Tooth whitening is still a popular and effective way to brighten Your Smile without removing any of your natural tooth surface. With all the commercial and dental professional whitening solutions available, your choices are many. Very few of us have brilliantly white teeth and there are many things that can cause discolouration of the surface enamel including aging.
How White and How Long?
These are the 2 most commonly asked questions about whitening: How light will the teeth become and how long can they expect the brighten to stay.
Not every person achieves the same results. Most people get great results, while others are not as satisfied. Some people have to try different products or methods until they find the one that works best for them. While still other, do not follow after-care recommendations that can prevent or slow down the re-staining of teeth.
How white will my teeth get?
How much your teeth will lighten depends on a number of factors. The effectiveness of whitening will vary from person to person and product to product.
1) Some kits come with a shade guide so you can determine your existing teeth colour before whitening then do an after-treatment comparison.
2) Teeth with grey undertones do not lighten as well as yellow teeth do
3) Depending on the product of choice, teeth should improve 3-6 shades lighter
4) If you are not happy with the whitening results after trying different products/methods then you may want to consider dental veneers.
5) How effective a commercial product is will depend on the amount of whitening agent (usually hydrogen peroxide) it contains.
How long will my teeth stay white?
Again, this varies from person to person. Some people whiten once/month, while others once/year. Some people say that anything that can stain a white shirt may stain teeth. So, basically, if you’re not whitening, your darkening.
You can keep your teeth whiter for longer by following these tips:
1) Avoid foods that stain teeth such as richly pigmented wines/juices/ fruit/vegetables/spices like turmeric/balsamic/condiments/soya sauce
2) Avoid or cut down on coffee/tea which contain tannins that stain.
3) Use a straw if you would like your richly coloured drink to bypass your teeth.
4) Rinse your mouth immediately after eating. Do not brush, however, for at least 20minutes. Your teeth may still be soft from bacterial acid attacks and you may scratch enamel surface. Food pigments can hide in these scratched areas.
5) Acidic foods and drinks can cause etching to your enamel surface increasing the likelihood of more staining
6) Avoid abrasive toothbrushes and toothpastes that can abrade teeth and ruin their protective coating.
7) Some foods can create a protective coating over your teeth – like cheese. You can eat then before eating foods you think may stain your teeth.
8) Good oral hygiene is a must to keep unsightly plaque from accumulating which also picks up stains from the food/drinks we consume.
9) Understand, the bacteria acids can erode and pit teeth which allows a place for food stains to accumulate.
10) Check food labels. Many foods have colourants you may not even be aware of.
11) Some whitening systems include a touch-up kit that allows you to do a quick lightening at intervals.
Sensitivity – We always recommend that our patient brush with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. This is because sometimes the whitening process can make teeth and even gums feel sensitive, even painful. Using a Sensitive Toothpaste will help reduce the likelihood of sensitivity or reduce it dramatically. This will allow you to perform the treatment for the recommended length of time without interruption or discomfort.
Clean Teeth – We also advise that you have your teeth professionally cleaned before whitening. By doing so, your dental professional will be able to remove some surface staining during the polishing procedure and tartar (calculus) that you already have on your tooth surface. You will ideally like to have the whitening solution contact enamel surface without having to penetrate through hard stone tartar.
Origin – Know where your whitening product comes from and it’s ingredients if your are purchasing your whitening from anywhere other than a dental office or reputable pharmacy. If you are having in-office bleaching anywhere other than a dental office then be aware of the place of manufacture and ingredients. If you are not able to review the product or care provider properly, then research or ask your dentist before starting treatment.
Existing Dental Work – Lastly, some people are disappointed to learn that whitening can only change the shade of existing, natural teeth. Dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, white fillings and the false teeth on dentures are unaffected by the whitening procedure. If this is the case, you’ll want to speak with your dentist about other treatment options to help brighten your smile.
Have more questions about Teeth Whitening?
Give us a call today at (905) 5 SMILES and our friendly team will be happy to help you!
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537 Oshawa
(416) 783-3533 Toronto