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Teeth whitening is a series of dental procedures aimed at changing the reflective properties of the enamel-dentin border of the tooth in order to obtain the maximum light reflectance from the white dentin of the tooth, and as a result, the visual perception of "white teeth".
Whitening works only on enamel painted in yellowish shades. If the teeth are gray, any kind of whitening will be ineffective. Not entirely true. There is a so-called natural tooth color scale. All tones in it are grouped according to the predominance of gray, yellow-gray, pinkish-yellow, or lemon-yellow shades. These groups, in turn, are divided into subgroups - from the lightest (a1, b1, c1, d1) to the darkest (a4, b4, c4, d4). Teeth belonging to groups a and b, yellow-lemon and yellow-pink shades, lend themselves best to whitening. The problem is that if the color of the tooth enamel does not correspond to the usual standard, then only laser whitening is effective. Moreover, to maintain the result, the procedure then has to be repeated several times.
Ultrasonic cleaning is not fundamentally different from laser whitening. This is one of the most common misconceptions. Nevertheless, we have before us two completely different procedures. With the help of ultrasound, they do not whiten, but only clean the teeth from various deposits: soft plaque, tartar, smoker's plaque. Dentists recommend ultrasonic cleaning at least once a year for prevention purposes. The principle of operation of laser and photo-whitening is fundamentally different. Here, the active ingredient is a special gel, which is applied to the teeth and then activated with a laser or light from a special lamp (ZOOM 2). Under the influence of light, oxygen is released, which splits the coloring pigment into colorless components. The result is noticeable immediately after the procedure and lasts for several years.
The difference between home and professional whitening lies only in the price. In fact, this is the same procedure. Home and professional whitening has a number of fundamental differences. First, professional whitening is performed by a qualified doctor in a clinic. Special devices are used (halogen lamps, diode lasers), and you carry out home whitening yourself using special mouth guards with a whitening gel. Secondly, the concentration of the active gel in professional whitening products is several times higher than in preparations for home use. Therefore, with professional whitening, we get the maximum result in the shortest possible time. The third and most important difference: during the procedure in the clinic, the doctor isolates the oral mucosa with special materials in order to exclude any possibility of injury, especially if you suffer from gum disease. Home procedures are required to maintain the effect of professional whitening in the clinic.
Home whitening kits irritate the gums, destroy the enamel, and if swallowed, it can cause serious poisoning. True, but only partially. Whitening compounds contain hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down into oxygen and water. Drinking such a solution, of course, is not worth it, but there will be no harm if you accidentally swallow a few drops. Irritation of the gums and destruction of enamel is possible only if you wear aligners for too long or have been bleaching for several months due to the lack of the desired result.
It is enough to do teeth whitening once in a lifetime and the result will be saved forever. I would like to confirm this common misconception, but unfortunately it is not true. The results of home and professional whitening can last from six months to three years. At the same time, you must comply with a number of restrictions, in particular, quit smoking, or at least minimize the number of cigarettes you smoke, brush your teeth regularly, and also reduce the use of coloring pigmented foods such as coffee, red wine or berries. If you dream of a snow-white smile that will stay with you for life, and at the same time do not want to limit yourself in something, use the possibilities of aesthetic dentistry, for example, such as veneers or lumineers.
Whitening smokers' teeth is the most difficult, and coffee or tea stains are the easiest to remove. The statement is rather controversial. For any kind of whitening, both professional and home, the reason for the darkening of the enamel does not matter.
Whitening toothpaste is not a supplement, but a complete replacement for professional whitening techniques. Any whitening paste only supports the result of professional whitening. Depending on the content of active components, pastes are of three types: abrasive, based on hydrogen peroxide or enzymes. It is better to avoid the use of the former altogether or use them no more than once a week: they worsen the condition of the tooth enamel, make it thin and transparent. Moreover, with the constant use of such a paste, you will soon notice that your teeth have turned yellow even more! This is because dentin, a hard tooth tissue with a yellowish tint, begins to shine through a thin layer of enamel. Hydrogen peroxide toothpastes are aggressive and should only be prescribed by a dentist. The safest are enzymatic pastes, which simply break down plaque, preventing it from settling on the teeth. They are most often recommended by experts to maintain the effect of professional whitening.
Laser whitening is a painful procedure. Absolutely not true! Laser whitening is currently considered the safest and most painless method, since the laser is able to break down pigments without disrupting the enamel structure. The laser whitening procedure is the most effective, and the result lasts for several years.
Any method of whitening increases the sensitivity of the enamel, and teeth begin to deteriorate. Tooth enamel does not contain nerve fibers, therefore, in the process of whitening, its sensitivity cannot be increased in principle. The enamel also does not deteriorate, does not become thinner or weaker. And an increased susceptibility to hot or cold can occur only as a result of the fact that during the procedure, an active whitening gel gets on the bare necks of the teeth, that is, on the area of dentin that is not protected by enamel (this largely depends on the professionalism of the specialist). It should be borne in mind that during the first 48 hours after the whitening procedure, teeth become more susceptible to coloring pigments, therefore it is recommended to refuse wine, coffee and black tea, as well as cigarettes for this time.