As the popularity of social media and its effects on us rise, everyone is striving to achieve new beauty standards including perfectly white teeth. So how can you achieve this for yourself and what’s important to consider? Each mouth and set of teeth are different, so different methods will work better for different people. Therefore it’s important to do your research.
You’ll want to find a reputable dentist to complete your teeth whitening process. You can find our customer testimonials at Dental Perfection here. Teeth whitening is a dental procedure and can therefore only be legally carried out by a dentist. Done wrong, whitening can cause more problems such as dental pain or hypersensitivity. There could be an underlying health problem (such as gum disease) that is causing the discolouration in your teeth. If you have underlying dental problems, whitening your teeth may make them appear healthier, when in actual fact they are not. It’s always a good idea to book a consultation with a reputable dentist to get your oral health checked before completing a whitening procedure.
Seeing a Hygienist
Sometimes all that is needed to create a whiter teeth appearance, is the lifting of surface stains. This can usually be achieved in a quick 30-40 minute appointment with a dental hygienist. This is why it is important to see a hygienist before beginning a whitening procedure -you may not need to use such a corrosive method. It’s also beneficial in some instances to get this done before whitening to achieve a more even and whiter smile for your end results.
Certain whitening methods should be avoided as they are ineffective and bluntly a waste of money, they can also be damaging to your teeth and overall dental health. Often these products will not contain a high enough amount of whitening substances, as they are illegal to be sold over the counter.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
Over the counter whitening toothpastes and powders should be avoided as they do not work to change the internal colouring of the tooth. Toothpaste does not have a high enough dosage of whitening agencies to cause effect . At best, these options can remove surface stains, but can also cause damage to the protective enamel on your teeth. If you’re looking to improve your general oral health, it’s best to book an appointment with a hygienist and benefit from the long term effects.
Teeth Whitening Procedures
Professional Teeth Whitening
Receiving professional teeth whitening from someone with skill and experience can leave your teeth with a whiter appearance, without causing any damage to your gums or enamel. However, there are a couple of different methods professionals use to deliver teeth whitening, each with their own individual benefits. They may fit you with a custom tray which will then be filled with whitening gel. You will then wear this at home for a specific advised amount of time over a series of days.
Some professionals also offer in-chair whitening. This is a one off treatment that provides an instantly whiter smile appearance.
This option is only suitable for non-vital teeth, or those that have been discoloured over time. Usually these teeth would receive a root canal treatment after trauma. Bleach is placed inside the tooth for the amount of time it takes to achieve the desired shade of white. Once this has been achieved the bleach will then be removed.
Veneers and Crowns
Veneers are a thin molding made from porcelain. This is then bonded to the front of an existing tooth. Veneers are used to correct discoloured, stained, chipped, crooked and misshapen teeth. Veneers are a lifetime commitment once they have been fitted. They will need regular dentistry as they can chip and discolour over time. A dentist will discuss whether or not this is a suitable option for you.
Online Teeth Whitening Kits
Teeth whitening kits available for purchasing online are not the same as professional whitening treatments, even though they are commonly misconceived as such. The amount of active bleaching agent included with the whitening gel can often be heightened to dangerous levels. If you are going to use an online whitening kit it is important to do your research and check the products’ ingredients. If they don’t contain whitening agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, then they will probably contain ingredients such as sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate or citric acid, all of which will not work towards changing the internal colouring of your teeth.
They are abrasive enough to remove surface stains, however at the cost of damaging your teeth’s enamel which can not be grown back. If there is peroxide in the ingredients, note the percentage and check that it complies with dentist guidelines (6%). Be very careful of products that contain more than 1% peroxide. This is illegal to be sold over the counter (not prescribed by a dentist) and can be very damaging to your teeth. The tray received will also not be fitted to your teeth which can cause the issue of the whitening agent spilling out into your mouth and being swallowed. This can cause further health complications. Although dental whitening may be more expensive, it will be more effective and beneficial to your health over time.