At a glance, the outer surface of teeth may look like an impermeable, bony layer. However, when viewed under 2000X magnification, dentists have confirmed that teeth, just like the skin, have thousands of pores on the surface. These tiny pores often provide room for wine, coffee, and nicotine stains to percolate – leading to the formation of permanent stains. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you brush, it’s virtually impossible to remove these deep sitting stains using conventional methods. The good news, however, is that modern-day research combined with age-old techniques has come up with different teeth whitening solutions. Wondering how to restore the underlying natural shade of your teeth? Here are a few important things about teeth whitening worth keeping in mind.
Tooth Sensitivity after Whitening
Most methods of whitening teeth, especially bleaching, often weaken the enamel in addition to irritating tiny tubules known as dentinal tubules. The same case applies to laser teeth whitening owing to the fact that the procedure uses hydrogen peroxide which “eats out” the enamel layer leading to increased sensitivity to hot or cold drinks. So, unless you’re going to use a gentle approach such as brushing either with a whitening toothpaste or activated charcoal, it’d be important to keep these potential consequences in mind.
Some Whiteners Use a Different Approach
It is worth noting that a number of teeth whitening solutions involve the use of aggressive, bleaching approaches – and these often weaken the tooth structure. However, not all whiteners work this way. Activated charcoal, for instance, works by penetrating deep within your tooth structure and getting rid of stains through an inside-out approach. Of course, unlike laser teeth whitening, it takes time to see the results when using activated charcoal. In other words, this option is best suited for anyone who is ready to brush consistently – for 3 minutes per session (two sessions a day). This takes time and dedication. Fortunately, the results eventually show and most importantly, one doesn’t have to worry about tooth sensitivity as the structure of the tooth is left intact. That said, it’s always a good idea to consult your dentist if you have any issues or concerns prior to using any tooth whitening method.
Only Works on Natural Teeth
All teeth whitening systems are designed to work on natural enamel. This is because veneers and artificial caps are manufactured to match the color of your teeth – and don’t exactly mimic the porous structure of natural enamel. Please note that veneers and caps don’t stain or whiten. For this reason, it would be a good idea to have any replacements or fillings done after the restorative procedure is done to perfection. Of course, you need to remember that teeth whitening is not a one-off thing and that frequent touch-ups may be necessary especially if you drink lots of coffee, tea or smoke cigarettes.
It’s recommended to apply a Whitener Just before Bed
The problem with applying a whitener early in the morning is that you’re bound to sip a cup of coffee, juice or tea just a few minutes or hours later. Immediately after whitening (irrespective of the whitening agent used), the pores of your enamel tend to enlarge effectively leaving your teeth susceptible to discoloration. It’s, therefore, better to whiten before going to bed since this gives you teeth time to re-mineralize.
Results Are Not Typical
The structure of your teeth depends on your genetics and how Mother Nature coded you after conception. For that reason, there are some individuals who experience teeth whitening faster than others – no matter the product or method used. So, if you’ve been applying a whitener for quite some time and haven’t been posting the kind of results your Instagram buddies have been talking about, don’t give up. You’ve got to follow the guidelines recommended for your product and be keen on the kind of food or drinks you take. For instance, you may want to reduce your coffee intake or quit smoking (if possible) as such behaviors tend to slow down or even reverse the gains made in teeth whitening.
There’s no shortcut to nurturing whiter, stronger teeth. You have to appreciate that the secret to healthy teeth is using a tried-tested and proven whitener. And while at it, it’s always important to be patient since even the most aggressive tooth whitening method will require a few days if not weeks to deliver the kind of results you might be looking for.
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