1. Is using whitening toothpaste effective in treating discoloration?
In general, toothpaste consists of the following ingredients.
- Abrasive that removes the plaque covering the teeth
- Surfactant that remove foreign substances by foaming
- Additional ingredients such as fluoride, preservatives, flavoring agents, sweeteners, etc.
Whitening toothpaste often has an enhanced abrasive component to effectively remove the colorants on the tooth surface. It’s a similar principle to a rough scrubber that better removes debris from the pan. If you continue to use toothpaste with a strong abrasive component, the tooth may be damaged. Particularly exposed dentin is softer than enamel, which makes it easy to wear. Therefore, it is recommended to use these toothpastes for the purpose of preventing additional coloring. There are other toothpastes that contain chemicals that have a whitening effect, but considering the short time that the toothpaste stays in the oral cavity, the effect will be very limited.
2. It is said that the color will return soon after whitening the teeth. How long does the effect last?
Immediately after the whitening treatment is over, the degree of whitening peaks. After a week or two, the whitening effect is somewhat weakened and eventually tends to gradually return to its original state over time. If you smoke or eat foods that cause pigmentation (coffee, green tea, wine, coke, etc.), it is much easier to recolor. It has been reported that self-whitening treatment with continuous treatment with low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide tends to last longer. Therefore, even with professional whitening treatment, self-whitening is recommended to maintain long-term effectiveness. To prevent re-pigmentation after treatment, self-whitening once a year for about a week can maintain the whitening effect.
3. When I get whitening treatment, my teeth freeze a lot. Why is that?
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a medicine used for whitening, penetrates the gap between the crystal structures that make up the enamel and passes through the dentin tubules. In this case, hydrogen peroxide that has passed through the dentin tubules stimulates the nerve cells, causing the symptoms of pain. This is why the higher the concentration of the drug, the more prominent of these symptoms. It is for this reason that the pain in the teeth is severe when receiving professional whitening treatment. Typically, these symptoms are temporary and disappear when treatment is stopped. To alleviate the symptoms of the pain, whitening agents contain ingredients that reduce irritability. If you usually experience this symptom, it is advisable to first diagnose and treat sensitive teeth before whitening treatment.
4. Is there a way to whiten teeth at home without going to the dentist?
Hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient in products that can be purchased at a pharmacy without a dentist’s prescription. As long as the proper concentration of hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth continuously, whitening will occur. However, these products are not manufactured according to the individual’s oral condition and may cause unexpected problems. For example, there are disadvantages such as unnecessarily swallowing medication, large amounts of medication flowing down, or difficulty in maintaining the time required for treatment. In particular, if these products contain high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, there is concern about the risk of contact or ingestion of the drug. Conversely, it is necessary to recognize that products with too low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide may lack the whitening effect. In particular, it is not advisable to purchase and use products that have not been sufficiently verified.