- Apr 5 2019
Is there a difference between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching?
Everyone wants to look their best, whether making that all-important first impression or simply interacting with the people that we spend time with every day. Lots of things can contribute to an attractive appearance, from inheriting the fashion-sense gene to paying attention to our posture. Nothing, however, makes more of a difference than a beautiful smile. Unfortunately, many people are embarrassed by teeth that are discolored and never feel like they have the freedom to smile. The good news is that this is something that can easily be fixed.
Wanting whiter teeth is not a modern day phenomenon. The whiter one’s teeth are has been a standard of beauty and symbol of wealth for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians made a paste out of ground pumice stone and vinegar, which doesn’t sound nearly as unpleasant as the Roman concoction of mixing urine and goat milk. Fortunately, today’s methods have come a long way.
Cause of Tooth Discoloration
There are lots of things that can cause teeth to become yellow or discolored. Some of the most common ones include:
- Foods and beverages – coffee is perhaps on the top of this list but wine, colas, tea, as well as some fruits and vegetables, even healthy ones like apples, are also contributors to tooth discoloration
- Tobacco – major cause of staining
- Inadequate or improper dental hygiene – inconsistent brushing and flossing as well as the chemicals in mouth washes and rinses.
- Disease – some types of disease and infection can damage the outside and/or interior layers of the tooth which can lead to discoloration
- Chemotherapy and radiation
- Medications and drugs – antibiotics, antihistamines, blood pressure meds and antipsychotic drugs can be especially prone to discoloring teeth
- Aging – normal wear and tear from aging results in loss of the outer layer of enamel, which is white as opposed to the yellow dentin layer underneath
- Environment – chemicals and products that we come in contact can have an effect on the teeth
Whitening or Bleaching?
Is there a difference between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching? Technically, whitening refers to the process of using cleaning agents to remove stains on the surface of teeth that are hiding the original color. With bleaching, chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are used to actually bleach the teeth, resulting in a whiter shade than what was the natural color. That said, whitening and bleaching are so often used interchangeably that it is better to simply understand the process that you are being presented with so that you know that your expectations match those of your dentist or practitioner.
Teeth whitening has become a common practice for improving that all-important smile. There are a wide-range of over-the-counter products that may or may not work, but there are also risks to take into account so that you avoid any potential damage to the surface of your teeth or to your gums. Always, the best course of action is to consult with your dentist for the process and products that will be best for your particular situation and goals.
We offer to our patients both Laser teeth whitening and take home kits as well as other permanent whitening solutions. If you have questions about teeth whitening, another cosmetic procedure or about any of our services, whether dentistry or aesthetics, Forest Hills Dentistry is dedicated to delivering the highest quality services possible. We offer the latest and most current information and services to our patients with a new state-of-the-art facility in Forest Hills, Queens. Patient comfort, individualized care and complete satisfaction are our priority.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, you are invited to use our online form by clicking here.