Teeth whitening is a process that helps to whiten the teeth by eliminating any stains and discoloration. It is one of the most widely used dental cosmetic procedures because of its ability to help improve the aesthetics of your teeth. Teeth whitening is also a service that is provided by a lot of dentists, so you don’t need to travel far and wide for it.
NOTE: Whitening is not a “one-time” procedure. If you are looking to maintain the white color of your teeth, the whitening process has to be repeated time and again.
What It’s Used For
The tooth has an outer layer known as the enamel. When scattering light is reflected off the enamel, it results in the natural color of your tooth. The color of the dentine under the enamel also plays a part in determining the color of the tooth.
The thickness or roughness of the enamel is determined by the genes dominant in your body. When the enamel is thinner, the color of the dentine is more pronounced. The level of roughness (or otherwise) of the enamel is also going to play a role in determining the level of reflection of light (and as such, the color of the tooth).
Every day, there is a pellicle (essentially, a thin coating) that forms on the enamel. The purpose of the pellicle is picking stains. There are also pores on the enamel that help to hold any stains.
The following are the major reasons why teeth easily get yellow:
- The use of tobacco: The excessive use of tobacco over time will eventually smear the teeth
- The consumption of dark-colored drinks: When you drink dark-colored drinks (coffee, tea, cola, red wine, etc.) on a regular basis, your teeth will also develop color
- Poor oral hygiene: An inability to take good care of your teeth will cause discoloration as well, as your teeth pick up stains everywhere.
- Aging: Also, as you get older, the enamel gets thinner and the dentine under it gets darker as well. Thus, the teeth naturally become less bright.
It is also possible for you to have stains that are embedded in your teeth. These stains are known as intrinsic stains, and they can be caused by various factors such as the exposure to excess fluoride (most probably as a child, when the teeth are still in the development process). Other causes of intrinsic stains are tetracycline antibiotics. These antibiotics are usually taken by pregnant women during the second stage of their pregnancy, and they can stain a child’s teeth. Tetracycline antibiotics can also be taken by children, and it tends to leave particles in teeth that are still developing.