What is teeth whitening?
Tooth whitening or dental bleaching is one the fastest and easiest ways to improve your appearance and put more sparkle in your smile. With tooth bleaching, the color of the enamel is lightened, and the teeth look younger, healthier and brighter.
Tooth whitening can be a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface.
Why do my teeth darken and stain?
There are many reasons why your teeth can become discoloured. Everyone is different, and just like our hair and skin colour vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant white teeth, and also our teeth can become darker as we age.
There are 2 main types of staining, internal and external staining.
Internal staining can be caused by antibiotics especially whilst teeth are developing such as tetracycling staining. Also a dead tooth can resemble be discoloured. Small cracks in the teeth may take up stains as well. Fluorosis can be another cause of deep staining.
External Staining can be caused by food and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine and blackcurrent, tomato puree etc. Smoking can also stain teeth. Tartar can make teeth look darker as well.
What does tooth whitening involve?
There are 2 main types of whitening procedures available . Your dentist will be able to assess you if you are suitable for the procedure.
Professional laser whitening- This procedure takes just half an hour in the dental chair. A special UV light is used to activate the peroxide in the whitening agent to achieve the desired shade.
Home Bleaching – This involves the use of trays like mouthguards with a peroxide based gel to wear at home. This is carried out for a number of days until the desired level of whitening is achieved.
Please speak to a member of our team for more details.
How does tooth whitening work?
Once the gel is properly applied, the active ingredient is broken down and oxygen penetrates deep into the tooth surface. This lightens up the teeth from the inside.
How about whitening toothpastes?
Standard whitening toothpastes and over the counter products don’t lighten teeth up from the inside. Usually, they only remove the surface staining. However, as most products contain abrasive agents, these are very damaging to teeth.
How long will my teeth stay whiter?
The effects of whitening are thought to last for 3 years. However, this will vary from person to person. The effect is less likely to last if you smoke, and eat/drink staining products such as coffee.
What are the side effects?
Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Others report discomfort to the gums, sore throat or white patches on the gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within days.
For further information please contact the Clinic.