Whether it’s for a special occasion or for every day enjoyment, whitening your teeth can increase your look and your confidence. But with so many options available, you may be left wondering what path to set out on for the best results. So to help you discern what’s best for you, we have developed a comprehensive guide to teeth whitening, from FAQs and discolouration facts, to ways to avoid the need altogether.
Teeth Whitening FAQs: What’s involved and what’s the best option?
Below are some of the questions our patients ask us most often about tooth whitening, along with some answers:
Will a whitening toothpaste really work?
A whitening toothpaste may make your teeth look a little brighter right after you brush, but that is because they remove surface level stains with abrasive materials. You won’t get the same results as you would by using custom trays at home, or a quick office session. As a rule, engaging a professional is usually your best bet for long-lasting (and professional) looking white teeth.
How does in-office whitening work?
Professional teeth whitening is the preferred method of whitening as it is stronger and more effective than store-bought whitening agents. During an in-office teeth whitening visit, your dentist will apply whitening gel on the desired teeth (after protecting your face and eyes from the gel and light), and a light is placed in position for the first twenty-minute cycle. The gel is then removed, then reapplied, and the above steps are repeated for another three cycles. However, those sensitive to light or taking light-sensitive medications should consult with their doctor before undergoing this procedure.
During your twenty minutes, we ensure that you are comfortable and aware of the processes as we complete them. You won’t be able to ask questions during the application, but we will ensure you are across everything well and truly before we begin.
What about that laser you use to whiten teeth? Can it burn me?
The UV or LED light used is just that – a light that won’t harm you at all. Beams of light are used to activate the products used to whiten your teeth in the office. By using a light sensitive product, we can get the same results in about an hour or two than it would take you several weeks to get using a custom tray.
Will my teeth look fake?
Blindingly white teeth will look fake, which is not ideal. A whitening product will instead simply brighten your teeth and give you a natural, healthy smile. Again, engaging a professional, rather than tending to yourself at home will ensure that the exact gradient of white is achieved. Just like home tanning, when applying it yourself, there’s the tendency for streaks and a potential for uneven coverage; a professional job won’t run the same risk.
I have crowns or fillings – will the whitening process work on them?
The whitening solutions used for your teeth won’t work on your fillings or crowns, they only work on natural teeth. If you know you need dental work that includes crowns (and can safely wait) getting your teeth whitened before the repairs allows your dentist to match the correct shade.
Tooth Discolouration: How to decrease your chance of needing to whiten your teeth
Food and Drink:A good rule of thumb to remember about drinks and foods (coffee, wine, soft drinks, beetroots, etc), is if it’s something that would stain your carpet, it’s more than likely going to have the same staining effect on your teeth. For example, a study in South East Queensland found that individuals who were professional wine tasters faced dental erosion, staining and sensitivity, with a direct correlation. This is not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy a red wine of an evening or a morning coffee, but excessive intake should be considered if you are concerned about increasing teeth discolouration.
Age:Over time, age has a large impact on the yellowing of teeth. The outer coating of your teeth, called the enamel, wears very thin which allows the under layer of dentin to show through. This results in a dull yellow tint. Although there is not much that can be done to slow down aging, tending to some of the other causes of discolouration will definitely improve your enamel lifespan.
Many other things that you wouldn’t generally even think about. Examples of these are:
– certain antibiotics.
Unfortunately, sometimes staining is out of your control entirely. However, there are many ways to try and avoid a professional whitening appointment.Let’s look at some other ways to avoid staining your teeth:
Keep plaque under control (stains latch onto plaque)
Rinse mouth with water after snacks, meals or drinks
Sip drinks through a straw
Use whitening toothpaste
Switch to an electric toothbrush (penetrates stains better)
Quit smoking and tobacco products
Limit coffee, soft drinks, and wine
Maintain regular twice a year dental cleanings
● Sparingly use at home whitening kits to stay on top of stains
Following your Teeth Whitening consultation: How to maintain a bright white grin
Thankfully, there are professional dental whitening services available to get your pearly whites back on track, but what should you do to keep your pearly whites, well, pearly white following your appointment? This is another FAQ that we commonly receive:
The first step to keep your youthful, white smile young and bright is to stay away from foods that are known for staining your teeth. Likewise, smoking will also reverse the procedure. For a longer last or to enhance the result, your dentist may send you home with a whitening system called DayWhite, which allows you to whiten your teeth at home. The DayWhite whitening system is a great substitute for those individuals with sensitive teeth.
Additionally, these 3 golden rules will aid in the longevity of your procedure:
Limit Dark Beverages
As previously mentioned, over time your teeth will yellow due to the beverages you consume and foods that you eat. Dark drinks like soft drinks, juice or alcohol can not only have a negative impact on the enamel of your teeth, but they can cause some discolouration. The extent of the discolouration depends on how frequently you consume these drinks. Indulging in your favourite drinks once in awhile followed by proper dental care will not cause the same issues as daily consumption will, so try and limit these.
Adopt Proper Dental Care Habits
Your teeth whitening process can last a lot longer if you adopt proper dental care habits. Allowing superficial stains to sit on the surface of your teeth can make the stains more difficult to remove in the future. While it is important to brush and floss regularly, you should also speak to your dentist about constructing a routine that works to preserve the look and lustre of your smile. This may involve return visits and a daily dental plan.
Whiten Your Teeth Every few Months
In order for your teeth to remain white, they may need to be professionally whitened periodically. Teeth are naturally exposed to a number of elements that will cause the tooth to change colour. Your dentist can recommend the best teeth whitening schedule for your needs. Have a chat during your next regular check-up and see what your professional dentist suggests will work best for you.
You’ve put in the time, effort, and money to have your teeth professionally whitened. Whether you’re looking for pearly whites that are bright and pristine or simply hoping to lighten them up a few shades after years of coffee, soda, and other tooth-staining food consumption, you want to keep your new, lighter shade for as long as possible.
It can feel like a challenge, especially if you have diseases, genetics, or dietary habits that make it difficult to prevent your teeth from yellowing, but don’t be disheartened, a good dentist will do everything they can to help you achieve the very best results. By following the mentioned post-teeth whitening tips, you’ll be able to maintain your brand new smile.
We hope this post gives you insight into what works, what doesn’t and what options are available to you when it comes to whiter, younger looking teeth. Learning more about the process and what to expect from it can help you get the results you’ll love.
Plus, getting the facts about whitening your teeth can not only help you make the best choices for your health, it can also help soothe any anxiety you are feeling about the process and potential procedure.
Contact us to learn how easy it is to get a brilliant smile you’ll love to show off; we’re here to help you get the brighter, whiter teeth you’ve been hoping for.