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Are you confused between teeth Cleaning and teeth Whitening?


The majority of people consider teeth whitening and teeth cleaning the same thing. Though the objective may be the same, both the treatments and processes are different. SUBURB demystifies the subject with experts.

Teeth cleaning is to eliminate plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. This procedure reduces your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Teeth whitening, on the other hand, is a cosmetic procedure that removes tooth stains and discolouration. Teeth whitening now is considered as one of the ‘must’ do tasks by the brides and grooms before their wedding.

What is teeth whitening?

By simple definition, teeth whitening is a treatment aimed at regaining the lustrous white colour of the teeth. Most people in the world are born with an amazing white set of teeth. Over the years, however, eating, smoking and other elements make teeth lose their natural colour. In some cases, the dis-colouration maybe due to other dental reasons. Irrespective of the cause, people look for a solution that can get them the same old white teeth. For this purpose, tooth whitening is prescribed.

 “Bleachers are used to remove the stains, tartars and any pigmentation that may have been embedded in the minutest pores of the teeth. Sometimes, laser treatments are also used for the same. As a result, tooth whitening gets you white, shiny looking teeth after the treatment,” informs Dr Heman Verma from Dental Stylers.

Many youngsters and corporates go through the procedure to get sparkling shining teeth. As Mohit Chauhan, a techie, says, “Shinny white teeth give confidence.’’ Laxmi Srinivasan, an HR professional from Gurgaon, says, “the first time I got teeth whitening done at the time of my marriage, now I get it done once a year.’’

Teeth Cleaning

On the other hand, tooth cleaning doesn’t have any objective of making any cosmetic changes on the teeth. The primary focus of a cleaning programme is to better the dental health of a patient. It involves treating any germs that may be there in your teeth and mouth and removing all the stains and pigments that may have got into the gums or posterior teeth.

Cleaning treatments are also used as preventive measures to avoid periodontal disease and other dental problems. In short, cleaning treatments are the first stage of treatment for a wide variety of dental ailments. Experts suggest that teeth cleaning should be done every six months; oral hygiene is vital to body health.

To bleach or not to bleach

Generally, tooth whitening is successful in at least 90 per cent of patients. As a rule of thumb, yellow-coloured teeth respond well to whitening, while brownish-coloured teeth don’t respond that well. The grey stains caused by smoking, taking tetracycline or fluorosis (ingestion of too much fluoride) most likely will not dramatically change by the teeth whitening procedure.

Likewise, tooth whitening may not enhance your smile if you’ve had bonding or tooth-coloured fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the colour of these materials, and they will not match your newly whitened smile. You may want to look for other options in these cases, such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding on other teeth.

Things to keep in mind before whitening

·  Not all stains can be lightening by professional bleaching

· If you have sensitive teeth, gum disease or teeth with worn enamel, then whitening is discouraged

· Whitening may involve the risk of gum irritation or damage the previous dental work

· For a quicker and more reliable result, opt for laser whitening.

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