Which are safe and reliable among several common teeth whitening methods(1)?

Nowadays I often encounter some people complaining: Why are my teeth so yellow and how can they turn white?

In fact, healthy adult teeth are pale yellow, mainly because our teeth have three layers from the inside to the outside: pulp, dentin, and enamel.

Tooth enamel is translucent, and dentin is dark yellow or brownish yellow. Therefore, the color of the teeth we see is not all the color of the enamel on the surface of the teeth, but the color of the dentin that appears after passing through the enamel.

Tooth enamel will inevitably become thinner and thinner with age, so that more dentin color will show through, making teeth appear yellower. In addition, many foods and beverages that we usually eat, such as cola, coffee, and soy sauce, can adhere to the enamel on the surface of the teeth and “color” the teeth. Therefore, with age, teeth can only become more and more yellow, and our need for teeth whitening has also become prominent.


Cold light whitening

Cold light whitening in regular hospitals or standardized dental outsourcing is a safer and more reliable teeth whitening treatment.Although it is called “cold light” whitening, it mainly relies on bleaching agents to brighten teeth. The bleach used is generally hydrogen peroxide, which is also a strong oxidant. Everyone must be familiar with the aqueous solution of hydrogen peroxide, which is hydrogen peroxide, which can be used to sterilize medical devices. It is worth noting that not everyone is suitable for teeth whitening treatment. For example, pregnant women, children under 18 and adolescents do not recommend tooth whitening. Before deciding to receive teeth whitening treatment, it is best to ask a dentist for a thorough evaluation.

If you have untreated tooth decay, wedge-shaped defect, severe periodontal disease, gingival recession, gingivitis, etc., you should solve the oral problem first, and then consider whitening, otherwise it is likely to aggravate the condition and make the teeth more sensitive . If you have done porcelain teeth, dental veneers, or replaced dentures, bleaching agents will not have a whitening effect on these artificial materials.

The dentist applies a certain concentration of hydrogen peroxide to the surface of the patient’s teeth during cold light whitening. After the oxidation-reduction reaction, the surface of the teeth and the deeper pigments can be removed. In order to speed up the reaction speed and strengthen the decolorization effect on the teeth, blue light (cold light) irradiation is usually supplemented.


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In order to prevent the whitening process from causing damage to other parts of the oral cavity, the dentist will apply petroleum jelly to moisturize the patient’s lips in advance, and also apply a protective agent on the gum surface to prevent bleaching and blue light from damaging the gums.

As long as it is done properly, cold light whitening is usually safe. But after all, it is a strong oxidant, which damages the surface tissue of the tooth to a certain extent, thereby weakening the protection of the dentin. Therefore, some people will experience tooth soreness during or after the whitening treatment. But this situation is mostly relieved within 24 hours after treatment.

Generally speaking, after a cold light whitening treatment, most people can see the effect immediately: the teeth are a lot whiter. However, the whitening effect cannot last forever. Generally, it can last for 1 to 2 years. If you have the habit of drinking tea, coffee, smoking, and not rinsing your mouth in time after eating food, the duration of the effect may be shorter.

The whitening effect also varies from person to person. If you want pearl white, you may need multiple treatments. However, the higher the frequency of treatment, the greater the chance of damage to tooth enamel and gums. Excessive and improper use of this method may even lead to premature aging and yellowing of teeth.


Whitening tray

In order to prolong the effect of whitening teeth, sometimes dentists will let patients continue to use whitening trays. The principle is similar to cold light whitening, and the teeth are also bleached through redox reactions.

The dentist takes the patient’s dental model to make a customized dental tray. After the patient retrieves it, he can use it at home, that is, put the whitening agent given by the dentist on the dental tray and wear it for a certain period of time every day.

The whitening agent of this kind of whitening tooth tray is generally low in concentration, and the effect is definitely not as good as the cold light whitening of the hospital, but the advantage is that the irritation to the teeth is relatively small and mild (provided that the whitening agent does not get on the gums), and because The tray is custom-made and fits the teeth better, allowing the whitening agent to be evenly distributed on the surface of the teeth.

However, there are also some people who wear it for too long a day in pursuit of whitening effects, which may cause hydrogen peroxide and other deep tissues to penetrate into the teeth and damage the pulp.


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