Not everyone is totally satisfied with their smile. But thanks to the wonders of modern technology, there are numerous cosmetic dentistry treatments that can work to improve the natural colour of your teeth. One of the most common and affordable cosmetic procedures you can opt for is teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is not a procedure that can treat tooth decay, cure gum disease, fix a bad bite, or even alleviate any of the oral problems that need treatment. However, it can drastically improve the quality of your life.
Perhaps you feel that you do actually need teeth whitening in order to feel better about yourself, and that is absolutely fine. Read on to learn more about teeth whitening.
Why Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a type of procedure that is conducted with the aim of achieving whiter and brighter teeth. Teeth whitening does not have specific health benefits; instead, they are performed for cosmetic purposes. Due to this reason, most dental insurances do not cover teeth whitening procedures.
Discoloured teeth can be completely healthy as long as they are kept clean. It is common for most patients to wonder if they should have their teeth professionally cleaned before getting a whitening procedure done. And in most instances, the answer is yes. Typically, dental cleaning does not result in whiter teeth. However, many whitening treatments are more effective on cleaning teeth.
Main Causes of Tooth Discolouration
Teeth can get stained or discoloured for various reasons such as medication, oral hygiene, diet, and even ageing. It does not matter how you take good care of your teeth; they will still discolour at one point in your life.
There are two types of tooth discolouration
- Extrinsic Stains
This type of stain forms on the tooth surfaces due to exposure to dark foods and beverages, wear and tear, smoking of tobacco etc. Usually, they improve with professional dental cleaning and regular brushing. However, they can become worse if you neglect your oral hygiene.
- Intrinsic Stains
This type of stain forms within the tooth. You may have intrinsic stains due to tooth trauma, type of medication you are using, infection, childhood illness, excessive fluoride, ageing etc. These stains can be improved with professional teeth whitening treatments, but in some cases, you may require veneers or other cosmetic dentistry solutions.
Teeth Whitening Treatment Options
There are different types of teeth whitening treatments, some of which are performed at home and others that can only be performed by a dentist. Teeth whitening is generally safe. But, if you have a history of sensitive teeth or weak enamel, you may not be an ideal candidate.
If you decide to undergo a professional whitening treatment, your dentist will first evaluate the condition of your teeth to ensure that it is safe to proceed. On the other hand, if you choose to use over-the-counter whitening strips and trays, it is advisable to check with your dentist before you start using the products.
Here is a closer look at the common treatment options to help you decide the type of whitening treatment you actually need.
- Professional Teeth Whitening
There are several different methods that your dentist can use to whiten your teeth, either at home or in the office. Mostly, the methods used will bleach your teeth with carbamide peroxide, which targets the colour of the tooth in a chemical reaction.
- In-office Treatment
This type of treatment can be beneficial since it is quite fast, and its effect tends to last a little longer. In most cases, you will only need an hour of treatment or a few visits to whiten your teeth. It is relatively effective because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the applied products is higher than in products used at home.
- At-home Treatment through your Dentist
Additionally, your dentist may customise trays that can help you whiten your teeth at home. You will only need to add gel to it and wear it as recommended by your dentist.
- Over-the-Counter Whitening Treatments
Unlike treatments offered by the dentist, most of these products do not contain carbamide peroxide. Therefore, this means that if your teeth are intrinsically stained, over-the-counter products may not work effectively to whiten your teeth.
Also, it is important to note that teeth whitening treatments may not be right for you to try if you have active teeth cavities/decay or you have certain dental work in progress.
Reasons you may need Teeth Whitening
- Boost your Confidence
This is one of the most obvious reasons for getting your teeth whitened. When you look good, you tend to feel good, and your self-confidence gets a boost.
- To look Healthier
Dull and stained teeth may be perfectly healthy, but they do not look healthy. Usually, people with white and bright teeth are perceived as being vital and in good health.
- To look more Approachable and Attractive
A whiter and brighter smile helps you to stand out in a crowd. People in social settings are naturally inclined to gravitate toward a person with a bright smile.
Maintaining your Results
Your oral hygiene, eating, and drinking habits can have an impact on how long your teeth whitening results will last. Your teeth are still susceptible to staining even after completing your whitening treatment. Brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth after drinking or eating can keep off the staining agents from sticking to your teeth’s surfaces.
Teeth whitening is considered safe, as long as you stick to dentist-approved methods. Always make sure to follow the directions for the product and use a method that fits your needs. Also, keep in mind that whitening results are not permanent. Therefore, if you want to maintain your sparkly smile, you will need to continue getting treatments as the effects fade.
If you are not happy or satisfied with the colour of your teeth and would like to schedule an appointment, kindly contact us at Baywaters Dentist today. Our Baywaters Dentist offers same-day dental cleaning appointments and has made it easy to book your dental visit online.