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Teeth whitening should always be done under the supervision of a dentist.

Teeth whitening is an aesthetic dentistry treatment whose objective is to make them acquire a clearer and brighter hue. Dr. Óscar Castro Reino, president of the General Council of Dentists, explains that the population must conceive teeth whitening as a sanitary process that has to be performed under the supervision of a dentist. "Before undergoing this treatment, you must do a oral review to the patient to rule out any pathology, such as tooth decay or gum problems."



In addition, he points out that "the dentist must be able to handle the bleaching agents used - hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide - following an appropriate protocol for diagnosis, procedure planning and maintenance of the results". Similarly, the professional must know the contraindications and possible risks to communicate them to the patient, for example, gingival alterations and dental sensitivity.


Why do teeth darken?


Poor oral hygiene and the consumption of certain products can alter dental staining. Thus, they can arise:


-Intrinsic or endogenous stains, caused by certain medications, vitamin deficiencies, fluorosis, bumps, fractures, etc.


-Extrinsic or exogenous stains, which are produced by contact with pigments of beverages such as wine, tea, coffee or tobacco consumption. Also, some mouthwashes and toothpastes with chlorhexidine can stain your teeth.



Types of teeth whitening



- The one performed at the dentist's office: the professional applies the bleaching agent, and can be activated by a light source. After checking that the mouth is healthy and performing adequate prophylaxis, the area to be treated is isolated to prevent the bleaching agent from coming into contact with the gums. It is a very effective method.



- The one carried out at home under the supervision of the dentist: as in the previous treatment, a review and prophylaxis is done before bleaching. In this case, the bleaching agent will be applied in a splint tailored to the patient. This will perform the treatment at home, but following the dentist's instructions.



After this treatment, Dr. Castro recommends following a "white diet" during the first few days, as the porosity of the enamel increases and the teeth can acquire unwanted pigments. You should not smoke or eat foods such as carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, blackberries, chocolate, etc., or drinks such as coffee, tea or red wine. In addition, you have to maximize dental hygiene. "The dentist will give the patient the necessary guidelines that should be followed at the end of the treatment," he says.



The president of the Council of Dentists concludes by highlighting that a healthy and well-groomed denture improves personal image, but the obsession with white teeth can lead to whitrexia “which leads patients to perform teeth whitening very frequently and without the supervision of a dentist . The consequences of this addiction can cause gingivitis, dental hypersensitivity and even the loss of teeth. The population must be aware that the teeth are not a pure white color, but an ivory tone that also depends on genetic factors and the lifestyle of each person. ”

Dr. Armellini received her dental degree from the Central University of Venezuela. She received an MBA from the University of Michigan and embarked on a clinical fellowship in Implantology Prosthodontics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.


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