Everything You Need to Know about Teeth Whitening
Even if you are as diligent as can be about brushing and flossing, you may notice that your teeth have started to yellow over time. This isn’t necessarily a slight on your brushing skills, but rather a side-effect of your lifestyle and the general ageing process. If you are considering whitening your teeth to achieve a brighter, more brilliant smile, you are certainly not alone. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most commonly requested cosmetic dental treatments. Here’s what you need to know about the process to decide if it’s right for you.
Why Do Teeth Yellow in the First Place?
There are a number of factors that come into play in yellowing your teeth, and your diet is one of the most important. Things like coffee, tea, cola, red wine and other dark-coloured beverages can all stain your teeth. Smoking is another common cause of yellow teeth, so it is in your best interest to quit, both for your teeth and your overall health. Trauma to the teeth can also cause discolouration, though this is less common.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
The process is much simpler than you might think. Teeth whitening products contain bleaching agents, which break down the stains on your teeth so that they are less noticeable, leaving you with a brighter, whiter smile. As you might expect, professional whitening treatments tend to be more effective than at-home remedies, as they can penetrate deeper beneath the surfaces of your teeth.
What Are the Possible Side Effects?
Teeth whitening is a relatively safe procedure, and many people don’t experience any side effects at all. However, some people find that their teeth are a bit sensitive in the days or weeks following treatment. Fortunately, this sensitivity usually subsides rather quickly. If you whiten your teeth frequently, though, the bleaching agents can damage your gums and tooth enamel over time, so always follow the directions on the package or check with your dentist first.
Is Everyone a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Unfortunately, whitening is not effective in all cases. For example, while surface stains from eating, drinking or smoking often see significant reduction after whitening, discolouration due to tooth trauma, on the other hand, may not respond to whitening treatments. Whitening also won’t work on crowns, caps, veneers or fillings. Your cosmetic dentist can advise you as to whether whitening is likely to be effective in your specific case.
What Teeth Whitening Options Do I Have?
If your dentist determines that you are a candidate for teeth whitening, you have three primary options available to you:
- Whitening Toothpaste – This is the most basic level of whitening treatment, though it can typically only remove surface stains. For deeper stains, you’ll need more advanced treatment.
- At-Home Bleaching – Whitening trays, strips and other products have grown in popularity over the years, thanks to their ease of use and lower cost when compared to professional treatments. However, the bleach concentration is lower than what your dentist would use, so the results won’t be quite as good.
- In-Office Bleaching – In most cases, you can achieve a whiter smile with just a single session with your dentist. The bleach solution is much more concentrated than in the products you can buy at your local chemist, so you’ll get the best possible results from this method.
Learn More about Teeth Whitening
Reach out to our office today to schedule a consultation to find out if you are a candidate for teeth whitening.