Professional Teeth Whitening
As we age and use our bodies for longer periods of time, we may experience changes, including those in our teeth. General wear and tear or lifestyle factors such as smoking or drinking dark-colored liquids such as soda, coffee, or red wine can cause teeth to discolour and darken over time.
If you wish to brighten your teeth, there are several alternatives open to you. We'll go over how a teeth-whitening shade guide can help you choose the best hue for your smile in more detail below.
What to Expect During Your Teeth Whitening Consultation
To begin the teeth whitening process, your dentist will assess the shade of your smile using a shade guide.
Your dentist will compare your current tooth colour to the shade guide and then work from there to determine what shade you'd like your teeth to be after treatment. Here are some things you should think about when trying to decide on your whitening goals:
- Existing stains on your teeth - Stains that are darkly coloured or grey can be hard to remove. Whitening may make these stains seem more prominent.
- Crowns and fillings - Artificial restoration of any kind will not respond to whitening treatment. You will want to select a shade that will help these restorations blend in.
- Your eyes - Your teeth should be a similar shade of white to the whites of your eyes. This helps you maintain a natural-looking smile.
These tips will help you achieve a brighter, more natural-looking grin. Most teeth-whitening procedures can lighten your teeth by two to seven or eight shades, but improving the appearance of your smile significantly only requires two or three shades.
As with most things, it's best to start small and work your way up, and by whitening a bit at first, you can gauge how you feel before jumping in and going brighter later.
Options For Professional Teeth Whitening
Most at-home teeth-whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient. Tooth enamel interacts with oxygen and breaks down the active ingredient, causing the teeth to whiten. Dental offices typically provide both in-office professional teeth-whitening procedures as well as take-home kits that allow you to whiten your teeth at your leisure.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Your Dental Office
Your dentist will do in-office tooth whitening. Because your dentist can safely apply a higher dosage of hydrogen peroxide than you can at home, in-office treatments are often the most efficient and successful.
The dentist will place a shield over your gums to protect them from the whitening solution. You will next use a personalized mouthguard-like tray to apply the solution to your teeth. The dentist will apply the solution to the teeth and use a special light to speed up the process.
Professional Teeth Whitening Kits to Use at Home
Many dental offices also provide take-home kits with thorough instructions so that you can safely continue the teeth-whitening treatment in the comfort of your own home.
Take-home kits include custom whitening trays that you will use to keep the whitening solution on your teeth. For two weeks, these trays are normally worn for a length of time each day.