Getting the Whiter Smile

Have you ever wondered how celebrities get their teeth so perfectly white? Most movie stars have their teeth bleached in order to get that "mega watt" smile Today, you do not have to be Hollywood celebrity to achieve a whiter, brighter smile. But with the vast array of bleaching products available (both in office and over the counter), it can be confusing to select the right option.

The tooth is made of three layers the enamel (the outer layer), the dentin and the pulp (nerve and blood supply). Teeth staining can either be extrinsic (external) on the enamel or intrinsic (internal) m the denim. Certain foods and beverages, such as red wine, coffee, tea or soda can contribute to extrinsic staining. Smoking can also cause teeth to be discolored and turn a brownish color. Other contributing factors include the natural aging process and ingestion of certain antibiotics (like tetracycline).

Carbamide peroxide (the main component of bleaching products) helps to eliminate these stains and is usually dispensed in gel form. The gel is placed on your teeth, its whitening agents work by oxidizing the pigments that cause discoloration Only the tooth color is made lighter. with the tooth structure left intact. Some common side effects are tooth sensitivity, which typically disappears within one to three days

Grocery stores carry a variety of "bleaching kits." which are either the type you "paint" on teeth or are strips that you place on teeth for a set period of time The downside to these options are (with regard to the paint – on variety) that the teeth need to stay dry. If they become wet, the whitening effects are rendered ineffective. Likewise, the steps tend to fall off because they are best affixed to flat surfaces, and teeth are not flat. So what works?

The pair of whitening procedures found to be the most effective are take home trays and in office bleaching – both are administered by your dental professional.

The first comprise custom made trays that fit exactly to your teeth. Your dentist takes an impression of your teeth and makes a tray from the impression, which the patient receives with four bleaching syringes to take home. At home, you dispense the bleach into the tray and wear the tray for anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the degree of desired whitening. This process is repeated daily for up to two weeks. This procedure is effective, but not recommended for those who do not have the time to devote to the process or those who want immediate results.

For those individuals, in – office bleaching is the best alternative. The procedure, which takes about an hour, involves the application of a light activated bleaching gel. The benefit to this option is that a dental professional monitors the process so that teeth are bleached evenly with little or no risk of harming gum tissue. The net result is that teeth are up to six shades whiter and the benefits can last up to three years, depending on your oral hygiene.