Who hasn’t thought about teeth whitening
at least once in their lifetime? Teeth stains are a common issue, but only in the last few decades have we started to look at it as something that needs to be solved. The promotion
of perfectly white smiles in the media has made everyone even more self-conscious about teeth that are stained or slightly yellow. If your pearly whites are not really white, you should know there are multiple causes of this:
- Your natural teeth colour is actually not perfectly white
Teeth can be slightly yellowish because the dentin layer under the white enamel is not perfectly white. If you have naturally thinner or translucent enamel, your teeth can look yellow – while being perfectly healthy.
Your enamel’s condition and aspect can be affected by various factors, such as teeth grinding, brushing too vigorously, eating lots of sweet treats, having plaque accumulation, and suffering from tooth decay. The no. 1 culprit is drinking
dark-coloured liquids, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and soft drink.
How does teeth whitening work?
Regardless of what has caused the discolouration of your natural white teeth, there is an effective solution for your problem. Let’s see how teeth whitening works: Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or
carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the colour less concentrated and your teeth brighter. This method has been proven to be the safest way to whiten your teeth. Most dentists offer two safe
whitening methods: One-visit professional teeth whitening and take-home whitening trays. If you choose to have your teeth whitened by a dentist, he or she will apply a rubber dam to cover your gums and lips. Its role is to fully expose your
teeth for even application while preventing irritation from the bleaching agent. After applying the whitening agent to your teeth, the dentist will use a special light to activate the bleach and speed up the process. The light breaks up and
removes surface stains. After 15 minutes, the whitening agent is rinsed off. The dentist can repeat the process once or multiple times until the desired shade is obtained.
Can cleaning replace teeth whitening? Professional whitening products
are recommended when your teeth stains are intrinsic – that is, staining below the surface of the tooth. This type of
staining is caused by excessive fluoride use in childhood and teeth discolouring due to age. For extrinsic teeth stains (staining at the surface of the teeth caused by tobacco and dark-coloured drinks), regular professional cleaning and
teeth whitening toothpaste may be sufficient to restore your natural white teeth colour. You should know that teeth whitening only works on your natural tooth and not on fillings, crowns, and veneers. Patients with multiple dental
restorations are recommended porcelain veneers.
How safe is teeth whitening?
One of the most common questions that patients ask when considering a teeth-whitening procedure is related to safety. The other question is “How much does teeth whitening cost?”
More than anything, people are afraid to try teeth whitening because they have heard it can damage the enamel and cause sensitivity. Teeth whitening has been proven to be 100% safe and effective if carried out by a trusted professional.
Hydrogen peroxide bleaching agents have been around for decades and are safe and effective when used by (and under the supervision of) a dentist. It is a low-risk procedure with little to no side effects.
Potential negative effects
Indeed, teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity and damage the root, but this can happen when you use an over-the-counter product without professional supervision. If you want to whiten your teeth in a safe manner, talk to your dentist.
A good dentist will advise you against teeth whitening if you have gum disease (the roots are exposed), your teeth enamel is damaged, or your teeth are unusually sensitive. The alternatives in this case are represented by cosmetic bounding
and veneers. Another reason to have the procedure performed by a qualified dentist is to avoid the situation where pre-existent issues are aggravated by the whitening process. A dentist will inspect your mouth before applying the treatment
and identify potential issues such as a loose filling or exposed tooth roots – problems which can become worse when exposed to whitening materials.
How teeth whitening may help you
We tend to consider professional teeth whitening as an aesthetic procedure only. However, removing teeth staining and restoring their natural white comes with multiple benefits, as long as you complete the procedure under the surveillance
of a qualified dentist:
Teeth whitening is one of the easiest and safest dental procedures and it doesn’t involve needles.
- Makes you look years younger
White teeth are associated with youth and beauty and we look younger when we smile. This can improve your overall self-confidence and make you feel happier.
Teeth whitening has been associated with an improvement in oral health care routine. Having your teeth whitened will likely increase your interest in oral care and other dental procedures, such as professional cleaning. Moreover, removing
dental staining reinforces the health and strength of your teeth, thus reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease caused by accumulated plaque.
As long as you maintain a good routine of oral hygiene at home, your professional teeth whitening results will last for a long time. Whitening agents available to dentists contain stronger bleaching agents compared to whitening solutions
you can buy over the counter.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products are not guaranteed to work. They can produce partial results or uneven whitening, requiring multiple rounds of application. A dentist, on the other hand, will provide personalised treatment
depending on your particular situation, and will guarantee even and lasting results.
Professional teeth whitening does not damage your gum and does not use harmful products on your teeth. A teeth whitening dentist
is an expert at this procedure and will take the right measures to avoid unwanted effects of
the whitening substances.
What else should you know about the colour of your teeth and teeth whitening?
- Your teeth have pores
Teeth enamel is one of the toughest substances, but this doesn’t mean that nothing goes through it. Teeth have pores, just like your skin or a sponge, and any substance that is coloured and enters your mouth can be absorbed by those pores.
Over time, the natural colour of your teeth becomes darker due to contact with dark-coloured foods and drinks.
- Teeth whitening opens up those pores to remove stains
Don’t worry; after each whitening session, your teeth naturally re-mineralise and recreate their protection layer.
- The whitening process can last
No safe chemical agent can penetrate deep in to your teeth and remove stains within minutes. A full whitening process can take anywhere from a couple of days to several months, depending on the severity of the stains. The good news is that
once those stains are removed, the white of your teeth is easy to maintain.
- Results are different for everyone
Teeth whitening does not work the same for everyone. Some people have stains that are easier to break, while others have built-up stains that take longer to remove. Only the dentist can make the right recommendations and offer you the best
version of your smile.
- Don’t aim for the extremely white teeth that celebrities display
Most times, the secret behind these perfect smiles are veneers. Remember that teeth are naturally white-yellowish and focus on their health first. Looking for a reliable teeth whitening dentist
in Southport provides a variety of dental services to guarantee you the best results, while also enjoying the highest comfort. Cosmetic dentistry is on our list of dental services,
How much is teeth whitening?
- General dentistry
- Family dentistry
- Emergency dentistry
- Crowns and bridges
- Dental implants
- Treating gum disease
- Dental aligners
- Dental fillings
- Neuromuscular and treatment of TMJ
- Rehabilitation dentistry
- Sedation dentistry
- Dental veneers
- Professional cleaning
A complete answer can be provided only after assessing each patient’s particular situation. We accept virtually any health funds for eligible patients. Contact us
today to schedule a visit or make inquiries about our teeth whitening cost
. Our teeth whitening dentist
will create a personalised teeth whitening
strategy after consulting and assessing your oral health, so your perfect smile is restored in a safe and effective manner.