It happens to the best of us: you look at the reflection of your teeth in the mirror and don’t like what you see.
You have probably googled steps on how to keep your teeth white and have followed everything from brushing after each meal and flossing to using teeth whitening toothpaste.
If after all of these efforts, you are still unable to get the shiny white teeth you’ve always dreamed about, then it might be time to contact a dentist for a professional teeth whitening.
The Natural Color of Teeth
It is important to know that your teeth not having a glittering white color does not necessarily mean there’s a problem. While the enamel, which is visible, has a natural white color, the dentin which lies below it is slightly yellowish and this color reflects through the enamel most times, giving the teeth a light-yellow color.
Why does the teeth color change?
Beyond the natural color of teeth, any further discoloration may be a cause for concern. There are two factors that contribute to tooth discoloration and these include:
External Factors: These are effects caused by substances outside the body. The biggest culprits in this category involve various foods and drinks such as soda, strawberries, red wine, coffee, and other foods. Smoking is also a significant contributor to external teeth stain. This kind of stain or color change occurs on the surface of the teeth and might be easier to deal with.
Internal Factors: These occur from within the teeth and can leave a persistent undesirable color. Top in this category is the effect of using antibiotics. Cracks on the surface of the teeth may also allow stains to seep in and discolor the teeth. Finally, there’s the genetic factor where some people are naturally predisposed to having stained teeth.
Teeth Whitening Procedure
After you have made a complaint to the dentist, a first appointment is booked to evaluate the teeth and decide whether you’re really eligible for a tooth whitening process. If the dentist is satisfied that tooth whitening is the right procedure for you, the treatment can proceed in either of two ways:
Traditional Professional Tooth Whitening
This is the most common procedure for tooth whitening and it takes anything between 3 weeks and a month to complete. The dentist starts by taking an impression of the mouth to find an appropriately sized mouth guard.
On the next appointment, the mouth guard is fixed to protect the gum (a protective gel is used sometimes) to prevent the teeth whitening substances from affecting the gums. These teeth whitening substances contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and they’re the active ingredients that get the bleaching done.
After the first application of the whitening substances, you will need to apply them repeatedly on your own, keeping them on the teeth for between 30 and 60 minutes during each use over the duration of the treatment.
You will need to avoid foods that can stain the teeth during the treatment period while also staying away from excessively hot or cold food due to the sensitivity of the gum to the treatment.
Recently, an even more effective technique has been developed for the tooth whitening process. Laser whitening often uses the same active ingredients from professional whitening, but a beam of laser is used to activate the chemicals and apply the bleaching effect. Apart from the mouth guard, you also have to wear safety googles to protect the eyes from the laser light.
The hydrogen peroxide mixture is first applied to the teeth after which the laser light is shone on it. You should expect to feel a slight tingling sensation on the gums during the process, but this is nothing to worry about. Again, you would be advised to stay away from foods that might stain the teeth for about a week after the procedure to let the whitening effects set in completely. You may also have to apply the chemicals on your own for about a week after the actual laser whitening has taken place.
Book your teeth whitening appointment now!
For over two decades, Dr. Daitch has performed countless teeth whitening procedures at Dental Wellness dental hospital, restoring the confidence of patients and brightening their smiles.