How does teeth whitening work?

Americans spend billions of dollars for teeth whitening products and services. At Dentistry Redondo Beach office, tooth whitening is a common cosmetic service. In a pharmacy, tooth whitening products become increasingly popular.

How does teeth whitening work?

Whiteners contain bleaching chemicals that tackle the tooth enamel. They initiate a chemical reaction that breaks the staining compounds stuck in your teeth. The most common chemical agents used are carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. The former breaks down and converted into hydrogen peroxide and urea.  A tooth whitening procedure supervised by your dentist involves the controlled use of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. A dentist-supervised whitening system can be an in-office or at-home treatment. To ensure effective teeth whitening, dentists at Dentistry of Redondo Beach clean your teeth first. Then, they fill the decayed tooth. They also ensure that your gums are healthy.

The in-office treatment utilizes up to 35 percent hydrogen peroxide gels and a high-intensity light to hasten bleaching chemical reaction. This procedure involves cleaning the teeth with pumice and places a protective barrier on the gums before the dentist puts hydrogen peroxide paste on the teeth. The paste stays on the teeth for several minutes before rinsing it. Dentists will then reapply the paste for several times. A 40-minute treatment can help achieve up to six shades of whitening.

If you choose an at-home system, this procedure involves up to 20 percent of carbide peroxide gel. It contains sodium hydroxide, water, glycerin and flavoring agents, among others. Some peroxide gel has over 10 percent of carbamide peroxide and sodium to help in reducing the sensitivity of the teeth while strengthening the enamel.  Before you can take home the system, your dentist takes an impression of your mouth and requests custom mouth trays. For two hours a day, you should add a ribbon of the gel in the tray and wear the tray for two hours a day. The whitening effects can be obtained within two weeks, depending on the severity of the stain. In severe cases, trays must be used for six weeks.

Most of the time, a combination of in-office and at-home systems are used to achieve up to 15 shades of whitening. However, if you choose the at-home system, similar results can be achieved, but it can take a while. A dentist-supervised system is more preferred than an over-the-counter system because the former involves supervision of the dentist who can determine if the procedure can be effective.Patients with decayed teeth, white spots on the teeth and multiple tooth-colored crowns or fillings can't undergo whitening treatment. The dental issues must be treated first before application of teeth whitening system. Furthermore, dentists will decide the kind of teeth whitening procedure works better for a patient. Plus, they know the right concentration of the gel. Dentists can monitor patients with sensitive teeth and can modify the procedure to get optimal results.If teeth whitening procedure isn't a viable option, dentists can explore other methods, such as porcelain, tooth colored fillings, and tooth shaping, among others. With dentist's assessment, your teeth whitening goal can be easily obtained.

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