Updated: November 13, 2017
Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural color of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete color change, but it may lighten the existing shade. It helps to remove stains and discoloration.
Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter color.
The outer layer of a tooth is called the enamel. Your genes affect the thickness and smoothness of the enamel. The color of natural teeth is created by the reflection and scattering of light off the enamel in combination with the dentin color. If the enamel is thinner it allows more of the color of the dentin to show.
The reflection of light and hence the color is also affected by smoother or rougher enamel. A thin coating called pellicle is formed on the enamel everyday and picks up stains. Tooth enamel also contains pores that can hold stains.
Tooth whitening can only lighten your existing tooth color and it only works on natural teeth. It will not work on any types of false teeth such as dentures, crowns and veneers. If your dentures are stained or discolored visit your dental team and ask for them to be cleaned.
Everyone is different and just as our hair and skin color vary, so do our teeth.
Aging makes teeth less bright as the enamel gets thinner and the dentin becomes darker. The Other reasons are
Whitening may make your teeth sensitive if you have tooth decay or receding gums. It also does not work on ceramic or porcelain crowns or veneers.
Other dental problems such as cavities need to be treated before teeth are whitened. Because the whitening solution can pass through decayed areas and reach the inner parts of the tooth. If your gums have receded, the exposed roots of your teeth may appear yellow or discolored. Whitening products will not make them whiter.
Whitening can be done in the dental office or at home.
For whitening at home, your dentist can make trays to hold the whitening gel that fit your teeth precisely. Home whitening gel should be applied daily for 2 to 3 weeks. Over-the-counter kits also are widely available for home use which provide trays to hold the gel, or whitening strips that stick to your teeth. To avoid overuse and possible damage to your teeth and mouth be sure to follow directions.
For in-office whitening, your dentist probably will photograph your teeth first which will help him or her to monitor the progress of the treatment. Your dentist will examine your teeth and ask you questions to find out the cause of staining. After that, the dentist or a dental hygienist will clean your teeth to remove the film of bacteria, food and other substances that build up on your teeth and contribute to the staining. Once this is done, the whitening procedure begins.
Your teeth can be kept white by cutting down on the amount of food and drinks you have that can stain teeth. Quitting smoking can also help prevent discoloration and staining.
Following tips are recommended to take care of your teeth color: