It started in the television and movie industry, but has gradually spread all over the world with many now desiring the perfect dazzling white smile!
Previously, only the very well-off could afford to have the costly dental work that results in beautifully even white teeth, and those who were lucky enough to have them naturally were much admired. Nowadays, nearly everyone can afford to invest a little money into their teeth to look and feel better about themselves.
There are three broad levels of tooth whitening treatments available at present.
These tend to contain micro-abrasive particles and may contain a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide too. Toothpastes aim to whiten teeth by cleaning them thoroughly while the abrasives are intended to smooth off any light topical stains. Early examples of these toothpastes were quite damaging as the particles were too rough and began to wear through the tooth enamel, but have improved considerably.
Carried out by either the dentist or at home. For home whitening, the dentist will provide a mould, sometimes fitted to your own mouth shape, sometimes a standard size mould that needs to be heated and fitted before the first use, and a measured amount of hydrogen peroxide gel. The mould is worn for a fixed period, usually overnight, to allow the peroxide to get to work and whiten the teeth as the patient sleeps.
Dentists can bleach the teeth for you by applying a protective layer to the gums before carefully painting a hydrogen peroxide solution onto the teeth. This can be a stronger mixture, so the effects may be seen quicker.
Dentist applies the same protective layer to the gums and again, paints on a coat of hydrogen peroxide. The bleach is then subject to blasts of light energy from LEDs, plasma arc lights or halogen lights to accelerate the whitening process. Halogen is generally considered to be the most efficacious kind of light to use as it seems best at 'exciting' the peroxide molecules without affecting the tender nerve at the centre of the tooth.
Recent innovations have shortened both the treatments and the preparation processes so much that it is possible to have a full treatment in less than an hour.
- There are three main types of tooth whitening: toothpastes; hydrogen peroxide kits; laser whitening treatments
- It should only be performed by dental professional
- Teeth can be dramatically whiter in just one hour