A bright smile is a youthful, confident, and beautiful smile. However, if you consume certain stain-causing foods, drinks, and tobacco products, you may notice discolouration or staining on your teeth. And with age, you may see yellowing or darkening of your teeth.
Fortunately, there are professional teeth whitening options that are well-established, effective, and affordable. Professional in-office treatments are more effective than over-the-counter products because they contain heavier concentrations of active ingredients and are applied by a dentist. Application of teeth whitening treatment by a dentist also minimizes the risk of damage to gums and enamel.
Surface Whiteners and Bleaches
Surface whiteners: products include toothpaste or chewing gum with special abrasives or chemical agents that tackle surface stains. These will not change the natural colour of your teeth and will only slightly enhance the brightness of your smile.
Bleaches: these products are carbamide- or peroxide-based and change the colour of your teeth, brightening your smile by several shades. Not all discolouration responds well to bleaching, depending on the cause of the stain. Therefore, your dentist will advise on how your type of discolouration can best be treated.
Your dentist will advise on the best bleaching method based on how many teeth are discoloured and intensity of the discolouration. Any of the following options may be recommended:
1. A bleach-infused toothpaste to brush the teeth.
2. A bleach-filled customized mouthguard to be worn for part of each day. Similar over-the-counter products use only one size, and a poorly-fitted mouthguard can lead to gum irritation and less bleach on the teeth.
3. Application of bleach on the discoloured teeth and use of heat or light to initiate the bleaching process.
Teeth whitening can be done at home or in-office. Products prescribed by your dentist for at-home use are generally safer than over-the-counter products but must be appropriately applied to avoid risks to your gum and enamel.
While over-the-counter products (surface whiteners and bleaching products) can be easily purchased, effectiveness is not guaranteed, and no shield is provided to protect gums, as is provided at in-office treatments. It is best to consult with your dentist before selecting a whitening option.
To maintain your brighter smile, consider these simple tips:
• Avoid consumption of stain-causing foods, drinks, and tobacco products.
• If you consume drinks that cause stain, use a straw to prevent contact with your teeth.
• Brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after consumption of stain-causing foods or drinks.
• Brush twice daily and floss once daily, at a minimum.
• Use a whitening toothpaste once or twice a week and regular toothpaste the other times.
• Receive touch-up treatments if you choose to consume stain-causing foods, drinks, or tobacco products.
If you are considering whitening your teeth, contact us today to schedule your visit.