Wouldn't it be picture-perfect if our teeth could remain sparkling white? It's natural for your teeth to yellow over time, and that change in colour is often the main reason many people seek teeth whitening products.
There are several teeth whitening products available that can help you achieve a brighter smile. But to do it safely, you can speak with your dentist about what options may be best for you.
Keeping up with your regular dental exams and hygiene appointments can help you maintain a bright smile, and while you’re there, you can gain advice from your dentist on safe whitening products and learn what you can do to prevent discolouration.
Combined with good oral hygiene, professional teeth whitening can provide longlasting results that keep your teeth bright for 1–3 years.
What Is Teeth Whitening
Whitening your teeth can be achieved through several different methods, including sanding, cleaching, or ultraviolet (UV) therapy. These teeth whitening treatments aim to remove stains, reduce yellowing, and brighten your teeth.
Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?
Teeth can stain and turn yellow due to intrinsic (internal) or extrinsic (external) factors:
Types of Teeth Whitening
There are 2 teeth whitening options, at-home whitening and chair-side (professional) whitening. They come at different price points and have varying degrees of success.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
At-home or over-the-counter whitening products can whiten teeth, with effects lasting anywhere between a few weeks to months. It’s recommended that you consult with your dentist before using any whitening products, as they can pose risks to your oral health.
Over-exposure to whitening agents can lead to:
- Wearing down of enamel
- Uneven whitening, bleach spots, or patches
- Damage to the tooth’s roots
- Discomfort and gum irritation
Whitening toothpaste may contain hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, and mild abrasives. These ingredients can remove surface stains, polishing and whitening the teeth.
Whitening toothpaste can be used daily or several times a week, and results can be seen from 2 to 6 weeks after use. Consult with your dentist to find out if longterm use of whitening toothpaste is suitable for you.
Whitening mouthwashes often contain hydrogen peroxide. If used daily, it can remove some surface staining after regular use.
When used on their own, whitening mouthwashes may not provide dramatic results or long-lasting effects. However, they may help when used with other treatments.
Whitening strips may be more effective than other over-the-counter whitening treatments. The number of treatments needed to whiten your teeth can vary. Because they often use hydrogen peroxide, if used incorrectly or too often, they may be harmful to your teeth.
Whitening pens contain whitening gel in a plastic tube that is applied to your teeth, intended for spot stain removal. Results may be minimal and not long-lasting.
Whitening Gel Trays
Tray-based teeth whiteners can be purchased over the counter or from your dentist. Whitening results are based on the degree of discolouration, the strength of peroxide, or the length of time worn.
You can purchase a custom-fit tray for at-home use from your dentist with instructions on how to use the trays, how long, and how often you should use them.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
In-office or chairside teeth whitening can be safe, reliable, noninvasive, and effective. Before starting any whitening treatment, your dentist can check the health of your teeth to determine if you are a candidate for whitening.
During the whitening treatment, your dentist applies a bleaching agent that is activated with a light. The amount of time you sit with the agent on your teeth is determined by your dentist.
After the treatment, your dentist can provide instructions on caring for your teeth so you can maintain results for as long as possible before requiring touchups or further whitening.
Instructions may include the following:
- Avoid drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, or dark fruit juices
- Avoid sodas and sports drinks, as they are acidic
- Avoid foods like berries, dark chocolate, and red sauces
- Avoid artificial dyes
- Avoid tobacco
In-office whitening can last up to 3 years with diligent care.
Good oral hygiene can help you prolong the effects of teeth whitening. Here are some tips to help you achieve longer-lasting results from your teeth whitening:
- Brush your teeth twice daily for at least 2 minutes
- Brush your teeth or rinse your mouth if you eat or drink something that can stain your teeth
- Floss your teeth at least once daily
- Use mouthwash as recommended by your dentist
- Use whitening toothpaste as recommended by your dentist
- Get your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months or as recommended by your dentist
Professional Teeth Whitening at SkyPointe Dental
Several teeth whitening products are available, including over-the-counter and in-office, with varying results. In-office whitening treatments offer safe and long-lasting results (up to 3 years!) with good oral care habits.
If you are interested in teeth whitening, book an appointment with the dentists at SkyPointe Dental. We can help you transform your teeth and improve the brightness of your smile.