearance of pain, in particular accentuated by cold)

An alteration of the enamel and a demineralization on the hard tissues of the tooth increasing their permeability. The dental pulp can then be more exposed to chemical and thermal attacks

A premature wear of the teeth

A weakening of the tooth

The mucosal irritation associated with the product caustic

The reaction with the materials of dental filling (amalgam, composite) which can degrade the junction between tooth and filling, and thus encourage infiltration and recurrent caries

A faster refill teeth. Indeed, in the event of too long or too frequent exposures, the deterioration of the surface state of the dental enamel can facilitate the fixation of the pigments.

Teeth Whitening: Definition, Methods And Precautions

What Is Tooth Whitening?

Teeth whitening aims to lighten teeth that are too dark in color and make them brighter. It eliminates the stains that have formed in the enamel following the consumption of certain drinks, certain foods, but also drugs. This is an aesthetic treatment that can help some people who are complexed by their smile to regain self-confidence. It must go hand in hand with services like scaling , so that you can enjoy glowing, healthy teeth. In this regard, our Detengo dental centers are authorized to perform tooth whitening and our experts will support you by giving you advice.

These components act directly on the molecules responsible for the dark color of the teeth and give instant tooth whitening. According to specialists, tooth whitening can be practiced by almost everyone except pregnant women , hypersensitive people or individuals suffering from toothache.

How To Whiten A Tooth?

The methods of tooth whitening vary for each individual. While some opt for natural tips such as grandmother’s remedies, others use orthodontic techniques.

For natural methods, acidic products such as lemon are recommended. In this case, it is enough to collect the juice of a squeezed lemon and apply it to the teeth after brushing.

Regarding orthodontic methods, the specialist primarily uses scaling to remove dark stains on the teeth. He will then inject hydrogen peroxide to clean the tooth before applying carbamide peroxide and giving it a white color.

What Are The Benefits Of Tooth Whitening?

The main advantage of having teeth whitened is that they give a radiant smile. At the same time, they illuminate our eyes and improve the aesthetics of the face.

In fact, many women claim that teeth whitening enhances their physique and even accentuates the makeup or lipstick they wear.

Regarding the disadvantages, the substances used in tooth whitening deteriorate the enamel and cause demineralization of the teeth. In this context, they risk weakening the external structure of the teeth and cause irritation to the jaw and gum.

How To Maintain Whitened Teeth?

Whether natural or orthodontic techniques are used, the whitening effect of a tooth lasts a maximum of two years. To reach this time limit, it is important to drink water frequently, especially after meals to get rid of staining snags that can discolor your teeth.

The individual should chew sugarless chewing gum in order to stimulate saliva and preserve the white coloration. He must also reduce as much as possible the consumption of tobacco, cigars or alcohol which darkens the teeth.

If the person has opted for orthodontic care, they should brush their teeth with sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide in order to keep their teeth whitened. On the other hand, she should avoid acidic products such as lemon for fear that this food will peel the color.

Why Opt For Whitening At A Dentist?

You can read a bit of everything and anything about teeth whitening, but sometimes it’s hard to sort the commercial rhetoric from the real, real results. Obviously, a dentist will be able to monitor and act accordingly, so that tooth whitening goes as smoothly as possible.

Going to a dentist will allow you to benefit from much more powerful bleaching agents. You will thus optimize the effectiveness of the treatment itself, but also its effects over time.

The dentist will also be able to check the condition of your teeth, before and after treatment. Indeed, it is strongly recommended not to do a bleaching, if you have a decayed tooth or if your email is fragile, even damaged, something clearly impossible in smile bars.

He will be able to advise you on the right gestures to adopt for brushing your teeth, to optimize the duration of the whitening.

Also, a dentist can provide other care, such as scaling.

To finish convincing you, know that a dentist is a doctor and not a salesperson. He may therefore refuse you whitening to preserve your teeth.

Be careful, however, this act is not covered by Social Security, except in rare, very specific cases. You should therefore plan to spend between 400 and 1000 euros per session, against a few dozen euros for treatment at home. But as you can imagine, the result has absolutely nothing to do with it.

It remains to be seen how dental whitening in the office will unfold. It takes at least 2 hours and it will take place in several stages.

Examination of your mouth and your teeth: we mentioned it a little above, but the dentist will first and foremost check the good condition of your teeth, and see if there is any cons -indication. It is during this examination that he will determine the color of your teeth, so that you can compare once the treatment has been carried out.

Descaling, if any. You will know if you have read our article carefully, bleaching often causes sensitivity to the teeth and also to the gum. Thus, post-treatment descaling would be quite simply impossible.

Protection of soft tissues: the gums and lips must be protected by a cream to avoid contact with the whitening agent.

Application of the treatment: after placing the gel based on hydrogen peroxide, the dentist places a lamp equipped with a laser in front of your mouth to allow the product to penetrate.