Teeth whitening is one of the easiest ways to improve your appearance. Whiter teeth can boost your self-esteem and confidence. Years of drinking coffee, tea, cola, red wine, and smoking eventually takes their toll on teeth.
The results are dull, yellowish-colored teeth. Some teeth may have darker grey-coloured stains due to antibiotics. Most teeth will benefit from tooth whitening. Teeth whitening is a proven safe and effective way to brighten stained, discolored teeth.
Our participating cosmetic dentists have a variety of methods for restoring a bright white smile including porcelain veneers, composite bonding, dental implants and whitening, also known as bleaching. However, of all the advances made in dentistry to enhance the appearance of the teeth, whitening is the easiest and least invasive, and effective for 3 out of 4 cases. The procedure is safe, simple, and more affordable than ever before. Because of these reasons and more, whitening has become very popular.
What teeth whitening techniques are available to me?
All teeth whitening products contain peroxide either as carbamide peroxide (CP) or hydrogen peroxide (HP). Peroxide dissolves the organic stains in the tooth to change the color and produce a whitened effect.
There are four types of peroxide-containing teeth whitening products available:
In-practice products are applied by a dental professional. These products contain a high percentage of CP or HP and are applied directly to the teeth. Some activated by heat, light, or laser. This may be the product for you if you’re in a hurry for whiter teeth and you don’t have tooth sensitivity. For very dark-colored teeth, the teeth whitening process can be sped up in two to three hours followed by a take-home product until the desired whiteness is achieved.
A take-home product supervised by one of our participating cosmetic dentists is the most popular teeth whitening method. These products contain a lesser percentage of CP or HP than in-practice products and are worn in a tray overnight or during the day at home. A custom-fitted tray is made to hold the teeth whitening product directly against the teeth while lessening its contact with the gums. Some products have fluoride added to help prevent or treat mild tooth sensitivities. The typical stains of ageing will whiten in seven to fourteen days when the tray is worn overnight.
Over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products contain a small percentage of HP or CP. Caution should be used with these products as many contain an acidic solution that can wear away tooth enamel. OTC products use a bulky, one-size-fits-all tray to hold the product. Usually more product is swallowed than stays in the tray because of the trays poor fit against the teeth. It can take up to six months and the purchase of several kits to get whiter teeth. Flexible strips coated with whitening gel have recently been introduced as an OTC at-home teeth whitening method. The strips are worn on the front teeth and folded over to keep them in place. Results are reported to be noticeable after fourteen days and effective for 6 months.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening toothpastes contain a small percentage of HP, CP, or polishing ingredient. The toothpastes are effective in keeping teeth cleaner and whiter looking but some may be very abrasive. The harsh abrasive will wear away the enamel with repeated use gradually making the teeth look yellow. Teeth whitening toothpastes remove surface stains and prevent new stains from building up. Teeth whitening toothpastes however aren’t in contact with the teeth long enough to remove internal stains. Ask our participating cosmetic dentists about the safety and cavity protection of specific toothpastes before you buy.