What is teeth whitening? What Are Its Possible Side Effects?

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Impact of Whitening Mouthwash on Teeth Whitening Treatment

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure performed by many dentist Hunters Hill. These whitening treatments enhance tooth colour by removing permanent or semi-permanent stains from the enamel surface of teeth. 

Aesthetic benefits of teeth whitening: Teeth-whitening procedures can make people look more attractive and feel better about themselves, especially if they have stained, dulled, chipped or cracked teeth. 

Possible side effects of teeth whitening 

A common side effect of this cosmetic dentistry treatment is tooth sensitivity during the procedure, which typically lasts for one to three days. Some people experience increased sensitivity after having their teeth bleached as well. This usually resolves itself over time as the bleach wears off and new cementum forms on the surface of your teeth. Other possible side effects include gum irritation, pain and discomfort. 

Post-whitening touch-ups are needed every six months on average to maintain the white shade achieved after becoming used to veneers on front teeth for a couple of years. Post-whitening touch-ups are more frequent at first but typically last three years or less depending on exposure to coffee, tea, red wine, tobacco, dark soda and chocolate. 

Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits 

There are many ways to whiten your smile at home with over-the-counter teeth whitening kits containing whitening strips, trays with bleaching gel, or light-activated gel. These products vary in their ingredients and prices. Additionally, some of these options also come in convenient forms, such as pens or gels for easy use on the go. Before trying any of these options, it is good to consult with your dentist to determine which product would be best for you. Some over the counter tooth whiteners can also cause harmful side effects, including gum irritation or tooth sensitivity.  

However, you may be able to try them out first before having an in-office whitening treatment done. 

How do in-office teeth whitening procedures work? 

There are several ways to brighten your smile at the dentist's office, including in-office laser treatments or certain types of in-office bleaching gels that can be used with special lights or a laser to enhance the process. You will have to schedule an appointment with your dentist for this procedure so they can check any tooth discolouration you may have and determine which level of whitening would be best for you depending on how much staining is present on your teeth.  

Usually, there are two kinds of in-office whiteners: hydrogen peroxide-based or carbamide peroxide-based. With these treatments, you will be able to see the results right away or within a few days following your visit with your dentist. 

In-office teeth whitening procedures 

In-office tooth whitening uses light energy, lasers, chemicals and other techniques to give you a whiter smile. The first step is usually an exam by your dentist, who will determine if this is the best option for you. If so, they will apply a protective layer on your lips, gums and other soft tissue areas which are sensitive during treatment. During this whitening treatment, you may feel some discomfort and sensitivity in your teeth and mouth until they recover from the procedure, which can take up to two months after the treatment depending on what type of whitening method was used. They will then use an ultra-violet light, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to give your teeth a brighter appearance. 

Laser whitening 

This is an in-chair procedure that can be done in one to two visits depending on the type of whitening solution used, how fast your teeth move and the colour of your natural tooth enamel. During this procedure, you might feel little discomfort and sensitivity in your teeth. Your dentist will apply the protective gel over soft tissues of your gums, lips and cheeks, then use a laser or other whitening agent activated by LED lights. This works best on yellowish stains on the tooth's surface, but it cannot penetrate deeper into the tooth itself like certain types of in-office bleaching agents. 

What are the possible side effects? 

In-office tooth whitening procedures can cause several negative side effects, including tooth sensitivity, gum irritation and blistering, which decrease as you continue using your teeth whitening treatment. You should also avoid any foods or drinks that may stain your teeth for 24 hours after the procedure to give your enamel time to harden back up. In addition, you may experience cracked teeth if the gums recede from the root surface following this treatment, so you will have to wait two months before receiving in-office treatments again or at least six months before undergoing an office bleaching with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. 

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