Teeth Whitening Facts

Published:December 29th, 2010

Teeth whitening has been a hot topic for decades but until recent years, this topic has not been addressed other than at the surface level. Teeth are made from a very tough substance, dentin and this is why they are very resistant to any substances that alter their colour. Discolouration comes in two different types, extrinsic stains and intrinsic ones.

Extrinsic stains are caused by things that we use every day, such as coffee, tea, tobacco and some foods. However, intrinsic stains are more difficult to address as they penetrate the dental tissue at a deeper level. Such stains are caused by antibiotics, aging, disease or minerals in the water such as too much fluoride.

Extrinsic teeth discolouring can be corrected by using different types of peroxide. There are also other types of whitening agents, such as calprox, hydrated silica, potassium nitrate, strontium chloride or even baking soda.

Intrinsic stains are more difficult to correct, so most people use veneers and bonding to cover the teeth up. Bonding also involves covering the teeth but with an extremely thin layer of porcelain fronts. Such procedures are more costly than just applying a chemical substance to whiten your teeth. Laser whitening treatment options are also more costly. They also use peroxide but the laser light helps the active substances to oxygenate quicker and penetrate the teeth faster.

Teeth have a natural yellowish hint because of the calcium they contain. In case you have dentures or veneers, you should not expect them to be whitened along with your teeth by teeth whitening products. Such fixtures are made of synthetic materials and as such are not affected by the chemicals in teeth whitening kits.

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