One of the foundations of an attractive smile is bright, white teeth.
So what happens when your pearly whites aren’t so pearly white anymore?
Just as we all have different hair and skin colour, people have different tooth colour. Some teeth are more yellow than others, while others yellow with aging. Your natural tooth colour can also be affected by other factors, such as certain foods, tea, coffee, wines, and over time teeth can loose their brilliance.
Tooth Whitening is a very popular procedure. Most people will whiten their teeth for a special occasion, like a wedding or job interview. It can be an aid to quit smoking, by not wanting to have tobacco staining on your new white teeth. Also, whitening your teeth is like wearing a great outfit, it makes you feel good about yourself.
Now with the arrival of new tooth whitening technology, even the stubbornest teeth can be whitened safely and quickly. This is done at home or in the surgery and can be maintained by doing touch up treatments as needed. Whitening can also help prevent the development of further staining.
How is it done?
There are two options we provide to whiten your teeth.
The first is quite simple, we take a mould of your teeth and this mould is then used to fabricate a thin tray that fits precisely over the teeth. The material used is a thin flexible plastic so the tray is comfortable to wear. Once the tray is fitted to your teeth we supply you with bleaching gel to use at home for an hour a day. The bleach is placed in the trays and the teeth are whitened. Results are usually seen within the first week. Maximum results occur over the next 14-21 days. Following this period, we like to check the progress of the treatment.
The second is the Phillips ZOOM in-office whitening procedure, which requires approximately 1½ hours. This procedure is performed in the practice using a powerful UV light to activate a specially formulated and fast acting whitening gel. It may be possible to whiten as much as eight shades with the ZOOM technique.
For optimum whitening results, both options can be used in combination.
Are there any side effects?
Some people may experience tooth sensitivity during whitening treatments.
Others have reported some discomfort in the gums. These symptoms will usually disappear within 1-3 days after completing the treatment.
Pre-existing tooth-coloured fillings in the front teeth will not change colour. They may need to be replaced. Crowns, veneers and porcelain fillings will not whiten.
Post whitening care is also very important. You do have to take care with foods and drinks you consume for at least 36-48 hours post whitening. Immediately after whitening the tooth enamel is more susceptible to staining. Here is a handy rule to remember; whatever stains white clothing is a bad idea. Foods like berries, pasta sauces, gravy, soy sauce and tomato sauce are stain-causing and should be avoided. Obviously coffee, tea and red wine would also fit in this category.
Whitening your teeth is a safe procedure that will give dramatic results. A dental examination is required before treatment begins, as proper diagnosis is vital to determine how effective bleaching will be in treating your condition. It is also important to have the process professionally performed to ensure the quality, effectiveness and safety of the treatment.