The Science Behind Teeth Whitening

It´s not uncommon for people to feel uncomfortable with their teeth´ appearance, namely, their colour. So much so that people worldwide spend about $7.4 billion on teeth whitening products.

That´s why teeth whitening´s the number one requested procedure at cosmetic dentistry services. Also, going for $200-$500, teeth whitening´s one of the least expensive ways to improve your smile´s appearance.

Nonetheless, as effective (and popular) as professional teeth whitening is, there´re also ways to enhance your teeth´ cosmetic appeal at home.

Teeth whitening results may seem magical. But, here, we´ll tell you all there´s to know regarding the science behind teeth whitening.

Teeth Whitening: A Helpful Guide

Why (and how) do teeth get stained?

The first thing to know is which bad habits might lead to your teeth losing their sparkling, natural shade. So you should tone it down a bit.

Dark beverages (such as coffee, wine, and tea), certain medications, smoking, or poor oral hygiene, are all causes of teeth stains and plaque/tartar buildup.

Luckily, teeth stains can be prevented or downright treated through teeth whitening procedures. Let´s take a more detailed look at the science behind teeth whitening and how it actually works.

How do professional teeth whitening work?

Seen through a microscope, you can notice tooth enamel is actually formed by compacted crystal structures (known as rods). Although it´s pretty solid, teeth-staining molecules can seep between these rods.

In these cases, dentists often turn to chemical treatments (hydrogen or carbamide peroxide). These substances will penetrate your teeth and produce a chemical reaction.

This chemical reaction (called oxidation) breaks up the compounds of said staining molecules, thus removing stains from your teeth.

Teeth whitening at home

Professional bleaching whitens your teeth in a matter of minutes. It´ll also last longer. However, there´re many at-home teeth whitening options.

Some people rub their teeth with activated charcoal, and others use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice as a mouthwash. Although these are all valid options, there´re caveats to this.

At first, your teeth will look whiter, yes, but these highly-abrasive products erode tooth enamel. Instead, we recommend considering other alternatives, like hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.

Baking soda:

Though there´s no hard scientific proof of the whitening effects that brushing with plain baking soda has on your teeth, one thing´s for sure.

This mild abrasive not only helps scrape off surface stains. Brushing with baking soda also creates an alkaline environment that prevents bacteria from thriving inside your mouth.

Hydrogen peroxide:

Rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide not only helps whiten your teeth. Its antiseptic properties also help disinfect any cuts or open wounds in your mouth.

Nonetheless, overexposure to high amounts of hydrogen peroxide might harm gum tissue and cause tooth sensitivity.

Recent studies concluded that brushing your teeth twice a day with a commercial toothpaste containing baking soda and peroxide whitens teeth up to 62% in about six6 weeks.

Finally, note that as time passes. Tooth enamel can also become thinner and wear down, causing the dentin to get exposed. In which case, teeth whitening procedures won´t help.

If you´re concerned about the look of your teeth and would like to bring them back to their natural, whiter shade, feel free to contact us to program an appointment!

Our dental health professionals team has the skill, experience, and cutting-edge technology. To safely (and quickly) give your teeth their pearly-white look back!

Disclaimer: The content provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Any reliance you place on the information provided in these blogs is, therefore, strictly at your own risk. We shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage resulting from the use of the information provided on this website.
Call Now Button