If you are considering ways to beautify your smile, you may be reviewing some of the available cosmetic dental procedures in your area. Cosmetic dentistry is designed to improve the look of the teeth. In some instances, it is paired with restorative dental applications, but the focus is primarily on the appearance instead of the health of the teeth. 

Teeth whitening, which is also called dental bleaching, is considered a cosmetic dental procedure. The whitening effects are produced using products that often include peroxide-based chemicals that lighten dental stains. 

Although the enamel of the teeth may seem like a continuous solid, it actually contains thousands of tiny holes or pores. As you eat, pigments of the substances that you ingest can become trapped within these pores, especially if the mouth is not promptly rinsed after you consume a deeply pigmented food or drink.

Here are several types of dental bleaching applications:

Over-the-counter Dental Bleaches

A variety of whitening kits can be purchased at local grocery and drug stores. The kits often contain a whitening product and a method of application, such as a mouth tray or a brush applicator. Some whiteners are even applied on strips of plastic that conform to the teeth.

Each kit includes precise instructions, indicating how the product should be applied and the length of time that the whitener should remain on the teeth. It is important not to vary from the included directions since the misuse of whitening products can result in chronic dental sensitivity. 

Professional Dental Bleaching

Professional whitening treatments are administered by a dental professional, such as a dentist or a dental hygienist. The dental provider applies the whitening product in an office environment. 

After the product is placed on the teeth for the proper amount of time, the teeth may be placed under a specialized light to increase the whitening effects of the application. Professional whiteners often result in more dramatic whitening results than other forms of whitening.

Take-home Kits

Dentists sometimes offer take-home whitening kits. These kits are intended for home use and tend to whiten the teeth more effectively than over-the-counter products, but not as effectively as a professional in-office treatment. The kits may be used to help maintain the whiteness that has been achieved through an in-office session. 

To learn more about cosmetic dental procedures that can improve the appearance of your teeth, schedule a consultation with a cosmetic dentist in your local area, such as Fresh Wave Dental Care PC.