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During the summertime most of the people are eager to demonstrate nicely tanned body in combination with shining white teeth. Seduced by powerful advertisements, they turn into the beauty salons without thinking about the danger of unprofessional teeth bleaching: enamel of the tooth can be damaged irreversibly as well as soft tissues of the mouth.
Teeth
Teeth
© Shutterstock

How to whiten your teeth? There are many ways to give your teeth a brighter shade.

Beauty salons, advertising themselves as performing professional teeth whitening, in fact only mislead customers.

It is important to understand that professional teeth bleaching can only be performed at dental surgeries. Last year the Minister of Health approved the protocol for teeth bleaching stating that it can be performed only at dental clinics. Dr. Erminija Guzaitienė, a dentist and a member of the Board of the Lithuanian Dental Chamber, who participated in the preparation of a teeth bleaching protocol, admitted that dental bleaching should not be performed in patients with acute periodontal disease, mucosal diseases as well as in case of presence of large amalgam fillings, and caries-damaged teeth.

In addition, it is not recommended for the teeth with large fillings in front area, because bleaching affects only teeth, but not the fillings. It is not possible to bleach the teeth with color change caused by tetracycline use in the childhood. It should be noted that use of coffee, tea, colored drinks, red wine and tobacco has the significant darkening effect on the teeth color.

The teeth bleaching procedure can only be performed by general dentist, specialist dentist or oral hygienist after professional oral examination to detect diseases of the teeth and mouth. After examination and evaluation of patients' oral cavity condition, the dentist may even not recommend teeth bleaching.

In case dental professional makes decision that teeth bleaching could be performed, and the patient is adult, first of all the patient should be provided with comprehensive information about bleaching and possible adverse effects.

Personnel of the beauty salons advertising teeth whitening services usually have no knowledge, expertise or understanding about oral and dental health, nor compulsory insurance of civil liability, such as the dental offices have, and thus do not reimburse the patient in case of damage. After failure of self-performed or unprofessional bleaching with high concentration materials, patients attend dental clinics with complaints about teeth sensitivity, damaged enamel and gingiva as well as stained teeth.

According to dr. E. Guzaitienė, mostly teeth bleaching procedures with the use of LED lamps, performed at the beauty salons do not have any scientific justification. The lamp only activates the chemical process, heats and dries the teeth, so they look lighter at that moment. Dr. E. Guzaitienė states that only a dentist or oral hygienist should recommend tools for teeth bleaching: "I had a patient who, immediately after removal of braces ordered teeth whitening strips from US. After self-performed bleaching procedure, the enamel of teeth was severely damaged, so it could be restored only with filling materials", - the doctor remembers.

Dr. E. Guzaitienė says, that you shouldn't admire the teeth whitening toothpastes too much: they contain aggressive substances, and very frequent use can not only whiten your teeth but also cause damage. Some patients seeking for the very white teeth, not only rub enamel of their teeth significantly, but also damage mucosa and open root surfaces.

It should be remembered that the more a tooth is rubbed, the darker it will become. It is recommended to use a soft toothbrush as well brush your teeth gently, without pressure. If you use an electric toothbrush for cleaning your teeth, you should select the one that will emit an audible signal or switch off after pressing too much. Sometime, it is sufficient to perform just a professional oral hygiene procedure to make your teeth brighter.

At dental clinics, teeth bleaching procedure is performed using laser or with a help of special matrixes, filled with hydrogen peroxide or with other substances that release hydrogen peroxide during a chemical reaction. More aggressive material is used, the shorter is procedure. In the end of the procedure a dentist evaluates the condition, and according to it prescribes protective postoperative measures.

Dr. E. Guzaitienė, warns that manufacturers of hygiene products draw people into a vicious circle: twenty years ago was heavily advertised teeth whitening toothpastes, and later, after the damage was made to the teeth enamel caused by those aggressive substances, toothpastes reducing teeth sensitivity are being advertised.

"As in all fields, it's wise to be guided by common sense, and trust the professionals. And do not risk your own health because of the few euros saved," adds Dr. Gintaras Chomentauskas, a head of the Center for Human Studies.

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