Teeth whitening 101: From avoiding stains to in-chair treatments
Bright, sparkling white teeth are no longer just for celebrities - whitening treatments are now common everywhere you look.
If you're new to the idea of trying whitening products or treatments, it's a good idea to start by checking out all of the options. And, naturally, you should always consult your dentist before undergoing any treatment, as they can advise you on the best method for you. Here's an introduction to the various types of whitening methods you can try!
Whether you've never had your teeth whitened, or are a regular in the dentist's office for treatments, avoiding stains is often the first step towards whiter teeth.
While some tooth discolouration comes from age or illnesses, much of the yellow or grey tinge you see is from lifestyle choices. Smoking is often the worst offender, but regular drinking of tea, coffee, and red wine are all culpable, too. Even if you don't completely cut out these substances from your lifestyle, look for ways to cut down on them whenever possible.
Additionally, the tooth's biggest enemy is sugar. When you eat or drink sugary substances, the sugars create the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria in your mouth. If these bacteria get too prolific, they can result in dental decay, which also contributes to discolouration. Again, cutting down on such substances is still a lot better than eating sweets and consuming fizzy drinks all the time!
There is no doubt you've already seen the various advertisements for whitening toothpastes and the range of options at the supermarket.
Many brands will claim they contain various whitening ingredients, but for the most part, these are simply low levels of a bleaching agent such as peroxide. Peroxide can lighten the colour of your teeth, although the amount used is often so low that the effect is quite small.
Keep in mind that all toothpastes contain mild abrasives, which are used to help scrub your teeth. Whether or not a toothpaste has additional whitening agents in the mix, these abrasives naturally help to keep your teeth white.
At-home whitening kits
There are a range of at-home whitening kits that you can buy over-the-counter or at your dentist's office. The efficacy of these can vary greatly depending on the amount of peroxide in the paste. Usually, at-home products come in the form of pens, strips, or trays.
Pens look a bit like a normal felt-tip marker, except instead of ink, they contain a whitening gel that you 'paint' onto your teeth. Strips are as they sound - strips of a papery material that you fit over the front of your teeth to let the bleaching ingredients get to work. Trays look like mouthguards, and come with a whitening gel that works on your teeth while you wear the tray. Each of these options will require you to leave the product on for a certain amount of time (often 30 minutes or so) daily. Some also come with a light to shine over the teeth that will activate the ingredients.
In any case, it's important to check the ingredients list to see the level of peroxide contained in the product. You can also ask your dentist about using them, or search online for reviews to see what other users have to say.
In-chair whitening treatments
Finally, in-chair whitening treatments offer short procedures that result in teeth being immediately, noticeably whiter.
Your dentist will apply a bleaching gel to your teeth then use a special lamp to activate the ingredients. You'll sit comfortably throughout the treatment, and your dentist will help you rinse off the gel. This option is often best for those who are after quick results that you can see straight away.
Don't forget to chat to your dentist if you're thinking of undergoing any kind of whitening treatment.
Achieve a more natural looking smile
Dull coloured or stained teeth.
Our take home system - plastic whitening trays will be made from models of your teeth. You will then place a special whitening gel in each tray and wear the trays in your mouth for 30minutes, morning and night for up to 14 days.
Modern tooth whitening systems are highly effective and have dramatic results. However results can vary from patient to patient. It’s important to speak with your dentist or hygienist to find out if you are an eligible whitening candidate.
Occasionally, patients may experience some gum or tooth sensitivity when using their trays. These symptoms subside when whitening is discontinued for several days.