In general dentistry, dental bleaching is known as teeth whitening. The bleaching of tooth is not a modern invention as ancient Romans used urine and goat milk to whiten their teeth. Whitening replaces the natural color of the teeth and bleaching whitens the teeth beyond the natural color, hence today it has become the most requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry. There are various methods like brushing, bleaching strips, decolorizing gel and laser bleaching. In some bleaching methods, carbamide peroxide is used which reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide
The deciduous teeth of children are whiter than adult teeth. As the person ages the adult teeth becomes darker due to mineral content of the tooth because the enamel becomes less porous and is deficient in phosphate. Teeth can also become stained due to bacterial pigments, consumable colored liquids like tea, coffee and red wine food or vegetables that are rich in carotenoids or xanthonoids. Discoloration can also be caused due to medications like tetracycline that causes teeth stains or reduction in the glare of enamel.
According to 32 Facts Modi Dental and Prosthodontic Centre, whitening is not a one-time procedure and needs to be repeated from time-to-time to maintain the required color. The outer layer of the tooth is known as enamel and the natural color of the tooth is created by the scattering and the reflection of the light off the enamel which is mixed with the thin color of dentin. The genes affect the thickness and the smoothness of the enamel that allows color of the dentin to show off.
Everyday a thin coating which is also known as (pellicle) forms on the enamel and picks up the stains. The tooth enamel contains the pores which hold back the stains. The most common reasons of stains are tobacco, drinking dark-colored liquids like tea, coffee, red wine and aerated drinks. Even not taking due care of your teeth can lead to staining.
Aging is also one of the cause. With age your teeth becomes less bright / dull, because the enamel gets thinner and the dentin becomes darker. It is possible that stains can occur inside your tooth which is known as intrinsic stains. When you are exposed to too much of fluoride as a child, when your teeth are getting developed your tooth may get discoloured. Any kind of trauma might also darken a tooth. Tooth whitening is most effective on surface with extrinsic stains.
There are three major teeth whitening options and all of them vary on the concentrations amounts of peroxide and application times.
In-Office Whitening : The major benefit of in-house teeth whitening is that the color change is significant over a short period of time. It is the quickest way to whiten your teeth and with in-house bleaching the whitening product is directly applied to your teeth. These products can be used by in combination with heat, a special light and/or a laser. The results are visible within 30 to 60 minutes of the treatment. However to achieve best result several appointments are needed and the dramatic results are visible after the first treatment, though undoubtedly that this is also an expensive method of treatment.
Professionally Administered Take-Home Whitening Kits :
Non-prescription Teeth Whitening : It is the cheapest method and one of the convenient teeth whitening options. This involves a store- bought whitening kit that has a bleaching gel with a concentration lower than a professionally managed take-home whiteners, which is applied to the teeth through one-size-fits-all trays, paint-on applicators or whitening strips. However, this might only produce results in few front teeth unlike the custom trays that whiten the entire smile.