The Science of Teeth Whitening: How It Works and What to Expect

The allure of a brighter, whiter smile compels millions to seek professional teeth whitening annually, making it a highly sought-after dental procedure. Understanding the science behind teeth whitening is essential for those considering the procedure. Let’s delve into the intricacies of teeth whitening and explore how a dentist in Melbourne, FL, can help achieve a dazzling smile.

Types of Tooth Stains

To comprehend how teeth whitening works, it’s crucial to distinguish between two main types of tooth stains:

Extrinsic Stains

  • Location: Develops on the surface of enamel.
  • Causes: Result from substances like tea, coffee, red wine, and tobacco.
  • Removability: Generally easily removed with teeth whitening procedures.

Intrinsic Stains:

  • Location: Penetrate deeper into the tooth, affecting the dentin layer under the enamel.
  • Causes: Stem from genetics, aging, trauma to the tooth, or exposure to certain medications.
  • Removability: More challenging to remove compared to extrinsic stains.

The Role of Bleaching Agents

Teeth whitening employs bleaching agents, typically hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, to whiten teeth gradually without causing harm to enamel or underlying structures. The process involves breaking down oxygen molecules within these agents, which penetrate enamel and dentin layers. As oxygen molecules interact with colored compounds in the teeth, they dissolve, resulting in whiter teeth.

Effectiveness hinges on factors like the type and concentration of the bleaching agent and the duration of the whitening process.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits

Three main teeth whitening methods exist: in-office whitening, over-the-counter products, and take-home kits. Take-home teeth whitening kits, favored for convenience and effectiveness, involve the following steps:

  1. Custom Mouthguard Creation: Your dentist in Melbourne, FL, takes impressions to craft a custom mouthguard or stent.
  1. Bleaching Process: Custom stents hold a bleaching agent against teeth, maximizing whitening power. Patients place the bleaching agent in transparent splints and wear them for a specified period, usually a few hours daily.
  1. Maintenance: After achieving the desired whiteness, occasional treatments maintain results.

Take-home kits outshine over-the-counter products due to higher bleaching solution concentrations, providing more effective results.

Post-Teeth Whitening Expectations

Professional teeth whitening offers nearly permanent results, lasting up to three years on average, with individual variations. Maintenance may be required sooner for those consuming stain-inducing foods, beverages, or tobacco.

Expectations include:

  • Whitening potential up to eight shades lighter.
  • Mild and temporary side effects, like tooth sensitivity or sore gums, typically diminish within days.

Schedule Your Teeth Whitening Appointment

For those aspiring to brighten their smiles, professional teeth whitening stands out as a solution. Contact Artistic Touch Dentistry for information on teeth whitening services or to schedule an appointment, unlocking the path to a radiant smile.