With summer coming up, teeth whitening can be a great option to achieve a more dazzling smile for special events and to give you more confidence by reducing discolouration. There a variety of options available to whiten your teeth which are customised to suit your teeth and personal needs. With so many different products and options for teeth whitening, it is difficult to know what will work best. Here is a list of the available options and some common questions and things you should know before getting your teeth whitened.
What Causes Tooth Discolouration?
We are all born differently, and consequently, we all have different shades of teeth. Genetics determines what colour your teeth are; some people’s teeth are naturally whiter, whereas others are more yellow or greyer.
Your lifestyle habits also impact the colour of your teeth. Drinking wine, tea, coffee or smoking can all contribute to staining your teeth. These factors affect the outer layer of enamel on your teeth and can be improved with better tooth care, lifestyle changes, and professional teeth cleaning.
As you age, your teeth will naturally become yellower and darker. This occurs in the deep tissue inside the teeth, so stain removing toothpaste or teeth cleaning and polishing will not lighten this part of the tooth. Instead, intrinsic tooth whitening is required to lighten the inner part of your tooth, giving your teeth a whiter, brighter look.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
There is a lot of misconceptions about teeth whitening, but when done properly, teeth whitening is both safe and effective. However, when not performed correctly you could risk damaging your gums, further impacting existing problems on damaged teeth, or getting uneven results. Tooth whitening is not suitable for everyone, so before conducting the treatment we will do an assessment of your teeth to look for any existing cavities, gum disease, exposed roots or other untreated issues which could worsen with a whitening treatment. When undergoing professional teeth whitening, you can have peace of mind that the treatment is optimal for your teeth and will not lead to any on-going damage.
Are there any side effects of teeth whitening?
The main side effect you may experience from tooth whitening is some tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. However, this sensitivity usually doesn’t last very long, and you can use sensitivity toothpaste to help reduce some of the discomfort. Your dentist can also use desensitising products to prevent this tooth sensitivity. If your teeth sensitivity does not go away it may be worth visiting the dentist, as there may be other factors contributing to tooth sensitivity.
What Tooth Whitening Options Are Available?
Take Home Kits
Take-home kits have custom-made trays made from an impression of your teeth, so they fit the exact shape of your mouth. The take-home trays are preloaded with a concentrated whitening gel and then worn for an hour at a time. This custom designed tray helps to keep the gel in place and protect your gums to prevent damage. This treatment is completed over 8-14 days, depending on the desired shade. Compared to other over the counter whitening treatments, this take-home kit is more concentrated to give longer lasting results.
In Chair Treatments
If you are interested in more immediate and dramatic results, in chair treatments at your dental clinic may be more beneficial, as these treatments use a high concentration of the whitening gel. The benefit of in chair treatments is that the only take about one hour and producing long-lasting, even results. Following on from this treatment your teeth will be noticeably whiter and brighter.
How White Will My Teeth become?
A common question is how much whiter your teeth will be after whitening. It is important to have realistic expectations when undergoing a whitening treatment. As everyone has unique teeth, the results will likely differ between people. The shade achieved also depends on how discoloured your teeth are to begin with. To find out the results you can achieve from a tooth whitening treatment, it is best to book an appointment, as your dentist will be able to explain what you can realistically expect.
The results are also impacted by how you maintain your teeth following on from the treatment. To ensure the best results you should continue to brush your teeth properly twice a day, floss, and avoid foods and drinks that stain teeth such as coffee, wine, and tea. This will help to maintain the results and keep your teeth brighter and whiter for longer.
Interested in tooth whitening treatments in Perth? We offer both in-chair and take-home kits, to suit your preference. Our dentists can also give you advice on whether your teeth are suitable for a whitening treatment and what option will work best for you. Book an appointment to get started today!