Teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment that consists of lightening the shade of the teeth. With this treatment we achieve brighter and whiter teeth.
Causes of teeth darkening
Teeth darken or yellow due to various factors, such as certain eating habits like drinking a lot of coffee, tea, red wine, beverages and foods with dyes that stain the teeth.
On the other hand, smokers also tend to have yellow teeth.
Other additional causes may be genetic predisposition, aging or having taken, at an early age, certain medications and antibiotics, such as tetracyclines.
What does teeth whitening consist of?
A whitening is a cosmetic treatment that consists of a series of steps to follow. Before proceeding with the treatment, the dentist must make a correct and individualized diagnosis to determine the causes of the darkening of the teeth.
After this first phase, home whitening, in-office whitening or a combination of both can be performed.
Outpatient or home whitening consists of the application of a gel in transparent splints that must be prepared in the dental office and that are adapted to the patient’s teeth. The number of hours per day and the length of time the patient has to wear these splints will depend on the degree or shade of the tooth.
In-office whitening consists of the application of the whitening gel directly on the surface of the tooth at higher concentrations and with activation of the whitening agent with a cold light or LED. This application system increases the whitening effect. The in-clinic sessions will also depend on the initial tooth shade.
In many cases, a greater effect can be achieved through a combination of both.
Are there any side effects?
Teeth whitening is a safe and painless treatment. However, in some teeth it can cause a completely reversible sensitivity that disappears at the end of the treatment. In addition, certain toothpastes can help reduce sensitivity.
Duration and maintenance of teeth whitening
When whitening has been performed correctly, the effect can last for a long time. However, habits such as drinking tea, coffee, red wine or smoking can contribute to staining of the teeth. In these cases, a small reminder can be made if appropriate.
However, the most important thing is to have good daily oral hygiene and to visit the dental office at least once a year so that the hygienist can perform a cleaning adapted to the individual needs of each patient.