Curious about tooth whitening procedures, safety guidelines, and common inquiries in Waterloo? Dive into our detailed overview below!
Teeth whitening primarily focuses on eradicating the discoloration embedded within the tooth enamel over the years. As teeth gather stains, they can turn yellow, brown, or even grey. These staining particles deeply penetrate the enamel, making them unreachable by regular brushing. In Waterloo, there are several tooth whitening methods, although not all are recommended:
Charcoal toothpastes. Gaining traction in recent years, these pastes leverage the abrasive nature of charcoal to scrub away surface stains. But be cautious; while professional cleanings may polish your teeth once or twice a year, daily abrasion might harm your enamel. It's usually advised to limit the use of charcoal toothpastes.
Hydroxyapatite (hA) toothpastes. Often termed the newcomer in the toothpaste world, hA versions have been popular in places like Japan for ages, only making their way to North America recently. Hydroxyapatite constitutes a significant portion of our tooth enamel. So, when you brush with this type of paste, you're essentially replenishing and strengthening your enamel. Plus, it aids in naturally whitening the teeth.
Dental Cleanings. Ever wondered why teeth appear yellowish? Tartar buildup, which originates from calcified plaque, is a major culprit. Tartar, being porous, attracts stains. Professional dental cleanings eliminate tartar and the associated stains. Additionally, they polish away surface discoloration.
Peroxide Tooth Whiteners. Both over-the-counter and professional-grade tooth whiteners employ peroxide compounds. Upon interaction with saliva, these peroxides release molecular oxygen, which dives deep into the enamel to displace and erase stain particles. Over a period of 1-2 weeks, individuals can noticeably reduce deep-set stains using these products. Are you curious about their safety? Keep reading!
When aiming to enhance your smile, it's only natural to seek the most effective method. If we narrow our focus to whitening systems, both at-home and professional, peroxides are the active ingredient. Though the basic chemistry remains consistent, variations arise in concentration and duration.
Despite the aggressive promotion of in-office treatments, they aren't necessarily more effective than at-home versions. Additionally, in-office procedures that claim to use "activator" lights don't provide long-lasting results. This temporary whitening, achieved by dehydrating the enamel, usually reverts within half an hour post-treatment, leaving only the effects of the peroxide.
Whitening agents are generally safe for teeth and won't modify your enamel's structure. But what about their impact on gums? High-concentration hydrogen peroxide can be cytotoxic, potentially harming mouth tissue cells. Nonetheless, long-term studies haven't pinpointed significant adverse effects. Always adhere to your dentist's advice and limit whitening sessions.
Over-whitening can lead to enhanced tooth sensitivity, which usually diminishes post-treatment. Depending on the peroxide concentration, the recommended duration can vary, but typically, it shouldn't exceed 10-14 days.
Peroxide whitening might render your enamel more porous temporarily, amplifying sensitivity. However, no concrete evidence suggests it leads to gum recession.
Theoretically, the potential cytotoxicity of peroxides against gum tissue could cause irritation and recession. However, research has never demonstrated recession in tooth whitening subjects. The best practice is to use gels sparingly and make sure they don’t sit in contact with your gums for long periods. People are often told that whitening gels must make contact up to the gums to ensure whitening of the whole tooth. In fact, this is not necessary as the molecular oxygen from peroxides can move freely throughout your enamel. This means that you can whiten enamel even if the peroxide gel is not in direct contact with it.
As an interesting aside, whitening sensitivity is much higher in patients that already have gum recession. This may be because of contact between the whitening gel and root dentin (which does not benefit from insulation by enamel).
Opting for in-office whitening in Waterloo will come with a price, usually ranging from $200-$500. It's crucial to note that these aren't inherently better than home treatments.
Can whitening products make my crowns and veneers brighter?
Whitening products don't affect the shade of crowns, fillings, or veneers. If you're planning for such treatments, consider whitening beforehand.
Will whitening gels damage dental work?
Rest assured, peroxide gels won't damage veneers or fillings.
How do teeth whitening lights work?
While marketing might suggest otherwise, whitening lights primarily dehydrate the enamel, offering a short-lived brightness boost.
For those in Waterloo seeking more research, several scholarly articles delve into the intricacies of tooth whitening.