How To Care For Whitened Teeth

How To Care For Whitened Teeth

Oct 01, 2021

Regular brushing and flossing of the teeth are dental care habits that have a lot of advantages. These essential oral hygiene habits help protect the teeth from infections, eliminate disease-causing agents, and even influence the color of the teeth. To an extent, clean white teeth tell a lot about the state of an individual’s dental health. This is why babies are born with whiter teeth as a result of their thin enamel.

Baby teeth, popularly known as “milk teeth,” are very white and, with proper maintenance, will continue to look so before they fall out. In the absence of severe dental conditions that influence the color of the teeth, the permanent teeth upon eruption should be white. However, they might not be as white as the baby teeth because they possess thicker enamels.

The teeth are used in daily activities for chewing food, and with consistent use, they tend to deteriorate in color. The causes of brown or yellow teeth can be intrinsic, extrinsic, or age-related. That is, tooth discoloration can occur due to abnormalities below the tooth’s surface, natural stain on the tooth, or advancement in age.

Therefore, the deviation of the teeth from their natural color can be irritating, cause self-esteem issues, and even have adverse effects on one’s dental health. Discolored teeth will wreck your smile, cause dental plaque and tartar to accumulate, and increase your risk of gum disease and other dental health issues.

To avoid the havoc that can be wreaked by discolored teeth aesthetically and health-wise, you have to undergo a restorative dental treatment known as teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure through which discolored teeth are bleached with whitening agents to lighten or whiten their existing color. This dental procedure helps transform discolored teeth, makes them aesthetically pleasing and free from infections and diseases. There are several ways to whiten the teeth. However, an efficient and professional whitening procedure can only be performed by a dental professional.

Causes Of Tooth Discoloration

The most common causes of discolored teeth include:

  • Food and drinks. The teeth, like the skin, possess pores (tiny holes) and these pores absorb the color of anything put into the mouth. Therefore, the accumulation of the color of coffee, tea, vegetables, and several foods leads to the discoloration of the teeth.
  • Oral hygiene habits. Poor dental hygiene habits like improper and inadequate brushing and flossing allow stains in the mouth, thereby leading to tooth discoloration.
  • Tobacco. The use of tobacco products can stain the teeth. Chewing, smoking, and other forms of ingestion of tobacco can lead to tooth discoloration.
  • Medical treatments. Some medications and medical treatments can cause tooth discoloration. Examples of these include chemotherapy, high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, etc.
  • Disease. Trauma or illness that affects the development of the enamel in kids can lead to discoloration. In adults, trauma to the teeth can cause discoloration.
  • Tooth dehydration. This occurs when there is no saliva flow, and it causes the enamel to dry up. Dehydration to the enamel can cause spots and blemish to the teeth.
  • Age. With the advancement in age, the enamel begins to wear out, revealing the dentin, which naturally yellows over time. This causes tooth discoloration.

Teeth Whitening Procedure

Beauty salons can offer a whitening procedure; however, this is illegal. As much as DIY home whitening kits are available for teeth whitening, it is worth noting that it carries a considerable amount of risk and is not as effective as a professional procedure. Therefore, a professional whitening procedure can only be obtained from a dental professional.

Before beginning a whitening process, your gums are covered with a protective shield or gel to protect them from the bleaching chemicals to be used. After this preventive measure is put in place, a gel made of fifteen to thirty-five percent hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth for whitening. The gel is left for some minutes and might be reapplied as the dentist deems fit before it is finally washed off.

Care For The Teeth After Whitening

The process of teeth whitening does not end at the dentist’s office. There are precautions to be taken and instructions to be followed to make the effects of a tooth whitening procedure long-lasting.

After a successful tooth whitening procedure, you should:

  • Avoid Activities And Food That Could Stain Your Teeth For At Least 48 Hours.
    To allow the full absorption of the bleaching agent, it is best to avoid foods that can stain the teeth for at least 48 hours to a week.
  • Use Straws If You Must Take Staining Liquids.
    If you are addicted to caffeine, you can take them with straws to avoid staining your teeth.
  • Brush And Floss Regularly.
    After a tooth whitening procedure, you should brush and floss regularly to maintain your teeth. Avoid using whitening toothpaste if you have sensitive teeth, but after it subsides, use whitening toothpaste once in a while.
  • Avoid Or Stop Smoking.
    If you used to smoke, after a tooth whitening procedure, avoid tobacco. Apart from staining your teeth, smoking can also cause some serious health problems for you.

Observing these precautions would help to lengthen the effectiveness of your tooth whitening procedure.

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