How does tooth whitening work?

Tooth whitening, also known as teeth bleaching, is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves removing stains and discoloration from the teeth to improve their appearance. There are several methods of tooth whitening, but most rely on the use of peroxide-based bleaching agents.

The peroxide-based bleaching agents work by breaking down the stains and discoloration on the surface of the teeth into smaller particles, which makes them less visible. The oxygen molecules in the peroxide also penetrate the tooth enamel and dentin, which helps to further break down the stains and discoloration.

Tooth whitening is generally safe and effective when performed by a dental professional. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, and some people may experience sensitivity or other side effects. It’s important to consult with your dentist before undergoing any tooth whitening procedure to determine if it’s right for you.

The two main types of tooth whitening procedures are:

In-office bleaching

This procedure involves applying a high-concentration bleaching gel to the teeth and then activating it with a special light or heat source. The procedure typically takes about one to two hours and can lighten the teeth by several shades.

At-home bleaching

This procedure involves using a lower-concentration bleaching gel that is applied to custom-made trays that fit over the teeth. The trays are worn for a certain period of time each day, usually one to two weeks, and can lighten the teeth by several shades.

How to keep your teeth white?

There are several ways to help keep your teeth white and maintain a bright, healthy smile. Here are some tips to help you achieve and maintain whiter teeth:

  • 1

    Brush and floss regularly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay and discoloration.

  • 2

    Use a whitening toothpaste: There are many toothpastes on the market that contain mild abrasives and whitening agents that can help remove surface stains and brighten your teeth over time.

  • 3

    Avoid staining foods and drinks: Foods and drinks that can stain your teeth such as coffee, tea, red wine, berries, and dark-colored sauces should be consumed in moderation.

  • 4

    Quit smoking: Smoking and other tobacco products can stain your teeth and cause yellowing.

  • 5

    Try oil pulling: Oil pulling is an ancient practice that involves swishing oil around in your mouth for a few minutes to remove bacteria and toxins. Some studies have suggested that oil pulling with coconut oil may help to whiten teeth.

  • 6

    Use a whitening mouthwash: Some mouthwashes contain hydrogen peroxide or other whitening agents that can help to remove surface stains and brighten your teeth.

  • 7

    Professional teeth whitening: Your dentist can provide professional teeth whitening options such as bleaching or laser whitening, which can produce dramatic results in a relatively short time.

  • 8

    Touch-up treatments: You can also ask your dentist about touch-up treatments, such as take-home whitening trays, to maintain your whitened teeth.

Remember that everyone’s teeth are different and some may be more resistant to whitening than others, and also, tooth whitening is not a one-time procedure, it’s a process that need to be maintained over time. Consulting your dentist is the best way to know what options are the best for you and to ensure that your teeth are healthy enough to undergo whitening treatment.

How do orthodontics help to maintain a healthier smile?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The goal of orthodontic treatment is to help patients achieve a healthier, more attractive smile by correcting problems with the bite and alignment of the teeth and jaws. Here are some ways in which orthodontics can help to maintain a healthier smile:

  • Improve bite alignment: Orthodontic treatment can correct problems with the bite such as overbite, underbite, or crossbite. This can help to reduce wear and tear on the teeth, prevent damage to the jaw joints, and improve the function of the bite.

  • Straighten crooked teeth: Orthodontic treatment can straighten crooked teeth, which can improve the appearance of the smile and make it easier to clean and maintain the teeth.

  • Enhance self-esteem: A straighter, more attractive smile can improve self-esteem and self-confidence. Orthodontic treatment can help patients feel better about their appearance and be more willing to smile and interact with others.

  • Prevent future dental problems: Orthodontic treatment can prevent future dental problems by correcting and aligning the teeth and jaws, which can improve the appearance of the smile and make teeth easier to clean and maintain.

Why do teeth move after orthodontic treatment?

After orthodontic treatment, teeth can move due to a variety of factors, including:

  • Retention issues: One of the most common reasons for teeth to shift after orthodontic treatment is poor retention. Retention is the process of maintaining the position of teeth after braces or other orthodontic appliances are removed. If the retention phase is not properly managed or maintained, the teeth can shift back to their original position.

  • Growth and aging: As we age, our bones and tissues naturally change, which can cause teeth to shift slightly over time. In addition, growth during adolescence can also cause teeth to shift as the jaw and surrounding structures continue to develop.

  • Habits: Certain habits, such as clenching or grinding the teeth, can put pressure on the teeth and cause them to shift. Other habits, such as nail-biting or biting on pens, can also contribute to tooth movement.

  • Missing teeth: If a tooth is missing or extracted after orthodontic treatment, the surrounding teeth can shift into the empty space, causing misalignment.

  • Gum disease: Gum disease can cause the bone and tissue around the teeth to weaken, which can lead to tooth movement.

It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and attend regular dental checkups after orthodontic treatment to ensure the teeth stay in their proper position. Additionally, wearing a retainer as directed by the orthodontist or dentist can help prevent teeth from shifting after treatment.

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West Island Smiles,
802-6600 Trans-Canada Highway,
Pointe-Claire, Québec,
H9R 4S2