The term “bleaching” is permitted to be used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. This applies strictly to products that contain bleach – typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
Most of us start out with sparkling white teeth, thanks to their porcelain-like enamel surface. Composed of microscopic crystalline rods, tooth enamel is designed to protect the teeth from the effects of chewing, gnashing, trauma and acid attacks caused by sugar. But over the years enamel is worn down, becoming more transparent and permitting the yellow color of dentin – the tooth’s core material – to show through.
Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
We are of the opinion that professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits can produce the best results over the long haul. Take-home kits incorporate an easy-to-use lower-concentration peroxide gel that remains on the teeth for an hour or longer (sometimes overnight). The lower the peroxide percentage, the longer it may safely remain on the teeth. The gel is applied to the teeth using custom-made bleaching trays that resemble mouth guards.
How White Can You Go? A Matter of Esthetics
Teeth whitening results are subjective, varying considerably from person to person. Many are immediately delighted with their outcome, while others may be disappointed. Before you embark on any whitening treatment, we will tell you a realistic idea of the results you are likely to achieve and how long it should take to achieve them. Expectations play a major role in teeth whitening.
Maintaining Your Teeth Whitening Results
To extend the longevity of newly whitened teeth, dentists are likely to recommend:
At-home follow-up or maintenance whitening – implemented immediately or performed as infrequently as once a year.
Avoiding dark-colored foods and beverages for at least a week after whitening.
Whenever possible, sipping dark-colored beverages with a straw.
Practicing excellent oral hygiene – brushing and flossing after meals and at bedtime.