As we grow older the effects of aging begin to take their toll upon us. Our hair starts to turn gray, we begin to put a little weight on around the middle, and our hearing isn’t quite what it used to be when we were five years old and could hear the ice cream truck from a mile away.
In addition, our smile has become a little tarnished, a little yellow, and doesn’t quite have the gleam that it once had. Adding to the effect of age upon our teeth are the years we have spent drinking our coffee, smoking our cigarettes, and slurping our soft drinks.
You have decided to take matters into your own hands. Your strategy is to dye your hair, join a health club, and look into a tooth whitening system. In understanding what a tooth whitening system can do, it’s important to learn what the system is, how it works, and possible drawbacks.
The Ins and Outs of a Tooth Whitening System
A tooth whitening system is a treatment method that utilizes pliable trays and a tooth whitening gel. The trays are immersed into hot water and the flexible trays are then placed over the upper and lower rows of the teeth. Using the tongue and fingers the trays are molded over the user’s teeth. Following this step the tray’s reservoirs, located on the cheek side of the trays, are filled with the appropriate amount of the gel.
These individualized fitted mouth pieces are then placed back over the upper and lower teeth and any excess gel is removed. The individual using the tooth whitening system then retires for the evening and allows the process to work overnight. Or the tooth whitening system can be applied for a couple hours during the day.
How the Tooth Whitening System Works
The tooth whitening system utilizes a gel in which the active ingredient is carbamide peroxide. The gel is, in essence, a bleaching agent that when applied begins a chemical reaction. This reaction allows oxygen to permeate the outside of the tooth and bleach out the stains. With a one-day treatment noticeable results are evidenced. Optimum results occur within a 10 to 14 day treatment program. The integrity of the teeth is not affected.
The gel can be purchased in three strengths. A higher percentage of carbamide peroxide, within the gel will provide a stronger treatment that allows for quicker results. However, people using the stronger gels have demonstrated an increased temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids. This sensitivity generally subsides within a couple days following the end of the entire course of treatment.
A tooth whitening system has been tested and is completely safe. Other than the possibility of increasing the sensitivity of the teeth to hot and cold products the system has shown no adverse effects on either the teeth or the gums. Keep in mind that the effects of the tooth whitening system are not permanent. A subsequent two-day treatment may be required within the first year.