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A smile is a curve that sets many things right. And when sparkling white teeth accompany the smile, the result is much better. Every person would like to have sparkling white teeth but most have coloured teeth ranging from pale yellow to light brown.

Teeth bleaching or teeth whitening is a procedure that improves the colour of the teeth. Teeth whitening can be done

  • At the dentist's clinic
  • At home
  • Using whitening toothpastes, trays, strips etc

Which Method Is The Best?

Each method has different results. In the dentist's chair the whitening is faster as the dentist uses a concentrated bleaching agent after protecting the gums and surrounding tissue. Besides, he uses laser or some heating agent for quicker results. This may take an hour or so for the teeth to become white. The patient may need a couple of treatments more before he gets the desired colour. This treatment is also called the chairside treatment.

When the bleaching is done at home it takes longer, as the agent used is milder. The bleach is kept on the teeth for four to six hours a day for about two weeks before the result is visible. With some gels you may have to keep it overnight for about two weeks. Sometimes your teeth may become sensitive or tender.

Whitening toothpastes also take a longer time than the dentist's treatment. You would need to brush your teeth with this special toothpaste at least twice a day for about six weeks before the result can be seen. Almost all toothpastes contain some abrasive which removes colour from the teeth but these special toothpastes have special ingredients.

There are over - the - counter gels and strips, trays and other whitening agents which can improve the colour of the teeth. Those with light yellow coloured teeth will get a better result while those with darker teeth will take a longer time to bleach the teeth.

Who Should Not Go In For Teeth Whitening

The majority of people can go in for teeth whitening but there are certain people who should not do it. They are:
  • Children below sixteen years of age
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers
  • Those with sensitive gums and teeth
  • Those who have had dental treatment like fillings, crown and other restorations
  • Those who are allergic to hydrogen peroxide
  • Those who have gum diseases, cavities, exposed roots and other such problems.

You can have a few side effects or risks when you undergo this treatment such as:-
  • Your teeth may become sensitive
  • Your gums may get affected
  • You may develop an allergy

There are many people and organizations who declare that such treatment should be done only under the expert advice of dentists and doctors but the cosmetic industry feels that since bleaching is relatively safe, they should be easily available over - the-counter.

The European Union has more restrictive regulations in the bleaching products' availability and concentration in peroxide than there are in North America

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