Do you feel like you are missing a sparkle in your smile? Are your teeth yellower than they used to be? If you are thinking about whitening your teeth read the information below and if you have questions about the process don't forget to ask to your dentist or dental hygienist. They will be able to tell you if you are a candidate for whitening.
Why my teeth changed in colour?
Food, drink, tobacco use, age, trauma, specific medications could be the cause of the color change. Depending of the cause of your stain your dental provider will suggest which type of whitening is right for you.
How does teeth whitening work?
Some whitening products actually bleach, changing the natural tooth color. They contain peroxide that removes deep stains within the enamel as well as surface stains. Non-bleaching whitening products remove surface stains only.
Not all teeth respond the same to whitening agents. Yellow teeth will bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and gray tones or mottled teeth may not whiten evenly. Whitening does not work on crowns, veneers, or fillings. Any required restorations should be done after bleaching or they will stand out against your new smile.
Types of whitening
Stain removal toothpastes have more abrasive components and additional polishing agents than regular toothpastes. They only remove superficial stain and can be very abrasive to tooth enamel.
In-Office Bleaching or Whitening requires only one visit and can be performed by the dentist or dental hygienist. A protective gel or a rubber shield is applied to your gums, the whitening product is applied to the teeth and a light is used to accelerate the procedure.
At-home bleaching consists of custom trays made for you by your dentists. A syringe with whitening gel is provided and instructions are given to you on how to apply the gel at home. This procedure can take a few days or weeks depending on the shade you wish to achieve.
Over the counter whiteninging products use the same product as the one used in dental offices but at lower concentrations. There are differents options available in the market. If you are thinking to use one of these product don’t forget to always talk with your dentist before.
Are there any side effects?
Some patients will experiences tooth sensitivity. In most cases this sensitivity is temporary and the dentist will recommend products and strategies to help reduce it.
When the whitening product comes in contact with the gums or cheeks it can cause tissue irritation, also temporary.
It is important to mention that there still is not enough information to support unsupervised long-term and/or repeated use of bleaching products.