Jan 27th, 2023
by Shenilee Hazell
A great smile is one that’s winning and memorable. Many different things can affect the quality of your smile. One major factor is dental staining and tooth discoloration. Thankfully, this can be addressed through cosmetic dentistry, specifically tooth whitening. How easy is it to get your whitest smile? Is tooth whitening safe? Can you develop sensitivity from tooth whitening? Are Home remedies effective? What are the new trends in tooth whitening?
What makes teeth stained?
Ageing can cause teeth to become stained over time due to the microscopic composition of enamel changes. Staining is most commonly caused by diet or lifestyle habits like smoking, consuming tea, coffee, and red wine.
Can anyone whiten their teeth?
Some patients are not suitable for teeth whitening. Patients with existing tooth sensitivity gum disease, exposed root surfaces, damaged or fissured enamel, dental decay and allergies to chemical products such as hydrogen peroxide cannot be candidates for tooth whitening.
If your sensitivity is treated however you can proceed with tooth whitening.
How can I achieve a Whiter smile?
- Avoidance of staining foods
- Tooth Whitening is safe if your dentist assesses the quality and suitability of your enamel and tailors a bespoke tooth whitening procedure plan specifically for you. It can be done with at-home gels or treated for power whitening by the dentist
Can I buy an over the counter whitening kit?
Yes, but often these kits omit the percentage value of dental bleaching. Often these kits can lead to prolonged long term sensitivity. However, a dental professional can ensure complete safety during treatment and a brighter smile.
What about natural ways?
Charcoal – although the colour is outstanding, other issues are that it can be abrasive, can contain a low-level carcinogen and usually contains heavy metals.
Can I whiten my teeth if they are sensitive?
No one should have sensitive teeth. Besides desensitizing toothpaste, there are many modern ways of reducing sensitivity. If your sensitive teeth are successfully treated, you can proceed with tooth whitening.
What is power whitening?
Power whitening uses a state of the art whitening lamp to achieve whiter teeth in a short optimal period of time. It is far superior to do it- yourself whitening.
Home kits from the dentist vs from over the Counter
The results of professional teeth whitening are far more dramatic than the results of over-the-counter teeth whitening. The reason for this is that the bleaching solution in professional whitening is much more powerful than the bleaching agents used in over-the-counter whitening products.
- Professional grade whitening gels can only be prescribed and dispensed by a dentist. Your dentist can customize your treatment for you to take home and apply with guidance for safe application.
Results typically can be seen after two weeks but treatment is usually recommended for four to six weeks.
Are there any risks?
If tooth whitening gels are applied to exposed dentine then sensitivity can occur hence it is important to be fully assessed by your dentist to ensure your teeth are healthy.
If not performed under the guidance of a dentist there is a higher risk of tooth sensitivity. Over application of whitening gels can cause long term sensitivity as well as gum damage.
Benefits of professional teeth whitening
- Lighter and more youthful appearance.
- Increases self-esteem and boosts self-confidence
- Gives you a pleasant smile and enhances your appearance