tea and food with heavy sauces such as curry, tomato and the like, you eventually have to say goodbye to the perfect color of your teeth. For some, this is a non-issue and they can go on with their lives with a smile that has become more yellow than anything; but for some, yellow teeth are embarrassing and they would do all they can to resolve this.
Teeth whitening may be done at home or in the clinic. Most take home procedures require repetition (daily, for a one to two weeks) but this do-it-yourself option gives you more control. In-office procedures may or may not require the use of a whitening lamp, but it involves the use of highly concentrated formulations, thus requiring the handling of trained personnel. Regardless of which option you take, the mechanism is the same. Let me take you through the entire procedure:
Step 1: Mouth preparation. For take home procedures, this will involve just flushing your mouth with water to clean it or brushing it to remove food particles. For in-office procedures, this will involve covering retracting the lips to open the mouth wide enough and covering the gums, tongue and lips so that it does not come in direct contact with the solution. Perfect mouth preparation is necessary because you can avoid pain and complications when you are careful.
Step 2: Solution preparation. The success of teeth whitening procedures will rely partly on the mixture of the right formulation. Take home systems are ready-made so it involves almost zero solution preparation; but in-office procedures require the mixing of a liquid and powder to create the whitening gel. There is a standard mixture but a technician, from experience, will know the proportions that will achieve better results. You want the mixture to be viscous but not too dry so that it is easy to apply to the teeth.
Step 3: Whitening process. The whitening process, for both the take home and in-office treatment, is basically the point in the procedure where you bring the solution in contact with the teeth. This is where the magic happens. The whitening solution is made up the whitening agent that carries out bleaching process and the activator that opens the pores of the teeth. This is how the whole whitening process is carried out. The pores of the teeth are opened up so that the whitening agent can penetrate into the tissues and bleach the teeth. Take home and in-office treatments observe the same mechanism; the application of the whitening agent simultaneously opens the pores and initiates the bleaching process. The use of a whitening lamp (laser) is a special feature of in-office whitening treatments. The whitening lamp accelerates the process, so the effect is hastened and heightened—as a result, dentists are able to give patients a whiter smile.
Step 4: Repetition. The end-result of teeth whitening procedures rely on the right solution mixture, the profoundness of the whitening process, and the degree of exposure. Take home systems require daily repetitions (often nightly) until optimum results are achieved. In-office procedures are one day procedures, broken down in 2-3 cycles. Single exposures for both methods can go for as long as 10-30 minutes. This may be adjusted by the need and capacity of the patient.
Step 5: Maintenance. Note that any result obtained from the teeth whitening procedure is only temporary. Your teeth may stain and discolour from substances you take in, so staying away from these will help prolong results obtained. The first week will be crucial because the pores of the teeth are still open; make sure to follow post-operative instructions that will be given to you.
The big difference between a take home from a in-office whitening solution is solution strengths. Solutions that dentists use are stronger and require careful manipulation, so mouth preparation is more sophisticated and strict. Given that fact as well as the use of a whitening lamp that acts as an accelerator, you can expect teeth whitening results to be more impressive when done in the clinic.