Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that removes teeth stains and discolouration. Over the years, teeth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures with people loving the newfound confidence that perfect, white teeth give them.
Benefits of Teeth Whitening
The benefits of teeth whitening include:
- They are a self-confidence boost
- It’s affordable and easy to maintain
- It enhances your look
- It’s a non-invasive treatment
- It motivates you to take good care of your oral health
What Causes Discoloured Teeth?
The most common causes of discoloured teeth include:
- Red wine
- Certain medications
- Yellowing teeth as people age
- Some people are born with more yellow teeth than others
Types of Treatment
There are a few main ways to whiten your teeth – a professional treatment carried out by a dentist, a self-whitening tooth kit which is provided by dentists and which people can do themselves at home, and over-the-counter treatments.
Professional Teeth Whitening Procedures
Professional teeth whitening procedures can be done in a few different ways:
- The dentist will check your teeth to ensure that they are in good enough condition for the treatment.
- A gel is applied to protect your gums, and a bleaching solution containing hydrogen peroxide is put on your teeth.
- A bright light is shone on your teeth which allows oxygen to be released, and stains to be lifted off the teeth.
- This procedure can usually be completed in one visit.
Power Bleaching (Laser Whitening)
- The dentist covers your gums and paints a bleaching agent on your teeth. A laser light is then shone on your teeth to activate the whitening process.
- This process takes about one hour and only requires one dentist visit.
Whitening Treatment with Mouth Trays
- Your dentist will make moulds of your mouth
- A custom mouth tray is made, which will fit over your teeth
- A bleaching solution is put into the mouth trays which you will wear for 15-30 minutes.
- The third step can be repeated at home following your dentist’s instructions.
Home Whitening Kit
Your dentist can provide you with a home teeth whitening kit which will include a custom-made mouth tray with a whitening/bleaching solution. Instructions on the correct way to use the kit will be included.
As well as professional dental procedures for teeth whitening, there are also many over-the-counter gels, toothpaste, strips, and whitening trays available. If you would rather choose an over-the-counter teeth whitening solution, you will have to check with your dentist beforehand to see what the best option is for your teeth.
The Difference Between Dental Teeth Whitening Treatments and Home Ones
The main differences between dental teeth whitening treatments and home kits include:
- Although at home teeth whitening kits are convenient, it is easier to suffer from side effects after using them, as some people may unintentionally swallow some of the bleaching/whitening solutions.
- Over-the-counter teeth whitening products aren’t as strong as those provided by your dentist, and so may not be as effective or last as long.
- The store bought mouth trays are usually a ‘one-size fits all’ style which makes it easier for the whitening solution to touch your gums and cause irritation.
- The mouth trays made by a dentist are custom-made for your mouth and provide a maximum fit between your teeth and the whitening solution, ensuring that you get the best results.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
The peroxide in teeth whitening products enters the tiny pores of the teeth enamel and dentin, and breaks up the stains which block out light. The stains dissolve and more light is then able to pass through the teeth which makes them look whiter.
Some of the side effects that may occur after a teeth whitening procedure include:
- Teeth discomfort, especially if you have sensitive teeth.
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods/drinks.
- Tingling sensations.
How Long Will Teeth Whitening Treatments Last?
Teeth whitening treatments can last for 6 months up to 2-3 years. How long it lasts and how effective it depends largely on what treatment/products you use. Practicing good oral hygiene and attending regular dental appointments will help ensure that your teeth stay white for as long as possible. Maintaining a healthy diet and cutting down on an excess of coffee, red wine, tea, and tobacco products will also go a long way to keeping your teeth in good condition.
Teeth whitening treatments aren’t permanent, and you will most likely need to continue getting teeth whitening treatments every 1-2 years to keep your teeth white and bright.
At Advanced Dental Cammeray, we have almost 20 years of dental experience and take pride in offering the highest quality service with state-of-the-art equipment, pain-free techniques, and personalised attention to each of our patients.