People want whiter teeth and brighter smiles. This trend is evident with the growing number of whitening toothpastes, rinses, professional and over-the-counter systems, overnight kits and advertisements for teeth whitening. Having whiter teeth is associated with beauty, a healthy lifestyle and increased confidence. Talk to a dental hygienist about the different whitening options, what they do, and how to use them.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
CAUSES FOR TEETH TO BECOME STAINED
The treatments and their effectiveness vary depending on the type of whitening system. Individuals should know the condition of their teeth and oral tissues. A thorough examination and cleaning from a dental professional is recommended before using whitening products.Whitening toothpastesAlthough some toothpastes claim to remove surface stains, it would take a long time to see any real effect of a whitening toothpaste because chemicals are only in contact with the teeth for a short period of time and they are diluted with saliva and water.Home kitsMost home kits produce modest results at best. There are many ways to whiten teeth using self-application whitening kits, including strips, gels and even tray-based systems. All of these methods will whiten enamel somewhat, but, if applied improperly or too often, they could also irritate the gums and erode tooth enamel, especially if solutions contain acid. It is important to read the label and follow instructions carefully.Professional whiteningDental professionals apply a stronger solution of hydrogen peroxide than home whitening kits, and sometimes may use a special light to hasten tooth whitening. A customized mouthguard will help protect the gums. This is probably the safest and most effective way to whiten. Lasers are sometimes used to enhance the action of whitening agents. Professional whitening is more expensive than over-the-counter products and systems. According to clinical studies, 96 per cent of those who used whitening products to remove tobacco and beverage stains experienced some lightening effect. For other types of stains, such as those produced by tetracycline or too much fluoride (fluorosis), the response to whitening was less reliable.Does the effect last?The whiter gleam will start to fade within a month, even sooner depending on factors such as coffee/red wine consumption or eating food that stains teeth. Smokers will quickly lose the nicer colour in their teeth.
Whitening may temporarily increase tooth sensitivity and irritate the gums. Because of this and other potential risks, people with very sensitive teeth or gum disease, cavities or worn tooth enamel should not whiten their teeth. People with grayish discolourations, prior bonding or certain types of fillings in their front teeth are not good candidates for whitening. Cavities should be filled before whitening. Otherwise, the whitener can penetrate cavities and cause pain. Tooth whitening products are not recommended for people with peroxide allergy, pregnant women or women who are breast feeding. Since children have more sensitive teeth than adults, they should not Consider whitening until the tooth pulp is fully formed. Consult with a dental professional.
In addition, individuals may experience:
TIPS FOR SAFE WHITENING
Please contact us with any of your teeth whitening questions!