The science behind teeth whitening: How it works and what to expect

Have you ever wondered how your dentist is able to turn your dull, yellow teeth into a dazzling, white smile in just one appointment? The science behind teeth whitening is both simple and fascinating. Here’s everything you need to know about how it works and what to expect.

The basics of teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that removes or reduces the appearance of stains and discoloration on the surface of your teeth. It’s done by applying a whitening agent, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to the surface of your teeth. This agent penetrates the enamel and dentin of your teeth to break down the molecules that cause staining and discoloration.

Types of teeth whitening

There are two main types of teeth whitening – in-office whitening and at-home whitening. In-office whitening is performed by a dentist and takes about an hour to complete. It involves the application of a stronger concentration of whitening agent to your teeth, which is then activated with a special light or laser. At-home whitening involves using a weaker concentration of whitening agent that is applied to your teeth for a specified amount of time each day. 

The science behind teeth whitening

The science behind teeth whitening is based on the principles of oxidation. When the whitening agent is applied to your teeth, it breaks down the molecules that cause staining and discoloration. This process is similar to how bleach works on clothes – it breaks down the colour molecules and removes them from the fabric. In the case of teeth whitening, the agent removes the colour molecules from the surface of your teeth, resulting in a brighter, whiter smile.

What to expect from teeth whitening

The results of teeth whitening vary from person to person, depending on the cause of their discoloration and the type of whitening procedure they choose. In general, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in the shade of your teeth after one in-office whitening session or about one week of at-home whitening.

In conclusion, teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. By understanding the science behind it and what to expect, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you. So go ahead, give yourself the gift of a brighter smile this year!

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