TEETH WHITENING FACTS
Totally Smiles in Cairns explains teeth whitening, its benefits and the various options available to help you get that perfect smile.
There are several reasons for teeth discolouration, but the main culprit is usually consumption of certain foods and drinks. Regular consumption of red wine, tea, coffee, nicotine, and even certain medications can badly stain your teeth.
As we get older, the enamel on our teeth becomes thinner causing the underlying yellowish dentin to show.
This is why teeth whitening has become one of the most popular short-term cosmetic treatments available.
How it works
Teeth have pores, just like skin and everything you consume contains pigments which can cause unattractive stains. Regular cleaning can help keep your teeth clean, but they won’t necessarily remove the stains.
This is where the teeth whitening (or bleaching) process comes in. It can be done with either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which causes an oxidation reaction to occur effectively breaking down the staining agents on your teeth.
Teeth Whitening Options
There are 3 teeth whitening options available so you can choose the one which you are most comfortable with:
Professional: This form of teeth whitening will be done by your dentist and is considered to be the quickest and safest way to whiten your teeth. Depending on the severity of staining, your dentist may use higher concentrations of whitening agents to target and remove them. Naturally, your dentist will ensure that your gums are protected from exposure to these agents. If needed, your dentist will also use a laser to enhance the treatment.
At-home treatments: This option consists of at-home teeth whitening kits to brighten your teeth from the comfort of your home. The concentration of the bleaching agent is much lower than what you would receive from the treatment at your dentist’s office and is usually applied with trays or strips placed on your teeth. This is a great option but is not as effective as undergoing a professional teeth whitening treatment.
Toothpastes: Whitening toothpastes are perhaps one of the most affordable options as you can purchase these from most stores. These toothpastes contain mild abrasives which can remove most surface stains. Whitening toothpastes differ from whitening treatments in that they don’t actually whiten your teeth, they merely assist in stain removal.
Facts about teeth whitening
- No damage: Contrary to popular belief, teeth whitening will not actually damage your teeth or any dental work you may have had done. If done correctly, teeth whitening is incredibly safe and effective.
- Sensitivity: The bleaching agents of teeth whitening treatments temporarily dehydrate the teeth reducing their ability to insulate the nerve from changing temperatures. Your dentist will apply or encourage the use of post-whitening fluoride treatment to help nourish and rehydrate the teeth.
- It’s not instant: Teeth stains cannot be removed overnight, no matter how strong of a whitener you use. The whitening process can take several days as the bleaching agents need to penetrate the teeth deep enough to clean it.
- Caps and veneers cannot be whitened: Artificial caps and veneers are specifically designed to match the colour of your teeth, meaning that it can never be altered. Whilst they can never be stained (with proper care of course), they can never be whitened either.
- Do it before bed: If you’re using a home kit to whiten your teeth, the best time to apply it would be right before bed. This is because the bleaching agent opens up the pores in your teeth making them more susceptible to staining immediately after application. Applying the treatment before bed reduces the chance for staining and allows your teeth the opportunity to begin rehydrating and demineralising.
- It won’t work perfectly for everyone: Everyone’s tooth colour is set at birth, meaning that no matter how many stains you remove with teeth whitening treatments, there is a chance that your teeth may never be pearly white. This however, does not mean that you should neglect your teeth!
How often should you use teeth whitening treatments?
Whilst effective, teeth whitening treatments are not a permanent solution to stain removal. Even having a professional teeth whitening treatment done will not stop your teeth from eventually staining again. This is why it’s important to continue the treatments so that your teeth are always bright, white, and stain-free!
Professional whitening at your dentist’s office will usually last about a year, or sometimes longer, depending on how well you care for teeth between treatments.
At-home treatments such as using whitening kits will usually maintain your teeth’s whiteness for up to six months. They shouldn’t be used excessively though (more than 2 or 3 times a year) as this can cause damage to your teeth.
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular dental treatments in the world. Many people opt for this easy and affordable treatment to help clean their teeth of unsightly stains and refresh their natural smile.
Teeth whitening with Totally Smiles
To find out more about our teeth whitening options, or to book an appointment contact us today!