Teeth whitening, also known as teeth bleaching, refers to the process in which the color of teeth is lightened. There are a number of reasons why the teeth become yellow with time including, excessive consumption of coffee, tea, tobacco use, certain medications, and more.
Teeth whitening procedures are generally either professionally done or at home. Professional teeth whitening is done under the supervision of a dental professional meanwhile the at-home whitening involves a number of different products, such as teeth whitening strips and toothpaste, which an individual can use and that ‘claim’ to whiten the teeth.
Although teeth whitening intrigues many, the question is, are the teeth whitening products and specifically teeth whitening strips actually worth it? Below is everything you need to know about teeth whitening strips.
Types of teeth discoloration:
There are 2 types of teeth discoloration, extrinsic and intrinsic. The extrinsic teeth discoloration is due to factors such as smoking, coffee, and more. The discoloration impacts only the outer layer of the teeth. On the other hand, Intrinsic discoloration impacts the inner dentin layer of the teeth. Intrinsic stains can be caused due to certain diseases and poor oral hygiene.
If a person has extremely compromised oral hygiene and has multiple cavities, then at-home teeth whitening products would do no good. In fact, the whitening material can get into the cavity and end up causing extreme pain.
What are teeth whitening strips and how do they work?
Whitening strips are pieces of polyethylene. Teeth whitening strips contain bleaching stains along with carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. The peroxides present in the strips pass through the outer layer of your teeth called the enamel and into the dentin which is the deeper layer. They basically work by bleaching the chromogens (pigmented molecules in teeth).
Are teeth whitening strips effective?
Do teeth whitening strips actually work? The simple answer is, yes. But it is not as simple as that. When considering the effectiveness of whitening strips, one has to go through the ingredient list. Some strips contain chlorine dioxide which might damage your tooth enamel. Hence, it is extremely important you go through the ingredient list.
Strips do work because they can remove the surface stains from your teeth. However, they are in NO way equal to the professional cleaning and whitening which is done by a dentist.
Problems accompanied by teeth whitening strips
Teeth whitening strips can cause some problems for your teeth and you need to be sure to consider them before using the strips.
1- The whitening strips can cause yellow patches on the teeth
Teeth whitening strips target the center of each tooth as compared to the edges because the strips do not work in between the spaces of the teeth.
2- They can damage the teeth
Using very high amounts of hydrogen peroxide can damage the tooth structure. The chances of demineralization also increase. If one does not use the teeth whitening strips correctly, they can end up causing sensitivity.
3- Over-whitening causes the tooth enamel to become soft
The teeth might also turn into a weird, grey color.
4- Can cause gum damage
Be sure not to bring the whitening strips in contact with the gums because the chemical reaction can cause harm to the gums.
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