Your teeth are made up of two basic layers that are relevant for the colour of your teeth. The outer layer of your teeth is the enamel. The layer below that is the dentin. The enamel is white and the dentin is not. If your teeth have worn down because of something, they could expose the dentin. If the dentin is exposed, there will be no way to whiten the teeth. Whitening your teeth works by bleaching the enamel. If the enamel is gone, then it cannot be whitened that way. However, if the enamel is still there, it could just be stained. Those teeth can be whitened.

The Pellicle Layer

As you eat and drink, some of the food and substances will attach to the enamel of your teeth. They will form a layer on top of the enamel, which is called the pellicle layer. This is the layer of stains and damage to your teeth. Typically, your dentist will brush and scrape away the pellicle layer during a routine teeth cleaning. However, the longer this layer sits on top of the enamel, the more damage it does. The damage is done because enamel is porous. This means that the staining compounds get into the enamel layer and change the colour of the teeth. In those cases, it’s not enough just to scrape away the pellicle layer. You need to also bleach the staining compounds. Bleaching with hydrogen peroxide is the most common method of teeth whitening in Reading.

In-Office Treatment

The typical in-office whitening treatment is simple. You go to the dentist who will clean your teeth; this will remove the pellicle layer. Then, your dentist will apply a layer of whitening gel. The whitening gel is then activated by a light. Typically, the gel is made up of hydrogen peroxide or a peroxide compound. If it is a peroxide compound, it is typically broken into separate elements by the light. The light will break the compound into hydrogen peroxide and urea. The peroxide will oxidise the stains to clean them away. That will lead to your teeth being much whiter in about an hour.

At-Home Treatment

There are also at-home treatments. An at-home treatment is simple. Your dentist will design trays to fit your teeth. He or she will then give you hydrogen peroxide solutions to put in the tray. You will put the tray in your mouth for the prescribed amount of time each night. In a couple of weeks, your teeth will be several shades whiter. It’s a simple way to make them whiter without having to be in a dentist’s office for a long time. If you don’t have time to get to the dentist during the week or if you’d just prefer to do it on your own time, an at-home treatment is a great choice. Many people find it to be the easiest way. It might take a little bit longer than an in-office treatment, though.

That is a basic rundown of how your teeth are whitened. The peroxide bleaches the stains that have worked their way into the enamel.

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Sara T. Loving

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