Teeth have tiny pores in them that absorb staining over time. Common causes of staining are coffee, tea, red wine, soy sauce, tobacco, cola and plaque and tartar build-up. Other causes are from within the teeth such as ageing, trauma, dental fluorosis and antibiotic staining during tooth development. To remove tooth discolouration tooth whitening is a safe and effective treatment.
How do I whiten my teeth?
There are many different delivery systems to whiten teeth. These have varying success depending on the extent of staining, desired outcomes and genetic structure of your teeth.
1. Custom Fit Trays
This is one of the best whitening treatments. The trays are designed by your dentist to specifically fit your teeth. A specially prescribed whitening gel is added to the tray allowing full tooth coverage, protection of the gums and control of how much whitening your teeth receive. It can take 7-14 days to see the effects of whitening and it is always a good idea to take a photo before whitening to see the difference.
2. In-Chair Whitening
With in-chair whitening, a powerful gel is applied to the teeth and then activated with a LED light. You should see immediate results after the treatment. In-chair whitening should ONLY be done in a dental clinic by a dentist or qualified dental hygienist.
3. Whitening Strips
Whitening strips are available in chemists and supermarkets. They do not offer as much tooth surface coverage and the results can be uneven.
4. Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste offers a mild effect on a daily basis. Caution should be taken as they can be abrasive.
Will I experience tooth sensitivity after whitening?
Tooth sensitivity is a common after tooth whitening as the teeth become dehydrated during the whitening processes. This is easily managed by following the advice of your dentist or hygienist and using a desensitising paste to promote rehydration.
Does it damage the teeth?
Like any sort of treatment, misuse and overuse can result in irreversible damage. Professional tooth whitening in a dental practice managed by a dentist will not damage the teeth and is very safe. It is important to note any veneers, crowns and fillings will not change colour with whitening and these may need to be replaced after whitening depending on the results. Teeth are likely to need a further whitening treatment to maintain results due to further staining.
How can we help?
At Ian Gurner Dental Care we offer both in-chair whitening and custom trays. To find out which whitening treatment is best for you call our Welcome Desk on (03) 6231 3645 to request an appointment.