As we get older, the mineral structure in our teeth start to deteriorate and the enamel becomes porous. Those that regularly drink and/or use tea, coffee, tobacco or medicine can stain your teeth. When this happens you can find a yellow/brown colored appearing on the surface of the teeth. Teeth whitening, aka dental bleaching, is one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures. Tooth whitening restores the natural white enamel of your teeth. The process involves your dentist removing the stains. Then he or she uses a light cured protective layer that is painted on to the gums to protect the gums. They then use hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizing agent to penetrate the tooth enamel. The dentist then uses light to concentrate the bleaching power of the bleaching agent. The light element is usually a LED, halogen or plasma light that excite the bleaching molecules effectively. This allows the dentist to have full control over the bleaching process and ensure a nice natural look. The entire process usually doesn’t take long to ensure a perfect smile.
A less expensive alternative is to do it yourself at home. There are various options for dental bleaching for the consumer, including a bleaching pen, bleaching strips, bleaching gels and whitening toothpastes. They all use a active agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that you can easily apply using a thin guard tray to apply the gel to the teeth and bleaching strips at home. After waiting the prescribed time period, you can remove the bleaching strip and wait about 30 minutes and you can see the results instantly.