Teeth are a vital organ of human body. The natural color of teeth is white which may discolor due to various factors like- anti-biotic, thinning enamel, spots in enamel, ageing (usually after 50 years), caffeine, nicotine, smoking, alcohol and other tobacco products.
A tooth whitening also known as bleaching is common term in dentistry. This is not a new invention. Ancient Romans have been known to whiten their teeth using urine and goat milk. Almost all Dentists provide tooth whitening service.
You have to visit a dentist who uses a bleaching agent like Carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Dentist applies either a protective gel or a rubber shield to protect soft issues. Some dentists use lasers in the whitening process.
Light or Power Accelerated Bleaching
Sometimes referred to as Laser bleaching, this technology uses light energy to bleach teeth. There has been a lot of criticism on this method by Clinical research Associates (CRA) who have studied this and doubted its effectiveness. It is done with Plasma arc, halogen or LED, halogen being the best among all and known to provide optimal results. Dentist applies either a protective gel or a rubber shield to protect soft issues. A suitable wavelength of light is used to excite Peroxide molecule for about 6-15 minutes. The entire bleaching process takes between 30 minutes to an hour on a single visit to dentist.
This process is also known as walking-bleach technique. For weakened teeth, this procedure is used. This is opposite to external bleaching and brightens teeth inside out. Dentist drills a hole to pulp chamber, cleans and fills the root canal with rubber shield and places peroxide gel or sodium perborate tetrahydrate into the pulp chamber. It is sealed for a few days and is replaced as required.
In this no visit to a dentist is required. You can use it at home on advice of a dental professional. They come in form of gels, chewing gums, rinses and tooth-pastes. High concentration methods use carbamide peroxide and produces quick results. Low concentration whitening requires a thin mouth strip to hold diluted oxidizing agent for a period of 5-14 day. It is comparatively less effective than high concentration whitening.
Natural Bleaching Methods
This has to be done with dentist’s advice as some methods can be hard on teeth and corrode the enamel. Malic acid is a natural bleaching agent. Strawberries are natural source of malic acid. Another method is sprinkling baking soda on the toothpaste and brushing your teeth. Both malic acid and baking soda are not known to be very soft on teeth and are to be used mildly. Apples, carrots and celery are natural stain removers as they increase saliva production which in turn scrubs the teeth clean. Green apple juice too contains malic acid. By mixing 2 parts of hydrogen peroxide and one part of baking soda, whitening toothpaste can be made. Cheaper toothpastes use baking soda for whitening but it is not recommended for use over a longer period.