Whitening your teeth is one of the easiest ways to enhance your mouth’s appearance. This simple cosmetic treatment is an easy way to erase tooth discolouration and give you that ‘Hollywood Smile’.
- Extrinsic Factors — This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained.
- Coffee, wine, tea, Coca Cola (and other soft drinks) or foods can stain teeth.
- Silver Fillings
- Intrinsic Factors — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint. This happens if:
- You had too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
- Your mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
- You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
- You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth.
- You had trauma in a permanent tooth, and internal bleeding discoloured the tooth.
- You were born with a rare condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta. This causes grey, amber or purple discolourations
- Age-related — This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through.
TYPES OF WHITENING SYSTEMS?
Over-the-counter methods are the cheapest form of whitening. These methods can include:
- Toothpastes and Gels
- Pre-made whitening trays: Store bought whitening trays often fit uncomfortably. Because they are not customised for your smile, the gel may ooze out and irritate your gum tissue. Dental professionals recommend dentist-provided trays instead.
- Strips: Whitening strips are thin pieces of plastic coated in peroxide. You will attach the strips to the front of your teeth, and you will wear them about 30 minutes a day for two weeks. The results typically last around four months.
At Home Care
Dentist-prescribed whitening offers much more dramatic results than over-the-counter products. At the same time, it is still quite affordable, making it an excellent investment in your smile. If you choose this method, you will receive custom-made whitening trays. They will fit comfortably in your mouth, and you will fill them with whitening gel. This gel will use a lower concentration of peroxide than in-office treatment. Therefore, the procedure will pose little risk for gum sensitivity, even without complete dentist supervision. You will wear the trays for 30 minutes to several hours every day, depending on your dentist’s instructions and the whitening method you use.
Although take-home whitening is quite effective, in-office care usually offers the most dramatic results. Your dentist will use whitening gel with a much stronger concentration of peroxide. After an hour or less, the gel will break apart the bonds between stained molecules, giving you a dramatically brighter smile.