In my previous post, I talked about a few of the more popular teeth whitening products available. In this entry, I’d like to answer some of the more common questions I get asked about tooth whitening.
Q: Why do teeth discolor?
A: A multitude of reasons. As we age, the enamel on our teeth may get thinner, due to wear caused by aggressive brushing with a hard toothbrush. This can result in the dentin underneath it being more apparent. Since the dentin is brownish yellow, the teeth will appear darker. In addition, as we age, the outer layer of enamel tends to get more porous, due to changes in the mineral structure of the enamel. If this outer layer is more porous, it’ll stain more easily and appear darker.
Staining is caused by
Q: How does bleaching work?
A : The gel in bleaching kits contain Carbamide Peroxide, which converts to Hydrogen Peroxide when combined with water. The peroxide has oxidizing agents, which can bleach stains that deposit in the dentin under the enamel. The bleaching agent reaches the dentin through little channels that extend through the enamel from its outer to its inner surface. These channels are called Enamel Rods.
Q: Which is the best method of bleaching?
A : As mentioned in the last entry, I prefer ‘at home teeth bleaching‘. I’ve seen the best results with this system. Bleaching is most effective when the discoloration of the teeth is yellow as opposed to grey. Tetracycline staining can be a little more stubborn. It may require longer periods of bleaching than the norm to get the desired results.
Q: What about in-office bleaching lights?
A: The jury is still out on this one. Some studies have shown that they’re not really effective. The bleaching effect seen right after treatment may only be temporary and may just be caused by heating and dehydration of the tooth. After a few days, there seems to be no difference between teeth bleached with Hydrogen Peroxide and those bleached with Hydrogen Peroxide in combination with the light.
Whitening Toothpastes? Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips and Gels? Teeth whitening at home? Give our Brampton Dental Clinic a call at (905) 791-3867 to review and find the best teeth whitening product for you.
About Dr. Axelrad
Practicing dentistry for more than 23 years, Dr. Robert Axelrad owns and manages his own dental practice in Brampton, Ontario. Affectionately known by his patients as ‘Brampton’s Gentle Dentist‘, he moved his practice to its current, state-of-the-art dental office at Bestgate Professional Center in Brampton, Ontario in 2002 to accommodate his growing list of happy patients.