Age, lifestyle habits, injuries, general wear and tear – all of these can contribute to a dull smile. At le tooth, teeth whitening is one of the most popular procedures we perform to help our clients get the sparkle back in their smiles.
Common reasons for teeth discolouration
- Ageing is a common reason for change of colour of teeth
- Drinking and smoking can lead to staining of teeth
- Problems such as teeth grinding can lead to change of colour
- Injuries, falls and trauma can also cause teeth discolouration
- Very poor dental/oral hygiene is also another factor
Discoloration is often caused by stains on the teeth. There are two types of stains – extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of the teeth, while intrinsic stains are found between tiny cracks in the enamel, and even deep within the dentin. Teeth whitening is most effective to get rid of extrinsic stains.
Teeth whitening is a dental procedure aimed at restoring the colour of your natural teeth and removing any debris from teeth. You can use either over the counter teeth whitening kits or walk in to a dental centre for a short in-chair whitening procedure.
Teeth whitening is not a permanent fix for discoloured teeth. Bear in mind you will have to repeat it at regular intervals if you want to maintain the brightness.
Tooth whitening procedure
Before the teeth can be whitened, they first need to be prepared. A dental examination is conducted to reveal any dental problems such as cavities or gum diseases. They need to be treated before the procedure can commence.
Cavities are to be filled up before whitening because the whitening solution may otherwise pass through the decayed parts of the teeth and reach the inner areas. Gum recession due to periodontal diseases may sometimes expose the tooth root which can appear yellow. This cannot be whitened by a product.
Teeth whitening can be done either at home or at the dental office. An in-office procedure involves cleaning of the teeth, and then applying a whitening gel on them. A specialized laser is used to activate the gel, promoting faster bleaching. The whole process takes only between 30-90 minutes, and can easily be scheduled into your lunch break.
If you want to whiten teeth at home, ask your dentist to prepare custom teeth trays to hold the whitening gel that will mould your teeth perfectly. Make sure that you strictly follow directions to prevent damage to the gums and teeth.
- Some sensitiveness may be observed for some after teeth whitening, this usually goes away after a period of time
- Slight amount of gum irritation might also be felt by some, just allow it to subside naturally
- Reducing and restricting smoking and drinking is also required as otherwise teeth can be stained again
- Avoiding hot or cold food when possible is recommended
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