The benefits of teeth whitening

A white smile is one of the first things that other people notice. Everyone wants a brighter smile, but few know that whitening the teeth has several other psychological and health benefits. In recent years, new techniques such as laser whitening have become less costly, allowing more and more individuals to enjoy the benefits of a brighter smile. 

The “enemies” of white teeth

Dentin is a calcified tissue of the body and one of the four major components of the teeth. It contains gray, reddish and yellowish shades that transpire more or less intensely by the above enamel, which is translucent. Despite being the hardest substance in the body, enamel retains certain porosity and can be knocked over by substances and particles. When this occurs, it can cause damage to the tooth itself, resulting in color changes.

Insufficient oral hygiene favors the deposit of dental plaque and its subsequent evolution into tartar. The yellowish color of the latter and the barrier effect of the plate can gradually reduce the brightness of a smile. The end result is teeth that appear dark, yellow, more opaque and less bright.

Foods and drinks affect the health of the teeth and in some cases they may cause damage to dental enamel. Some of the most common “enemies” of tooth enamel include the following:

  • Cigarettes
  • Mouthwashes with chlorhexidine
  • Beverages such as coffee, tea and red wine
  • Natural aging
  • Vinegar
  • Artificial colors added to beverages or other food products

Teeth cleaning and whitening

To return teeth back to a white color and bright state, it is recommended to perform tartar removal at least once every 6-12 months. There are certain types of whitening treatments that can be done, both rapid and non-invasive to help prevent yellowing of the teeth. It is important to first become aware of the limitations of such treatments before undergoing them. While whitening the teeth is an effective technique, it is not permanent. Results can last for one to more years, depending upon on an individual’s personal habits.

The most common technique performed directly in a dental practice is known as ‘Dental Chair Procedure’. This procedure involves the use of a bleaching system, enhanced by special lights. The translucent bleaching gel is applied to the teeth and once exposed to particular light sources, it releases oxygen. The oxygen penetrates the teeth enamel, triggering oxidation-reduction reactions that break down the molecules of the stains into smaller compounds. These compounds are colorless and can be easily removed. The intensity of the bleaching depends on the concentration of the active ingredient and its shutter speed on the teeth.

In any case, with the assistance of a professional, the intervention guarantees the best possible result and minimizes possible side effects such as excessive thermal sensitivity and gingival irritation. These side effects may appear at the end of the treatment; however, they tend to regress spontaneously within 24-48 hours. To conclude, teeth whitening is an effective way to lighten or altogether eliminate strains and achieve a naturally white smile.


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.