Usually, the natural colour of our teeth is within a range of light greyish-yellow shades. Our teeth generally look whiter due to – the white enamel outer layer, skin tone and make-up. Teeth naturally darken with age and their appearance can be affected for various reasons, such as surface stains from certain food and drink, the outer layer of teeth wearing down, genetics, etc.
More and more Canadians are looking to get whiter, brighter teeth in recent days. Responding to this, a wide variety of teeth whitening products has become available to consumers. Among them, bleaches and surface whiteners are the most popular.
Surface whiteners usually refer to easy-to-use oral care products, such as toothpaste or chewing gums. These products can only clean your teeth’ surface and can’t be used as a substitute for professional cleaning. Because the special abrasives in these whitening products are often only finer versions of what is used in regular toothpaste, they are unlikely to cause excessive tooth wear.
Most bleaching solutions contain peroxide-based agents and are mostly applied by dental professionals. However, there are at-home peroxide-based products available for teeth whitening. These solutions usually contain 3% to 20% peroxide. On the other hand, in-office solutions contain from 15%-40% peroxide.
Bleaching can make teeth temporarily sensitive, or hurt your gum if not applied correctly. At-home bleaching options are usually cheaper, however, it may cost you more to fix your teeth later if you don’t apply the solution correctly. Additionally, at-home teeth whitening doesn’t last as long as professional teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening done by dental professionals makes your teeth whiter, much faster. The bleaching solutions used by dentists are usually much stronger than at-home kits. Also, heat, light, or a combination of the two may be used to speed and intensify the whitening process. Certain light rays which are used in teeth whitening, such as UV ray is considered a risk if not used correctly. It might cause gum irritation, soft tissue burning, damage to teeth, and increased tooth sensitivity. That’s why dental professionals take every precaution to protect your teeth and gums when using UV light during a teeth whitening procedure.
In a sentence, whitening using bleach can be harmful to your teeth if not applied by a dental professional. Other at-home whitening products, such as toothpaste, don’t cause any damage to your teeth unless you brush aggressively.
If you live or work in Downtown Toronto and have any questions regarding your oral health, give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions!