Body Care

FAQ: All You Need To Know About Tooth Whitening

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Ever wanted to know more about tooth whitening? If so, here are a few Q&A’s I thought might be helpful to you.

What is tooth whitening?

This is a process that “bleaches” the teeth, removing it of stains on the enamel and dentin to affect a lightening of any discolouration present. A popular tooth whitening procedure uses carbamide peroxide tipped over a custom mouth-guard worn over the teeth.

What is tooth discolouration?

Defining tooth discolouration depends whether why the discolouration and it is important to distinguish between an external and internal stain(s)
• External stains: Tobacco, tea, coffee, wine, soft drinks and juices like grape and apple for example.
• Internal stains: Excessive fluoride (during teeth formation), trauma, aging, tetracycline (while teeth are forming) and nerve damage, tetracycline (while teeth are forming)
Only professional whitening processes such as the custom tray bleaching can eliminate both internal and external stains. Whitening toothpastes which are available over-the-counter, only remove the external stains.

Who can undergo tooth whitening?

Absolutely anyone can benefit from having a tooth whitening procedure. A certain procedure though may be less effective for some people. People whose teeth are stained by tetracycline may experience trouble in achieving the desired whiteness. People who have veneers, crowns or fillings may also experience uneven whiteness. This is due to the dental fixtures don’t whiten along with the rest of the teeth.

Can a pregnant or a newbie mum bleach her teeth?

Let’s just say, I wouldn’t. Dentists don’t recommend that pregnant women and newbie mothers should have any teeth whitening procedure. The reason being is that there are no clinical studies done to date to find out if there are any effects of the bleaching agents to a woman’s health if she’s having a baby or breast feeding.

There are a few teeth that aren’t as white as the rest. Why is this?

The sides of your teeth and the biting edges whiten quicker than the rest. This is due to thicker enamel in these areas. The teeth with thicker enamel respond quicker to the bleaching process than teeth with thinner enamel. Don’t worry and continue with your whitening procedure, the whiteness will even out eventually.

Is tooth whitening safe?

When done under the correct supervision, yes. The most favoured tooth whitening procedure is the custom-fit tray bleaching process that uses carbamide peroxide. This procedure, (like I mentioned, when done under the supervision of an oral healthcare expert or a dentist) is safe. There are no risks of the bleaching agent damaging your teeth and gums. It also doesn’t cause the tooth to weaken nor damage the enamel. The only short term side-effect is tooth sensitivity which goes away fast when the procedure has finished.

If you still have any other questions that you worry about that are not discussed in this article, please consult your dentist. The more you know about this topic (tooth whitening), the more settled and happy you’ll be of any procedure you will choose to have.


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