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Dental Bleaching Tips

Dental Bleaching Is It a Requirement or a Craze?

Dr. Ankit Gupta 89% (417 ratings)
BDS, MDS - Orthodontics
Dentist, Gurgaon
Dental Bleaching Is It a Requirement or a Craze?

How do your teeth become stained?
Teeth discoloration is generally caused by stain causing beverages. These include coffee, red wine, tea and some other hard drinks. Use of tobacco, excessive fluoride and dark colored berries may also cause staining of teeth.

Why do you need dental bleaching?
Our tooth is the hardest calcified substance, which mechanically helps us to break food particles into minute ones so that they are easily digestible by the body. They aid in our appearance. Hence, having white stain free teeth is a joy.

The concept of dental bleaching or teeth whitening
Dental bleaching or teeth whitening is a process of removing the stains from our teeth and to reveal them as milky white. There are 2 types of teeth whitening, whiten and non-whiten. Dental plaque, betel chewing, tobacco tar, drinking dark color liquids like coffee, tea are some reasons why our teeth get stained. The mineral structure of the tooth becomes phosphate deficient. The enamel layer gradually thins and gets perforated. Hence tooth whitening is required. 

The dentist removes the eccentric stains as well as intrinsic stains using hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide is available as bleaching strips, bleaching pen and as bleaching gel for tooth whitening. Laser tooth whitening technology is also used for this purpose. Increases in the sensitivity of the teeth, irritation in the gums are some of the side effects in teeth whitening process. This procedure of teeth whitening must be essentially done under medical supervision. This is not a one time job and may require more sittings with the doctor depending on the amount of stain in the teeth as well as the whiteners required.

Bleaching or teeth whitening is not recommended for the following people:

  1. Children below the age of 16 should not undergo this procedure.
  2. Individuals with sensitive gums and teeth should consult a dentist prior to using teeth whitening.

Whitening Procedures

  1. Vital Whitening: It is performed on teeth that have live nerves. Here the gel is applied directly on the tooth surface.
  2. Non Vital Whitening: This procedure is applied if the patient has undergone root canal treatment.

Is dental bleaching a requirement or just a craze?
Dental bleaching should not become a craze or mania because unhealthy obsession for extremely white teeth will lead to body dysmorphic disorder. This is a mental disorder in which a person cannot stop thinking about one or more perceived defects in his or her appearance.

Teeth whitening should be done only when necessary. People who have unrealistic expectations with:

  1. dental bleaching should not opt for this procedure.
  2. Also, bleaching or teeth whitening is not recommended for the following people:
  3. Children below the age of 16 should not undergo this procedure.
  4. Individuals with sensitive gums and teeth should consult a dentist prior to using teeth whitening.
3948 people found this helpful

Bleaching for Extra White Teeth

BDS
Dentist,
Bleaching for Extra White Teeth

The smile is the first thing we notice about a person, and more than anything else, it reveals the teeth first. We all yearn for that set of perfectly aligned teeth that are pearly white in color. However, this is not a reality in all people.

Due to various reasons, the teeth are not always bright and white. In some cases, the high fluoride content in the water can lead to fluorosis, which causes irregular patches on the teeth. Chewing tobacco and smoking are another reason for teeth discoloration, ranging from yellow to brown to black. The most inevitable of all reasons is ageing, where they naturally change to a darker shade of yellow. However, dental technology has also improved to come up with various solutions, so that the dream for that set of pearly whites can be made a reality.

Bleaching is by far the most commonly used method for teeth whitening. The tooth has an outer layer called enamel, a next layer called dentin, and a final inner layer called the pulp. The enamel contains organic particles that give the tooth its color, and the bleach material attacks these organic particles and thereby removes the stains.

It is always advisable to use tooth bleaching under the supervision of a dentist. A thorough examination and diagnosis is required before deciding on one of the two modes of bleaching.

  1. In-office bleaching: This involves use of whitening gels that are not available over the counter. The gel is applied on the discolored portions of the teeth to leave a whiter tooth behind after the stipulated time.
  2. Home bleaching: In cases where more regular application is desired, the patient is given a kit which has customized trays and the whitening gel. The patient is educated on a schedule including how and when to apply the gel and instructions for this application.

In addition, for minor discolorations, there are other options as below:

  1. Whitening strips: These strips are similar to adhesive bandage and contain the bleaching agent. They are applied onto the tooth and left for usually about 30 minutes to take effect.
  2. Brush-on whitening: These gels are applied directly on the tooth and left for a while or overnight if required.
  3. Whitening chewing gum: For the chewing gum lovers, this could be an option. These chewing gums are similar to any chewing gum but include bleaching agents.

Side effects: Sensitivity and gum irritation are the two common side effects of bleaching. This could be either from the chemical or the trays that are used. The need to repeat the treatment again is another shortcoming. Repeated visits to the dentist may be needed once or twice a year to maintain the pearly white smile!

3134 people found this helpful

Whitening / Bleaching

Dr. Premendra Goyal 90% (821 ratings)
BDS
Dentist, Mumbai
Whitening / Bleaching
Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours.

Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from daily brushing and regular cleanings at your dentist’s clinic, but if you decide you would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter, you should investigate all of your whitening options.

Start by speaking with your dentist. He or she can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. If you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth the whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. You may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.

If you are a candidate for whitening there are several ways to whiten your smile:

• In-office bleaching. This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used. Lasers have been used during tooth whitening procedures to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

• At-home bleaching. Peroxide-containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a specially made bleaching trays. Usage regimens vary. There are potential side effects, such as increased sensitivity or gum irritation. Speak with your dentist if you have any concerns.

• Whitening toothpastes. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.
3342 people found this helpful

Dental Health

Dr. Farah Manasawala 88% (166 ratings)
BDS
Dentist, Mumbai
Dental Health

Teeth whitening also called as bleaching is a safe procedure for making your teeth whiter than before but recommended to be done under the supervision of your dentist. Your dentist will first determine the health of your gums and teeth and then recommend you the procedure.

3 people found this helpful

Myths and Facts about Dental care

Dr. Hiren Patel 92% (3956 ratings)
BDS
Dentist, Bangalore
Myths and Facts about Dental care
Myth 1: Scaling is not good for teeth

Fact: Scaling removes tartar and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Scaling and deep cleaning of gums prevent the problem of bad breath and bleeding gums. Thus, scaling is beneficial for teeth and gums. One should get professional cleaning done by a dentist with a proper ultrasonic scaler. Also, getting extensive scaling (more than required) done is harmful.

Myth 2: Only sugar causes cavities

Fact: Cavities occur when bacteria produce acids in the mouth. The process can begin by any carbohydrate that you consume. That includes sugar, fruits, vegetables, rice and bread. To reduce chances of tooth decay, one should not only practice good dental care but also limit the intake of acidic products.

Myth 3: Teeth whitening is harmful as it damages enamel

Fact: Technique like zoom whitening works by exfoliating stains from one's teeth to lighten them and bring back their natural colour. It is the simplest and safest procedure as a product is used by dentists that is devoid of bleaching agents and chemicals.

Myth 4: Brushing your bleeding gums is bad

Fact: Brushing is not only good on teeth, but also on your gums and tongue. Brushing these areas helps get rid of plaque which is what causes inflammation and eventually gum disease. One should not brush too hard if they have sensitive gums. One must not use a hard toothbrush on bleeding gums.

Myth 5: Using sugarless chewing gum after meal can replace brushing

Fact: Nothing can replace proper brushing technique. And in case you want to use sugarless chewing gum do not chew it for more than 10 minutes.
2 people found this helpful

Fluoride and Dental Health

Dr. Ganesha M 90% (118 ratings)
MDS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), BDS
Dentist, Ahmedabad
Fluoride and Dental Health

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth's enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth's enamel layer when acids -- formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth -- attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.

a)Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth.

b)It also reverses early decay.

c)In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth.

d) Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

In What Forms Is Fluoride Available?

As mentioned, fluoride is found in foods and in water. It can also be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter; stronger concentrations require a doctor's prescription.

We dentists, apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. Varnishes are painted on the teeth; foams are put into a mouth guard, which is applied to the teeth for one to four minutes; gels can be painted on or applied via a mouth guard.(as shown in figure)

When Is Fluoride Intake Most Critical?

It is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. This is the timeframe during which the primary and permanent teeth come in. However, adults benefit from fluoride, too. New research indicates that topical fluoride -- from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments -- are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth.

In addition, people with certain conditions may be at increased risk of tooth decay and would therefore benefit from additional fluoride treatment. They include people with:

  • Dry mouth conditions : Also called xerostomia, dry mouth caused by diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome, certain medications (such as allergy medications, antihistamines, anti-anxiety drugs, and high blood pressure drugs), and head and neck radiation treatment makes someone more prone to tooth decay. The lack of saliva makes it harder for food particles to be washed away and acids to be neutralized.
  • Gum disease : Gum disease, also called periodontitis, can expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay. Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontitis.
  • History of frequent cavities: If you have one cavity every year or every other year, you might benefit from additional fluoride.
  • Presence of crowns and/or bridges or braces: These treatments can put teeth at risk for decay at the point where the crown meets the underlying tooth structure or around the brackets of orthodontic appliances.

Are There Risks Associated With Fluoride Use?

Fluoride is safe and effective when used as directed but can be hazardous at high doses (the "toxic" dosage level varies based on an individual's weight). For this reason, it's important for parents to carefully supervise their children's use of fluoride-containing products and to keep fluoride products out of reach of children, especially children under the age of 6.

In addition, excess fluoride can cause defects in the tooth's enamel that range from barely noticeable white specks or streaks to cosmetically objectionable brown discoloration. These defects are known as fluorosis and occur when the teeth are forming -- usually in children younger than 6 years. Fluorosis, when it occurs, is usually associated with naturally occurring fluoride, such as that found in well water. If you use well water and are uncertain about the mineral (especially fluoride) content, a water sample should be tested. Although tooth staining from fluorosis cannot be removed with normal hygiene, your dentist may be able to lighten or remove these stains with professional-strength abrasives or bleaches.

Keep in mind, however, that it's very difficult to reach hazardous levels given the low levels of fluoride in home-based fluoride-containing products. Nonetheless, if you do have concerns or questions about the amount of fluoride you or your child may be receiving, talk to your child's dentist, pediatrician, or family doctor.

A few useful reminders about fluoride include:

  • Store fluoride supplements away from young children(these are not available in India).
  • Avoid flavored toothpastes because these tend to encourage toothpaste to be swallowed.
  • Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste on a child's toothbrush.
  • Be cautious about using fluoridated toothpaste in children younger than age 6. Children younger than 6 years of age are more likely to swallow toothpaste instead of spitting it out.
5 people found this helpful

Dental Care

Dr. Vishal Malik 85% (19 ratings)
BDS
Dentist, Panchkula
Dental Care
Do not use your teeth for doing something other than chewing food. Using them for cracking nuts, removing bottle tops or ripping open packaging can result in chipped or broken teeth.

Dental care!

Dr. Bikramjeet Singh 90% (73 ratings)
BDS
Dentist, Amritsar
Dental care!

Toothpicks can be an alternative to use for flossing if dental floss is not available. Remember not to be too harsh while using it.

2 people found this helpful

Dental Care!

Dr. Mithunesh Sayasikamal 90% (1471 ratings)
BDS
Dentist, Betul
Dental Care!

For healthier teeth, flossing daily in a sawing motion is highly recommended. Take the floss to the point where the teeth meet the gums.

5 people found this helpful

Dental Care

Dr. Neha Dixit 85% (41 ratings)
MDS
Dentist, Delhi

Fruits and vegetables which require continuous biting like apples, carrots and corn should be avoided as it can become quite difficult while the braces are on.

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