You need to do more than simply brush and floss your teeth to take good care of them. It’s also crucial to get regular dental cleanings. Although having your teeth whitened is not a requirement, it may help you feel more comfortable with your smile.
Millions of Canadians get teeth whitening procedures every year, raking billions in profit and making it the most common cosmetic dentistry procedure. Teeth tend to tarnish with time, despite good oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups. To keep your teeth a brilliant white throughout your life, you may be inclined to try teeth whitening. Before doing so, here’s what you should know before whitening your teeth.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Tooth whitening brightens the teeth and aids in the removal of stains and discolouration.
Teeth whitening is one of the most common dental procedures since many believe it may significantly enhance the appearance of their teeth. You have to understand that teeth whitening is a continuous process. If you want to keep them white, you’ll have to undergo the same treatment from time to time.
Why Do Teeth Change Colour?
A variety of changes can occur that make teeth look darker or more yellow. Some of these changes may be avoided while others cannot. Here are a few of the typical culprits of discolouration.
- Food and Beverages
The food and the drinks you consume impact how your teeth look. Besides the colour of the food you eat, you should also take into consideration their pH levels. Avoiding acidic meals and beverages will help you retain a whiter-looking smile and preserve the thickness of your enamel.
Aging is one factor we cannot control, but by striving to preserve our outer enamel, we may try to combat the natural yellowing of the tooth. As you grow older, the tooth enamel gradually deteriorates, allowing the transparent layer of the dentin to be visible. You will begin to see the teeth becoming yellower as you age.
Drugs such as antidepressants, antihistamines, antihypertensives, and antipsychotics might stain your teeth. Some drugs, including Tetracycline and other antibiotics that have been demonstrated to impact tooth development, shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women or young children. Additionally, head and neck radiation and chemotherapy also affect your enamel in similar ways. Teeth stains may also result from the use of mouthwashes containing cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine.
All varieties of tobacco contain black particles that accumulate as visible stains on the teeth. Smoking causes the interior of the mouth to become dry. This dryness makes it easier for tobacco particles to adhere to the enamel, which can worsen staining more quickly.
Dental trauma and emergencies, including falling, chipping, and other tooth injuries, result in tooth discolouration and damage to the enamel.
Different Types of Teeth Whitening
There are several teeth whitening products and treatments available, and it can be confusing which option is best for you. Here are some options:
- Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste includes small, mildly abrasive particles that gently remove surface stains that build up over time. While they don’t alter the colour of teeth, whitening toothpaste can eliminate surface stains, making them appear whiter.
- Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are the kind of solution that consistently delivers the best results. They contain correct active components, which result in observable changes. The whitening gel in the strips simply adheres to the teeth for the recommended period.
- Professional Take-Home Whitening Trays
You should always consult your dentist if you want the best results from teeth whitening. Dentists regard professional take-home whitening in custom-made trays as the “gold standard.” The whitening gel is held in the ideal position by the custom-fit trays made using moulds of your teeth. Since the customized trays are long-lasting, you only need to buy whitening gel as needed for upkeep.
Take-home whitening is popular with patients because it gives them control over their outcomes. It is also the top choice for people with unique needs, such as those who have sensitive teeth.
- In-Office Whitening Systems
An in-office treatment is the best option for people who desire teeth whitening results as soon as possible. A high-intensity whitening gel is used in in-office teeth whitening systems to achieve apparent colour change in about an hour. This is a fantastic choice for anyone who has a big event less than a week away or who might not have enough time for home treatments to work.
The potency of the active chemicals and the added usage of lights or lasers vary. Because the active element in in-office systems is so potent, a dental professional must place a protective barrier over the gum tissues and oversee the entire procedure. Lights and lasers can speed up the whitening process by activating the gel.
Is It Good to Get Your Teeth Whitened?
Teeth whitening is generally safe. However, there are still a few safety measures you must follow.
Those with the following problems should avoid teeth whitening:
- People With Dental Problems
The use of teeth whitening products is not advised for those who have significant gum disease or huge cavities. This can exacerbate the issues already present and make the discomfort worse. Before attempting to whiten your teeth, you should always get any dental health issues addressed.
- People With Crowns and Veneers
Only natural teeth will change colour as a result of whitening agents. Your dental crowns, veneers, or tooth-coloured composite resin fillings will not get whiter. Using teeth-whitening solutions while your front teeth are undergoing treatment may worsen their condition.
- Pregnant and Nursing Mothers
Scientific studies have not yet established the safety of the substances in tooth-whitening solutions for fetuses and young children. This is why both medical professionals and dentists advise against getting your teeth whitened in the interim while you are still nursing.
Facts About Teeth Whitening
There are several myths and misconceptions about teeth whitening, so here are some of the things you should know to clear any confusion:
- Your teeth absorb
Similar to skin or a sponge, teeth, too, have pores. Your mouth will absorb whatever coloured substances you put there. Smoking, coffee, dark berries, wine, and coffee all have a strong staining effect. These stains cause your teeth’s natural colour to gradually darken over time. Unless you take steps to remove these stains, they won’t ever go away.
- Teeth whitening does not damage your teeth
Abuse of any type may be harmful, much like when you clean your teeth vigorously. Generally, professional teeth whitening is safe when carried out as directed. Your teeth naturally remineralize and moisturize themselves following each whitening treatment.
- Sensitivity after teeth whitening is normal
It is normal for sensitivity to happen throughout the whitening procedure. The teeth become momentarily dry, which lowers their capacity to protect the nerve from temperature changes. After bleaching, sensitivity should subside within 12 to 36 hours.
- The ideal time to whiten your teeth is before bed
Your teeth are more prone to restaining immediately following a whitening. This is because pores are a bit more permeable, letting stains in more easily. Dentists advise whitening before bed because it lessens the chance of discolouration and allows your teeth to rehydrate and remineralize overnight.
- Not everyone can have perfectly white teeth
The inherent colour and genetic makeup of a person’s teeth are predetermined at birth, regardless of stains. The only function of a whitening product is to get rid of stains. Some people may not ever have perfectly white teeth even after the treatment.
Having your teeth whitened is a quick and efficient technique to enhance your smile. Keep your smile bright and healthy with professional teeth whitening. Schedule your consultation and teeth whitening in Sarnia today with Lambton Family Dental. Call us at (519) 344-5747.