Taking Care of Your Oral Health and Getting That Perfect Smile

December 05, 2020

Taking Care of Your Oral Health and Getting That Perfect Smile
Teeth whitening strips
Sensitivity after teeth whitening
Confident, friendlier and aesthetically-pleasing smile


Millions of people have stained and yellow teeth, and we assume you do too. That is not something unpleasant, but it does take a toll on your self-confidence whenever you crack a smile, and it must be the reason you are considering teeth whitening. Before jumping into it, read the ADA's key points (check this out) and guidelines. Though you do not have professional advice, for now, take their article as an outline for everything you need to know before an appointment.


Some people may say teeth whitening is harmful, but that is just an exaggeration many users and non-users make due to this method's utilization of chemicals. Like any other dental treatment, it has its pros and cons—though none of them is life-threatening or note-worthy for alarm. To know more about this, read on all about oral health, teeth whitening, and find out if this is the road to achieving your pearly white smile.


What Causes Someone to Seek Teeth Whitening?


If you are not a celebrity, there is no reason to undergo such a procedure. You might be thinking about this fact, did you know the teeth whitening market annual makes 2 billion annually? Some people who are not celebrities that pay money to keep their smiles bright, and it might just be as simple as aesthetics or essential, like someone seeking it as part of their therapy.


Teeth whitening can give you self-confidence like none other. As the saying goes, the prettiest accessory someone can have is a smile, but what if your pearly whites aren't as white anymore? Aesthetics can mean a lot to people, too, and do not mind setting aside a budget for it, even if it is just an annual thing.


Another reason can be the origin of stains on the teeth. Smoking and excessive drinking can bring about rows of yellow (or even blackened) enamels. Those that completed rehab can sometimes decide on this procedure to start fresh. A new set of white teeth can also welcome their new beginning in their journey to be clean.


Other than that, coffee can also cause nasty stains. Most clients would rather whiten their teeth twice a year than stop drinking the energizing liquid. This dental can be another way to keep them drinking coffee and eating acidic foods and drinks. Citrus fruits, fruit juices, soy sauce, and even chocolates can be some foods your dentist will tell you to avoid. Know more about any teeth whitening information further below.


What is “Teeth Whitening” Anyway?


This refers to any method that makes your teeth appear whiter. There are two ways this can go about: using bleaching or non-bleaching products. Although terms like “whitening” and “bleaching” can mean the same, the FDA has cleared the confusion with a statement. Bleaching can only be used for methods with bleach involved; whitening can is also acceptable, but for techniques that involve natural processes, whitening is more appropriate.


Bleaching techniques require peroxide, which can be carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is the purest form of peroxide (link: https://www.britannica.com/science/hydrogen-peroxide), appearing that of a blue liquid. It has a faster effect (30 minutes to 1 hour) on whitening the teeth than carbamide peroxide, which takes 2 hours to show results. Both are potent whitening agents, though.


Who Can Do This Procedure?


The American Dental Association strongly advises customers who wish to undergo teeth whitening to first consult with their physician or dentist. Professionals know the most efficient and safest way to do the procedure than non-professionals that lack the license, skills, and even proper equipment. Though the latter can help you save a few bucks, the former will ensure no other adverse effects happen afterward.


With that said, it is discouraged to do any DIY-ing with this procedure, especially with bleaching agents. Though the ADA has offered printouts for DIY methods, they all do not require a bleaching agent, only natural oils. Bleaching agents can be toxic if not handled by a knowledgeable professional. Thus, it is imperative to book an appointment with a dentist instead.


Things to Consider Prior Teeth Whitening


This procedure is recommended for those with mild to moderate discoloration in their teeth. Anything more severe requires more check-ups with the dentist. Though there are not any contraindications that may pose health problems, there are circumstances that prevent someone from deciding to do this process. Some of them are as follows:

● Veneers, Caps, Crowns, etc., do not respond well with bleaching agents. If you have one and wish to undergo teeth whitening still, you’ll need to get new veneers and other fillings to match your teeth’ new color.

● Brown enamels may not bleach well, or at all. Any gray spots from a “dead” tooth may also find bleaching ineffective. The perfect color that can make the most out of bleaching agents is yellow.

● Teeth sensitivity is something you need to consider before bleaching, as well as enamel loss. If you are suffering from bruxism or other jaw and other conditions, it is best to consult your dentist first before booking an appointment.

● Medications, like liquid iron, can cause severe discoloration, and it is not something bleaching can fix.


What is the Whole Process?


The whole procedure can be done in under an hour or more if other methods are combined to teeth whitening are done. Your dentist can use a whitening gel laced with hydrogen peroxide (40%), then use a special heating lamp for 20 minutes. This cycle can be repeated until results show itself, around 2-3 times.


Other professionals may use a laser (read more), which has many promising potentials, such as a more efficient, more effective, and quicker whitening process. If the professional deems it necessary, they can mold some whitening trays for your teeth to do the bleaching via DIY style. Take note you can only do this with the dentist's instructions and warnings.


Other take-homes the dentist can give you are whitening strips. These are long, thin plastic that contains a small number of bleaching agents. They are the most convenient type of DIY kit, as they can be used and be left on the teeth. The application time is 30 minutes, at which time you can discard it. They can be used twice per day for two whole weeks.


Whitening rinses can also be another item they will introduce you to. This whitening rinse can work just like any other rinse, only that it has a bleaching agent mixed in with other ingredients. Before brushing twice daily, swish this around your mouth, though be very careful not to swallow any products.


This is an excellent way to avoid gum diseases, plaques, and halitosis, all while keeping our teeth white. However, manufacturers have stated it takes as long as 12 weeks to show any results, unlike its counterparts.


Lastly, what might be the most common product is whitening toothpaste. These do not have bleaching agents in their ingredients but have polishing agents instead. These polishing agents can help remove any stains set again after the dentist's whitening session but are not the right choice for deep-set stains. Despite being less potent, they are paired with other products to enable them an enhanced effect.


Essential Facts About Teeth Whitening


1. Your Teeth Has Pores

Just like your skin, enamels have pores that can absorb anything you eat, which means wine, berries, smoking, and drinking can absolutely change your teeth color. The only way to prevent this is to have good oral hygiene, avoid such foods, and annual appointments to keep bleaching. Is your patience—and pocket—ready to compromise for this?


2. Aggressive Brushing Is More Damaging Than Bleaching

Yes, you heard us right. You can most definitely create problems for your teeth faster when you're brushing too many times with too much intensity. In comparison, bleaching with your dentist can require less effort on your part, and your safety is ensured. They temporarily open the pores to remove the deep-seated stains, and it will be 10 shades whiter at the end of the session.


This does not mean you will swear off brushing. Good brushing habits also have their advantages, such as better heart health, among other things. Not brushing enough can cause bacteria to climb down into your other organs, most especially your heart. Just as rheumatic fever can cause rheumatic heart disease due to the bacteria arriving in the heart, so as any bacteria lingering inside your mouth.

3. Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening Is Expected

Any procedure involving touching and prodding gums and enamel can result in soreness or sensitivity afterward, including whitening methods. Other than cracked/chipped enamels or genetic disorders, sensitivity can also arise from bleaching. This is due to the teeth being dehydrated, thus keeping the nerve from feeling the sharp temperature changes.


Do not worry. Sensitivity often goes away on its own after a day or two. It is not something warranting a check-up with your dentist or physician, so refrain from eating anything that can exert extra effort from your pearly whites, like meat, hard candy, etc.


4. Severe Stains Can't be Removed Overnight

Unlike mild to moderate teeth stains, severe ones from several years of smoking and drinking coffee will need more than an hour. It can cost you some days to some months of rigorous sessions before you achieve the ideal shade of chalk white you would want.


Benefits of Teeth Whitening


1. Better Oral Health

Having whiter rows means there are not any plaques and stains present to harbor bacteria. This can help you avoid any future diseases and long-term problems. Your teeth can also be stronger than before, leading to less chipping and sensitivity.


2. Reliable Treatment

Buying over-the-counter products are less than ideal, especially when you do not know what's inside those products. Unlike those used by professionals, those in stores can potentially be harmful. What dentists use are ADA-approved or have their seal, since anything used without it can lead them to unwanted liabilities


3. You Appear More Confident, Friendlier, and Aesthetically-pleasing


Anyone facing a stranger with an easy smile immediately fosters initial trust, even if they are unaware of it. This is because of the confidence imposed by whiter teeth. When you know you have a great smile, it is easy to give a smile to anyone you meet.


4. Focuses Away from You Facial Flaws

Did you know a smile can gravitate someone's eyes from your big nose or uneven lids? In fact, it can enhance the way you look, so much that people who notice it begin to forget about the flaw and instead feel at ease with your broad smile.




Bleaching can bring a lot of good things to the table. It can boost self-confidence, give better first impressions, and even fortify oral health. Though some things may hold you back from getting this treatment, other ways may not contain bleach as well. The most important thing to remember is involving your dentist or healthcare professional when planning this feat.



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