A beautiful white smile is important to many people, but exposure to different foods will gradually stain your teeth over time. There are many foods that can affect the colour of your teeth, including coffee, smoking, soda and wine. However, it is possible to restore your teeth's natural whiteness with teeth whitening.
There are many teeth whitening products and solutions on the market, but there is actually a lot of misinformation about the teeth whitening process. Teeth whitening is more complicated than it seems and should be performed by a dental professional such as a dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist. Even if you can visit a beauty salon or use a DIY home teeth whitening kit, there are numerous risks involved, such as increasing sensitivity to the teeth, irritation to the gums and chemical burns due to improperly fitted mouth guards. This is why it’s illegal to perform teeth whitening without a dental professional present.
At Elmsleigh House Dental Clinic in Farnham, the experienced dentists offer professional teeth bleaching that makes use of a mouthguard and the bleaching agent carbamide peroxide. This is applied as a gel to mouth trays that are custom made to fit around your teeth precisely. The carbamide peroxide penetrates the enamel of your teeth and oxidises the pigment bonds in the dentine, which brightens your teeth without damaging them.
If you are thinking about whitening your teeth, here are 10 more facts that you should know
1. How whitening toothpaste works
Whitening toothpaste can make your teeth appear whiter. It achieves this by removing stains on the surface of your teeth using abrasives that polish the teeth or by using special chemicals that break down or dissolve stains. The toothpaste must be used for between two and six weeks, twice a day, before your teeth will start to appear whiter. A few whitening toothpastes use blue covarine. This chemical creates a thin film on your tooth that alters its appearance and creates the impression of whiter teeth.
It’s important to note that no whitening toothpaste exists that is able to deal with deep stains that alter the colour of your teeth.
2. Your teeth have pores that absorb stains
It may not appear that way at first glance, but your teeth have pores. These pores will absorb colour from the various foods you consume, such as coffee and sodas, and stain your teeth. Your teeth will darken as these stains build up. The only way to get rid of these stains is by using teeth whitening gel, which is absorbed into the pores in your teeth and pushes the stains out during the teeth whitening process.
3. The teeth whitening process doesn’t harm your teeth (if done professionally)
Teeth whitening is a very safe process if done by a dental practitioner. The dental practitioner will give you instructions that you need to follow, and as long as these rules are adhered to there is no risk to your teeth.
4. Custom whitening trays are key to teeth whitening
Custom whitening trays are used to ensure that the whitening agent is applied consistently to every tooth. Other applicators such as boil & bite trays and UV lights can apply the whitening agent unevenly, resulting in different shades of teeth.
5. Sensitivity increases after teeth whitening
After the teeth whitening procedure, your teeth will feel more sensitive than usual. This sensitivity will remain for up to 36 hours due to the dehydration of the tooth. A post-whitening fluoride treatment is usually suggested by your dental practitioner to treat the temporary sensitivity.
6. Laser treatments don’t last forever
Laser and UV treatments used during the teeth whitening process cause the whitening gel reaction to speed up. However, the whitening process is not permanent and multiple sessions are necessary to achieve the desired effect. Unfortunately, laser and UV treatments are not available for people with sensitive teeth.
7. Stain removal takes time
The whitening process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months for results to appear. This is due to the amount of time it takes the whitening agent to penetrate into the tooth and remove stains. More deeply embedded stains will take longer to remove.
8. Whiten your teeth just before you go to sleep
After whitening, the pores in your teeth open slightly, which means it's easier for stains to occur. This is why it's best for you to perform whitening just before you go to bed, so that your teeth will not be exposed to any substances that could stain them. Rehydrating and remineralizing of your teeth will also naturally take place while you sleep.
9. Crowns and veneers cannot be whitened
The whitening agent won't work on crowns and veneers. It also doesn't work on dentures and fillings.
10. Teeth whitening will only restore your teeth's natural colour
Teeth whitening removes stains that have built up over time to restore the natural colour of your teeth. It will not make your teeth any whiter than their original, natural shade.
These 10 facts have helped increase your knowledge about teeth whitening and the teeth whitening process. If you need more information, download Our Guide to Teeth Whitening
For those of you who have decided that teeth whitening is for you, you need to make sure you contact a dental practitioner with the experience necessary to complete your treatment. Our dental practitioners at Elmsleigh House have the knowledge to help you achieve a beautiful smile. Contact our Welcome Team at 01252 713797 for more information and to book an appointment at our clinic in Farnham, Surrey.