What is tooth whitening?


It is undeniable that, nowadays, most people are very concerned about appearances. But it’s not all about designer clothes and luxurious accessories: a beautiful smile sometimes says much more than anything else. Oral esthetics, therefore, is a factor that greatly influences our lives: white teeth bring back confidence and raise self-esteem in the blink of an eye. If you have been having problems with your smile because of stained or darkened teeth, whitening may be the technique you’ve been missing to help you feel like smiling all around!


There are not many barriers that prevent the patient from undergoing tooth whitening. As long as the entire oral cavity is in a good state of health, it is possible to undergo the treatment without any problems. The contraindications are usually for patients who have oral problems such as caries, periodontal diseases and dental lesions. In addition, in the initial and final third of pregnancy, it is a procedure that should be avoided. “Because it is an aesthetic treatment, it is ideal to be done outside the gestation period.”

Another important point to be highlighted is that the teeth whitening, although many times sought by the patients themselves, is a procedure that must be indicated and followed by a professional in the area.


The vast majority of patients are very satisfied with the result; after all, the feeling of extremely clean, stain-free teeth is priceless. However, there are cases in which the desired effect may not be achieved due to small details in the patient’s routine. The consumption of cigarettes and food with high concentrations of dye, such as coffee and wine, can end up staining the teeth and impairing the whitening process. Therefore, it is important to follow to the letter the medical guidelines after the procedure so that everything goes according to plan.


– Avoid the consumption of food and beverages with coloring agents, such as coffee or wine

– If it is not possible to avoid consuming highly pigmented beverages, straws can be a good ally

– Avoid the use of tobacco

– Maintain a routine of dental hygiene care, brushing your teeth 30 minutes after the main meals

– Avoid using colored mouth rinses or those that contain alcohol in their composition

– Visit the dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned


Types of tooth whitening:

If you are thinking about whitening your teeth, it is always good to keep an eye on all the details. The result of the treatment will depend on the type of technique that was used, and especially if it was completed in the correct way. “Many people think that it is a quick procedure. But it needs time for an effective and lasting whitening”.


The difference between them is that the internal whitening is usually indicated for teeth that have been submitted to a root canal treatment. This way, the whitening substance is placed inside the tooth by the professional. “It can be fast, of

three to five visits, when the cause of the darkening is an internal hemorrhage or necrosis of the pulp; or longer, over 10 visits, when the cause is iodine impregnation that some older canal fillings had in their composition.

As for the external, this is when the technique is performed on the outside of the tooth. “It can be done in the doctor’s office, applied by the professional, or at home, performed by the patient with the help of trays in which the whitening product is placed”, he comments.


Although many people get carried away by methods found on the internet without any professional guidance, it is necessary to be very careful. The use of products such as sodium bicarbonate or hydrogen peroxide, besides not being efficient at all, may cause serious damage to the teeth and gums. Today, there is a certain variety of products approved by specialists that are indicated to perform this type of procedure at home. The most common is with the use of a tray and whitening gel. The tray is a custom-made silicone device, in a way that fits perfectly in the patient’s dental arch. On it, the whitening gel is applied, which will come into contact with the teeth for a period that can vary from 30 minutes to one hour. Normally, the treatment usually lasts about three weeks.


There is also the option of performing the procedure in the office with a specialist. In this case, the patient activates the whitening gel through a laser or led light, being necessary at least three sessions for the whitening to be done. It is common that the patients are divided when they have to choose which is the best option, but the truth is that there is not much difference in the final result. Specialist Paulo Campos also points out that there is a third option at the doctor’s office, which is through therapeutic laser. The latter can reduce the chances of inflammatory reaction, and, consequently, brings less dental sensitivity to the patients.


Besides the options above, it is also possible to do a combination between the home whitening and the one performed at the doctor’s office. This combination is usually indicated in cases where the patient is looking for a faster process, or when the whitening is not happening as expected. Regardless of this, the specialist states that it is a procedure that has a fast and satisfactory result.

Tooth sensitivity and whitening;

That sharp pain when consuming food with very extreme temperatures is one of the symptoms of tooth sensitivity, a very common condition and that may be a consequence of tooth whitening. As the whitening process is a reflection of a chemical oxidation reaction, this reaction causes a superficial demineralization of the tooth enamel, which is one of the reasons for the sensitivity to appear.


Several factors can be associated with tooth sensitivity, especially if this condition has been a part of the patient’s life for some time. However, when it comes to the sensitivity caused by tooth whitening, the interference of more specific elements must be taken into account. The concentration levels of the hydrogen peroxide present in the whitening gel and the time that the gel remains in contact with the tooth surface can greatly influence the process. In addition, when the whitening is done in the dental office, the application of led light or laser can also be a cause for sensitivity.


When whitening is the cause of the sensitivity, changing the concentration of the regenerator gel is the best solution. “Just adjust the correct concentration of whitening gel for each case and launch the daily regenerating gel, eliminating or reducing considerably the dental sensitivity”.

The regenerator cream has potassium-based components, which are substances capable of “cutting” the painful response sent to the brain. In addition, it is important to emphasize that it must be used daily, otherwise the sensitivity may return.


A sensitive tooth condition needs attention and some care, after all, no one wants their teeth hurting, right? What should be done about it? Avoid consuming foods and drinks with extreme temperatures and evaluate with your dentist the concentration of the whitening gel, since patients with a history of tooth sensitivity should maintain the treatment with low concentration gels. In addition, the use of appropriate toothpaste for oral cleaning is also an important factor.

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