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How Teeth Bleaching Differs from Teeth Whitening



With constant brushing, as we age, the enamel of our teeth develops mini cracks or scratches. The enamel’s cracks, which are the porcelain-like protection that covers the yellowish dentin, gather debris and stain, thus making your teeth lose their luster and look dull, having a tint of either yellow or brown. The stains may come from constant smoking or from drinking tea, coffee, or cola. Due to this, a large number of people turn to teeth whitening, also known as tooth whitening, in hopes of getting those pearly whites back.

Teeth Whitening versus Teeth Bleaching

Teeth whitening is basically bringing back the tooth’s original color, which is usually done via the elimination of the debris and dirt that accumulated over the years or by actually changing the color of the teeth. Teeth bleaching is technically under teeth whitening as it tries to turn back the years and achieve a whiter smile by using oxidizing agents like carbamide peroxide that reacts with your saliva to become hydrogen peroxide. There are, though, some teeth whitening products that actually use hydrogen peroxide. However, there are some teeth whiteners that do not change the actual color of your teeth; they just lift the dirt and grim away of the enamel’s surface so that the saliva can fill in the cracks.

Teeth Whitening Products

Most teeth whitening products that do not use the principle of teeth bleaching take the debris off the minute cracks of the enamel so as to show the real luster of your teeth back. Most toothpaste products have tooth whitening elements like silica or calcium carbonate in them that deal with extrinsic stains, grinding the food away from the cracks. Unfortunately, it takes a while before these teeth whiteners have visible effect. Also, when you brush the stain away from the cracks, as soon as you eat, they are just also filled tight up with debris from food or coffee.

Teeth Bleaching Products

These are more popular alternatives as they offer a more instant result compared to the non-teeth bleaching products. Teeth bleaching can be done either at home or in the dentist’s chair. If you have deep intrinsic teeth stains, then it may be best to have your teeth bleaching in the office of your dentist. The dentist will usually use a teeth whitener that has 15% to 35% hydrogen peroxide. Together with the application of this tooth whitening agent, an accelerator is used, like a laser or a light. The papilla and the gums are protected by the dentist by applying a protective layer, like a gel or a rubber dam. The chair procedures are usually a tad pricey, but since it is professionally done, this teeth whitening procedure offers a very obvious change of color.

Teeth bleaching can also be done at home either by buying whitening kits from your dentist’s office, or you can buy them over the counter. Tooth whitening products actually help achieve the best long-term results as you are able to use the product on a more frequent basis. Moreover, it’s cheaper than a dentist visit. Some examples of these teeth whiteners are the 35% Carbamide Peroxide Gel System or the 22% Carbamide Peroxide Gel System.

Minor Risks

Since teeth whitening uses a relatively powerful agent, some side effects have been reported. Some people have reported getting sensitive teeth after a few days from their teeth whitening schedule. However, this can easily be resolved by using desensitizing toothpaste or using toothpaste that have potassium nitrate. Bear in mind, however, that most teeth whitening products nowadays actually have a desensitizing effect that help get rid of teeth sensitivity after teeth bleaching.

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