Your teeth may be perfectly aligned and free of chips or cracks, but if they are yellowed and discoloured, they will still have a significant impact on the overall attractiveness of your smile. Thus, it is unsurprising that stained teeth are one of the biggest concerns that people will visit a dentist, as they want to restore the original shine and brightness of their teeth. If you are contemplating correcting this flaw, chances are you have been deliberating on whether to whiten your teeth. Nonetheless, people tend to use the terms whitening and bleaching interchangeably as they are unaware that these are two entirely different treatments. This article seeks to differentiate between the teeth whitening and bleaching in an attempt to make it clear what would be best suited for your needs.
What is teeth whitening?
Irrespective of what measures you take to ensure you are not ingesting foods and beverages that have a proclivity for staining teeth, one thing you cannot avoid is the buildup of plaque and the formation of tartar on your teeth. Plaque is a whitish film that steadily engulfs your teeth and primarily comprises bacteria. If plaque is not thoroughly cleaned out, it puts you at risk of developing gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Tartar, on the other hand, is a colourless film of minerals that accumulate on the surface of your teeth, which eventually causes a yellowish or brownish hue. Both tartar and plaque lead to teeth staining and need professional removal techniques to eliminate them. Your dentist will utilise specialised polishing tools to get rid of these surface stains, which functions to whiten your teeth by restoring the original colour of your enamel.
What is teeth bleaching?
Bleaching, on the other hand, is a dental procedure that is carried out to whiten your teeth beyond what their original colour was. As you age, your enamel steadily yellows, as it is a porous material. Therefore, any pigments in the food that you ingest steadily seep into your teeth and inadvertently change the colour of your dentin. As a result, you may opt to whiten your teeth, but if the dentin is also affected, you will find you are not achieving the brightness that you desire. Your local dentist will then recommend bleaching, which is typically carried out using bleaching agents in tandem with UV lighting to activate the gel that is applied to your enamel. Teeth bleaching provides more thorough results than whitening as it targets both the dentin and the enamel.