Say Hello to Summer with a Fresh Bright Smile!
As we slowly begin to regain some sense of normalcy in our daily lives, we can finally start looking forward to seeing our family and friends again. What better way to greet them than with a radiant smile! A smile is one of the first things you notice when you meet someone. A confident, healthy smile can help you feel better about yourself and leave a memorable, positive impression. Over time, your teeth may be discoloured or stained due to a number of factors.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental service that can restore discoloured teeth to a healthy, natural colour. It is often a safe, efficient, and highly effective procedure under the supervision of a dental professional.
Common Causes of Tooth Discolouration
- Food/drinks: Coffee, tea, sodas, wines, and certain foods (e.g. curry, tomato-based sauces, berries etc.) can stain your teeth.
- Tobacco use (smoking or chewing).
- Disease or trauma: Several diseases that affect the enamel (the hard surface of the teeth) or dentin (the underlying material under the enamel) can cause discoloured teeth. Trauma, such as damage from a fall, can also cause discoloration to the enamel in young children and adults.
- Medical treatments: Some medical treatments such as high blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, radiation etc. can contribute to tooth stain.
- Poor dental hygiene: Not brushing, flossing, and rinsing enough to remove plaque and stain-producing substances.
- Aging and genetics: As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth wears away, revealing the natural colour of dental underneath. While some people may have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others, most suffer from enamel loss which results in staining of teeth.
How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?
Most teeth whitening systems use a peroxide-based formula. When exposed to the air and water in your mouth, hydrogen peroxide breaks down into its component parts: water and oxygen. The oxygen molecules sink deep into the staining on your teeth, where they react with and break down stain molecules.
Over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products also work this way. The greatest difference between OTC products and professional in-office or take-home whitening methods is the peroxide ratio in the formula. With a professionally prepared treatment, your dentist can offer you high peroxide percentages, and therefore stronger whitening.
What to Expect at an In-Office Teeth Whitening Appointment
- Your dentist would use a tooth shade chart to determine the current shade of your teeth and discuss the desired result with you.
- Your dentist would then polish your teeth and remove any remaining plaque.
- The whitening agent would be applied to your teeth and left on for up to an hour. Your dentist may also use a UV light to activate the agent if it is part of your treatment.
- Once the whitening process is complete, your mouth is rinsed and your dentist may apply fluoride, which will help mitigate any potential sensitivity.
If you are interested in teeth whitening to help bring out your brightest smile, contact our office today to find out if it is the right procedure for you!