Saturday, 11 December 2010

What Are Tray-based Teeth Whitening?

Everybody desires bright, shiny, flawless teeth. Having perfectly shaped teeth just requires going to the dentist's habitually - at least every six months, but have you ever asked yourself why your teeth become discolored? What it is that stains them?

There are several reasons why teeth become stained. Dark coloured teeth or a propensity towards staining can be hereditary. Drinking lots of black tea, black coffee, red wine or Coca Cola is discolouring. Too much fluoride can cause staining. Over zealous brushing with an abrasive tooth paste or smokers' tooth powder will wear the enamel off which will expose the grey dentin below the surface. Smoking will blemish your teeth. Some antibiotics can cause teeth yellowing. Old fillings can blemish your teeth and teeth discolour naturally as you get older.

The proper and regular use of a good quality tooth paste will help keep discolouration at bay, but there are two types of staining: intrinsic and extrinsic staining. Tooth paste with inherent tooth whitener will help keep extrinsic (surface) staining in check, but tooth paste cannot effect intrinsic staining (beneath the surface). If you want to get at the intrinsic staining, you will need to use a proprietary teeth whitening agent.

There are two major routes to teeth whitening: the professional route and the DIY route. There are several kinds of professional whitening, but they are all very similar in that they typically involve gels to deliver the whitening agent and a light (laser) to activate it. These systems are applied in a dental surgery.

DIY teeth whitening systems usually involve trays which fit over your teeth, in essence providing a tub of whitening gel for your teeth. The trays are half filled with whitening gel and then pressed over the teeth, Obviously, the gel comes into contact with the teeth and the peroxide bleaching agent will supply oxygen to the teeth in order to lift the discolouration.

After 30-60 minutes the chemicals in the gel have been used up and the session is over. What really matters here is that the trays are a good fit. Some people do find it tricky to get trays to fit their mouth, but they can have dentists make up trays specially for them. This is a lot more costly though. Dentists agree that the DIY use of bleaching trays is comparatively safe and will lighten your teeth by 2-3 shades.

Dentists use more powerful solutions of whitening agent than are normally on hand to the public and some claim that coupled with an actifying laser, their systems are far more effective than trays. However, there are many dentists and clients who dispute the claim asking for evidence. There does not seem to be any.

Actually, teeth whitening is an ongoing procedure. A session in a dentist's chair will keep your teeth shining for a year. DIY techniques have to be repeated on a regular basis, but for both types of whitening, you have to play your part as well. You cannot just whiten and forget. You have to maintain, which means regular brushing twice a day with a good tooth paste; gargling with anti-plaque mouthwash; and gargling with water after drinking red wine, black tea or black coffee.

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