Have you ever gone to take a selfie, only to be disheartened with your smile?
It’s not a pleasant feeling, that’s for sure!
A whiter smile is more than a good look – it’s also a huge boost to one’s confidence.
It can help eliminate that uneasy feeling that comes with knowing that your teeth aren’t as clean as they should (or could) be.
The good news is that there are many whitening methods and products available on the market.
The bad news? You have no clue know how strong or effective those teeth whitening products are… if they work at all! Further, whether they are dangerous for your teeth and or gums?
So what’s the secret to a whiter smile? Our Armadale dentist explains!
What is teeth whitening?
You might feel embarrassed to show your stained and yellowish teeth whenever you have a conversation or take a close-up photo of your face.
Luckily, dental science means that this needn’t be the case anymore!
Teeth whitening is pretty descriptive – it’s a technique you use to lighten the colour of your teeth, and remove discolouration and stains that regular brushing doesn’t necessarily improve.
Most importantly, it’s all about delivering a brighter, cleaner smile!
In addition to take-home products and DIY cleaning kits, you can also get your teeth whitened by a cosmetic dentist in Armadale.
This is what we recommend, as going to a professional for teeth whitening means you can achieve better results than some of those gimmicky DIY kits that are on offer. Better yet, the results are usually faster, too.
Causes of teeth stains
An effective teeth whitening method brings back the colour and brightness of your teeth whenever you smile.
There’s a whole range of potential reasons your teeth aren’t pearly white anymore, but the common factor?
Talking to an Armadale dentist to find out which treatment or technique is best suited for your needs.
There are two main “types” of teeth stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. We take a quick look at the two.
The enamel, being the outer layer of your tooth, is made up of a thin coating layer called pellicle that can pick up stains.
Thankfully extrinsic stains are mostly surface-level.
As a result, most extrinsic stains can be prevented with good hygiene and regular brushing.
Fail to do so however, and these stains can become hard to remove!
There are certain foods and drinks that can cause extrinsic stains:
- Tea and coffee
- Red wine
- Soft drinks
- Cigarettes and tobacco
Extrinsic stains usually leave a yellowish effect that can cause a permanent stain.
Reducing consumption can lessen the effect of the discolouration caused by these stains.
Otherwise, brushing your teeth soon after consuming these products can help reduce the build-up of stains.
This is where things get complicated.
Unlike extrinsic stains, intrinsic ones go beyond surface-level. We’re talking about stains in the inner layers of your teeth, like the dentin.
There are a couple of reasons this might be the case:
- Overexposure to fluoride during early childhood
- Use of certain antibiotics while in the womb
- Tooth damage
- Extreme cases of tooth decay
- Thinner enamel layer
- Genetic conditions
Needless to say, these are a tad harder to solve. And as most DIY whitening-kits focus on extrinsic stains, they won’t be of much use either!
Talk to our Armadale dentist to first investigate the types of stains your teeth have, and if intrinsic, we may be able to offer solutions such as dental veneers.
Unlike conventional whitening, veneers use thin layers of porcelain and synthetic materials to cover the teeth.
In addition to strengthening chipped or damaged teeth, it also hides intrinsic stains in your pearly whites!
How to prepare for teeth whitening procedure
Undergoing a teeth whitening procedure isn’t an overnight success.
Before going through a session with your Armadale dentist, it is always best to prepare by…
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy
Avoid further pain and teeth problems by taking care of your teeth and gums in the lead-up.
Untreated teeth and gum problems such as toothache, broken teeth, cavities… each of these will affect your teeth whitening procedure.
So before you book an appointment for teeth whitening procedure, it’s a good idea to get back into the habit of taking care of your gums and teeth.
Not to mention, it’ll also a good habit to get into full-stop!
Anticipating tooth sensitivity
Modern teeth whitening procedures are gentle and painless. For individuals with sensitive teeth however, even gentle procedures can cause pain!
Our rule of thumb is that if you can have your teeth cleaned professionally, without discomfort then you are able to have your teeth whitened.
Maintain clean and healthy teeth after teeth whitening
After going through your teeth whitening procedure, it’s on you to keep them that way – it’s your responsibility to ensure your pearly white teeth stay clean and shiny.
Need help with your dental hygiene routine?
Our dental clinic in Armadale is also home to an experienced team of dental hygienists, who can help you create a manageable routine that’ll improve the strength and health of your teeth.
What does in-chair teeth whitening involve?
Using a carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide solution, your Armadale dentist breaks down and dissolves surface-level stains and marks, as well as certain deeper discolouration.
Your dental practitioner starts by applying a rubber shield or a gel to protect your teeth and gums from the effect of the teeth whitening product.
The procedure should be over in about 60-90 minutes, leaving you with a shiny new smile!
How long does teeth whitening last?
The effects of teeth whitening usually last for two to three years.
Naturally, this will depend on one’s lifestyle, food, and beverage consumption, so be sure to cut all the usual suspects out of your diet if you want your shiny new smile to last the distance!
Once the effects start wearing off however, it may be time to pay another visit to your Armadale dentist to get your teeth re-whitened.
Side effects of teeth whitening
Any medical procedure can have side-effects.
In the vast majority of cases, teeth whitening is completely safe, and the side-effects only last for a short period of time.
While relatively mild, you may still expect…
After the teeth whitening process,it isn’t uncommon for your teeth to become more sensitive – especially when you eat hot food, or drink something cold.
This is because the whitening mixture used during tooth whitening can sometimes seep into enamel, touching the sensitive dentin inside.
Thankfully, this effect is temporary.
If sensitivity persists following a procedure, that might be a sign of an underlying problem.
If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call, even if it ends up being a five-minute conversation to help alleviate your concerns!
Soft tissue irritation
You might notice redness and inflammation on your gums after teeth whitening.
While your dentist will do their best to avoid this by applying a rubber or gel protective layer, mixture can sometimes come into contact with your gums.
The result? Soft tissue irritation.
Thankfully, this will not cause permanent damage. Rather, think of it like a sunburn – sure, it stings a little but you’ll only have to put up with it for a short while.
Gently rinsing your mouth with saltwater can also speed up the healing process.
Looking for an effective teeth whitening technique?
Book an appointment with an Armadale dentist today!
Want to look your very best?
Do you find yourself subconsciously hiding your teeth when talking to someone?
Are take-home kits and DIY whitening not doing the trick?
If so, teeth whitening might be for you.
And if you want teeth whitening, you’ll want to get in touch with Dental Care Group.
Our dental hygienists and dentists in Armadale offer a range of cosmetic dental procedures for both intrinsic and extrinsic discolouration.
We’ll give you a shiny white smile you’ll be proud to show off!