At some point in time or the other, we have all come across who has a pearl white smile that makes us smile as well. Such a moment is often followed by one where we wonder what it takes to have teeth that white and a smile like that.
Teeth may be yellow or discolored for a multitude of reasons. While the most common reason may be a lapse in the necessary oral hygiene, that is not always the reason. From the consumption of certain foods to habits such as smoking; from loss of enamel to aged discoloring, the reason can be any. The bottom line remains that we all wish for that smile we mentioned.
What is teeth whitening?
Today, unlike a decade-plus ago, it is neither too difficult nor extremely expensive to get teeth whitening done as cosmetic dentists will tell you. It has become one of the most used and sought procedures in cosmetic dentistry as per statistics.
Teeth whitening simply put is the process by which we remove the discoloring factors on our teeth and get the teeth deep cleaned and shined in order to have a pearl white smile as we envisage. It is important to remember here that the process mostly leads to one of two things:
- The temporary artificial complete whitening of the teeth beyond their natural color, for a picture-perfect smile for a short duration of a few days
- The deep cleaning and cleansing of the teeth leading them to whiten to their natural color
What is common in both these is that the whitening of teeth is never done at the cost of harm to the natural enamel or the rest of the teeth or gums. By this, we mean to say that we will not be talking of cosmetic processes that involve harmful chemicals or procedures that lead to white teeth but at the cost of the health of our mouth and teeth. Remember this when you read what we have for you.
The various methods of teeth whitening
While the process of teeth whitening is fairly a simple one conceptually, the procedures that can be used to achieve the aim can be vastly varied. They differ not only in simplicity or accessibility but in cost and effect duration as well. Let us see what these options are:
Over the counter methods
This method can be used by those of us whose problem isn’t a harsh or long-term one. Teeth discolored due to the food and beverages you have been consuming? A gap in the oral hygiene area? Consume smokes or sodas a lot? The way to deal with these is a better oral hygiene routine and certain products. These include mouthwash, whitening strips, chewing gum, etc.
Use at home gels
If you feel or are convinced that your problems stem from something more elaborate than what can be helped by everyday products, then your dentist or a healthcare store can provide you with special trays and gels that contain bleach as a component. These are highly effective but must be used with care to avoid them irritating the gums. They also require to be used diligently for a set duration of time daily.
Professional teeth whitening
This is an option where the damage/ problem may be long term or stemming from something more than just daily habits and hygiene. This procedure includes proper bleaching of the teeth along with other processes carried on by a cosmetic dentist. This is time-consuming as the whole process may take a few weeks and also demands the monetary company to the same.
If there lies any confusion for you in which method, to begin with, remember that these are listed in increasing severity and commitment. The final decision though must lie entirely on the severity of your issue and the results you seek. These results can be in terms of how temporary or permanent you wish them to be, how sensitive your gums and teeth are, what your habits are, and also how much money are you willing to spend for this.
What is crucial to remember here is that you need to consult your dentist who knows your teeth and dental history well before you take any decision.