Bleaching your Teeth: Explained


Bleaching is a process used to brighten your own natural teeth without any complications. In this procedure, no removal, etching, or cutting of your dental enamel is required. Tea, coffee, red wine, tobacco and the natural aging process of your teeth turn them darker and stain them over time. A professional teeth whitening is performed with the help of active oxygen that helps decolourize the distracting colour pigments present in your teeth.

Before the bleaching process is started, it is important that your dentist evaluates your teeth and fillings, and if necessary, a replacement of the fillings or a professional cleaning may be required. Your dentist will begin the procedure by putting a plastic covering on your gums. This is done to protect them from the potentially harmful bleaching agent. It is only possible to brighten your natural teeth; crowns, bridges or veneers can’t be bleached. After your gums have been covered and your teeth have been dried, the bleaching agent can be applied. Once your teeth have been exposed to the agent for the correct amount of time, the agent can be rinsed off with water, and the gum protection can be removed. Take note, that a professional teeth bleaching can be performed safely every two years.


Your teeth are just as individual as you are. After bleaching, there is no doubt that they will appear whiter, but how much whiter depends on the base colour of your teeth. Depending on the degree of discolouration, a brightening of about 1 to 14 degrees is possible. The result usually lasts from one to three years depending on the quality of your dental care as well as regular, professional, good oral hygiene. In cases of heavy consumption of discolouring substances, like alcohol, nicotine, red juices, tea, coffee, cola, as well as poor oral hygiene, the results will not last as long.


To date, there has been any scientific proof of better bleaching results when the teeth are exposed to a halogen lamp or a laser. Instead, the teeth just dry out more. Although this seems to lead to better results; these results are short-lived because the effect lasts no more than one to two days. However, the disadvantage of the lamps is that the teeth could be damaged due to the added drying, which is why the use of lasers is not recommended today.


The risks of bleaching are insignificant at best. Nevertheless, complications may occur in individual cases possibly requiring additional measures. For every additional measure, there may in turn be further complications, which may even lead to the loss of a tooth in the course of treatment. Some specific complications encountered in bleaching include sensitive tooth necks. This can happen as a result of a careless application of the bleaching agent. Toothaches can occur in the case of leaky fillings; and spotty teeth can result from an uneven application of the bleaching gel. However, all these complications can be prevented with careful work. In order to look your best this season, please consult a professional for any aesthetic procedure you are considering; including teeth whitening.


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