What Is Teeth Bleaching?

Published:June 17th, 2010

Teeth bleaching is a procedure commonly used in cosmetic dentistry. With age adult teeth are not as white as they used to be mostly because of changes in mineral structure of the tooth. The enamel becomes less porous and bacterial pigments, food or tobacco can stain the teeth.

Several methods are used for teeth bleaching. They may be bleaching strips, pens, gels or laser bleaching and even natural bleaching. Oxidizing agents are used to whiten the teeth, they penetrate the pores of the enamel and stain deposits are oxidized. In time, the dentin layer can also be bleached.

The effects of teeth bleaching can last for months but, depending on the food or other lifestyle factors, the period may be longer or shorter. Smoking or consuming food and drinks that can stain the teeth may affect the whitening effect.

Gels For Teeth Bleaching

Gel bleaching may be performed with high or low concentration agents. Such procedures can be applied at home or by professional dentists. Home kits are less expensive and can be bought online or in dental stores. You can obtain quick results by applying the oxidizing agent to the teeth using thin plastic trays.

While some gels are self-activating, others can be activated using laser light. Laser procedures produce immediate results, but they take more sessions to obtain the level of bleaching desired by most people.

Teeth Bleaching Usually Lasts For Six Months

Teeth bleaching can whiten the teeth beyond their natural colour. It is a safe procedure that does not change the tooth surface. The side effects can involve teeth sensitivity. This is why some teeth bleaching gels also contain desensitizing agents.

Results vary depending on the person. For some people visible whitening can be noticed after a few days, while for others it may take a few months. The average time period is two to three weeks. For maintaining white teeth, treatments should be repeated after six months.


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