What is the Difference Between Teeth Whitening and Professional Teeth Cleaning?
Teeth cleaning and teeth whitening are procedures designed to help you have a beautiful smile. The way these procedures help is slightly different from each other. This means that having one does not provide the same benefits as the other. It’s helpful to compare what each procedure achieves to understand what’s different. Here is some basic information to help you see why each treatment has a place in your overall dental care plan.
Basics of Dental Cleaning
Tooth cleaning is a relatively simple treatment designed to remove plaque and other deposits from the surface of the teeth. Cleaning takes place along the gum line and between teeth, as well as removing debris from tooth surfaces.
It accomplishes two important goals to remove plaque and tartar between the teeth. First, removing buildup helps minimize the risk of a number of tooth and gum conditions. It will also get rid of residues that feel less than fresh in the mouth and can worsen breath a bit.
It is recommended that patients have their teeth cleaned at least once a year. There are occasions when the dentist will advise the patient to consider having their teeth cleaned twice a year.
Understanding the Basics of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a procedure designed to lighten teeth. It is considered more of an elective treatment than a cleanse. The goal of a series of whitening treatments is to restore teeth that are starting to look a little dull or yellowed. In the clinic, under the care of a professional, it is possible to check the results and ensure that the teeth do not start to look a little too white.
Choosing to undergo professional whitening treatments also means monitoring the condition of the teeth at all times. It is completely safe to have treatments under the supervision of a dentist. In fact, it is a better option than using at-home whitening kits for this very reason.
Protecting Your Gums from Diseases
It’s true that many people like the way their teeth look after cleaning, but that’s not the point. Removing plaque and tartar goes a long way in preventing different types of gum disease.
Getting rid of the residue means it’s not available to go below the gumline or inflame the gums in any way. Since any infection or inflammation of the gums can be quite painful and sometimes costly to resolve, it makes more sense to opt for an annual or semi-annual cleaning. You can finally avoid serious pain and definitely save money in the long run.
How About Whitening to Protect Teeth?
Teeth whitening treatment is not actually about protecting teeth. The ultimate goal is to improve the appearance of the teeth. It is not unusual for dentists to recommend patients go through a thorough cleaning first and then move on to whitening treatments. This is because cleaner teeth make applying whitening treatments much easier.
It can be said that whitening helps protect teeth. Indirectly, the preparation for whitening teeth allows the teeth to be examined. If certain dental problems are detected, they can be corrected before whitening treatments begin.
There is also the possibility that one or more professionals at the clinic may notice some developing problems during or after the whitening treatment. Once again, this identification of a condition makes it possible to stop treatments, resolve the issue, and resume whitening at a later date.
Cleanliness Increases Dental Clinic Visits
Another factor that distinguishes tooth cleaning from teeth whitening is the necessity of cleaning in the dental office or clinic. The equipment required to properly manage cleaning requires proper sterilization and maintenance. In addition, the average person is not in a position to examine their own teeth and make sure that the cleaning is complete. This requires the expertise of another person trained to know how to use the instruments and monitor results.
In contrast, it is possible to invest in over-the-counter products to whiten teeth at home. The process will take longer and there are no guarantees that apply when you choose to be treated at the clinic.
Your best bet is to have the whitening done by a professional in an office or clinic setting. You will see results faster and you can be sure that someone is monitoring the condition of your teeth every step of the way.
Can Anyone Have Both Treatments?
Another difference between the two dental treatments is that anyone can get their teeth cleaned. In fact, it should be a regular part of ongoing dental care. Doing so goes a long way toward keeping teeth in top condition. If you combine these cleanings with an annual checkup and proper dental hygiene at home, your chances of experiencing dental problems are significantly reduced.
Teeth whitening is another matter. Think of it more as an elective or cosmetic treatment. You prefer to go to a clinic because you are not satisfied with the color of your teeth. It is even possible to have a series of whitening treatments and then decide not to do them again.
Want to learn more about teeth cleaning or whitening treatments?
Your dentist can discuss how each is done, different approaches to both types of treatment, and even suggest whether to have one or both.