Teeth discolouration and looking dull and yellow, are all part of life as we age, our tooth enamel becomes thinner, we take medication or smoke or eat foods and drinks that over time, dull the brilliance of our pearly white teeth. There comes a point where however much you brush your teeth, it does not feel as though it is making a difference. That is when getting your teeth whitened professionally either at a dentist’s office or with a home teeth whitening treatment will help you restore your confident smile.
Benefits of professional teeth whitening
When it comes to brightening stained teeth, a professional teeth whitening treatment will have an edge over DIY or over-the-counter teeth whitening products. Dental experts have the knowledge and experience handling bleaching products and can achieve long-lasting results by tailoring the procedure to suit your needs. Getting teeth whitening at the dentist allows the dentist or the dental hygienist to get rid of deep stains that have maybe seeped through the enamel to give you a brighter smile.
A safe bleach called carbamide peroxide, which is a derivative of hydrogen peroxide, is used to remove stains from the tooth enamel. Professional stain removals also reinforce your dental health by removing accumulated plaque which can cause gum disease and cavities. With the tailored whitening procedures, you will achieve a shade of white that looks bright but natural and suits you because the dental hygienist works with you to gain the desired results.
What are the different types of teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening procedures are popular these days as people appreciate the confidence it brings back to their smiles when their teeth look healthy and white. Most treatments may require more than one session to achieve the sought-after whiteness, however, with most you will notice an almost immediate difference.
Home whitening kits – this uses teeth whitening gels or other bleaching agents, applied either directly to the teeth or via a moulding mouth tray. These are a good way to maintain a shade once you have got the whitening professionally done.
Whitening toothpaste – Tooth whitening toothpaste only brightens the surface level but does not really create a very noticeable difference. If you want a quick spruce up, then these are a good choice but avoid very abrasive products as they can cause tooth sensitivity.
Peroxide whitening – An effective treatment, especially when done by a dentist who can use a stronger concentrate of hydrogen peroxide than found it over the counter options. Dentists know the correct ratios to use and are experienced so are able to get better results.
LED light activation or laser whitening – This is considered as one of the most effective teeth whitening procedures for noticeable and longer-lasting results. A rubber seal is applied near the gums for protection, after which the dentist will apply a tooth whitening gel concentrate directly onto your teeth. The LED light activates the chemicals in the gels.
Teeth whitening strips – These strips are applied directly to the teeth, and so are easier to use on your own. However, while they are easy for the front teeth, they are a bit complicated to use on the back teeth. Also, there is a chance that if you do not apply them properly that your teeth will not whiten evenly.
Teeth whitening pens – Very simple to use as the brush-like applicator makes application easy and is convenient because they can be carried around to use whenever you have time. They are not the ideal choice if you are looking for a dramatic change, but if you just want to whiten your teeth a few shades lighter, these can be helpful.
Natural products – If you want to maintain whiter teeth naturally, then you can try using some of these items, which will help your teeth look slightly whiter but not necessarily noticeably brighter.
- Homemade whitening paste
- Activated charcoal
- Coconut oil pulling
- Mashed strawberries
- Apple cider vinegar
Are teeth whitening results permanent?
Teeth whitening results are not permanent. The duration of the results last will vary from a few months to about three years and will depend on each person. However, results will tarnish based on the lifestyle you lead, such as if you smoke or drink red wine, colas, tea and coffee, all of which gradually stain the teeth.
How long does it take to see the results?
Depending on the level of your staining and the type of whitening procedure you have done, you may be able to see results in about a week or two. To reach your desired whiteness, it may take about three weeks to a month. To maintain the shade, you will need to go for touch-up treatments or use prescribed home kits.
How to make your teeth whitening treatment results last longer?
There are steps you can take to help your whitening results last so that you can continue to enjoy your brilliant smile and make a lasting impression with it.
One of the first things you have to look into is what you eat because food and beverages are a main contributing factor towards staining. If you eat a lot of darkly coloured foods and vivid fruits, then you will find your teeth getting dull faster, compared to someone who sticks to lighter coloured food.
Maintain a daily oral hygiene routine to keep your mouth and teeth clean and healthy. Quit smoking and brush with a gentle whitening toothpaste and floss regularly. Schedule touch-up appointments.
What are the factors that affect your results?
If you find that your results are not as expected, then there could be a few reasons for that. If you have severe stains and are trying to brighten your teeth with a home kit, then you may find that it is not very effective.
There are two types of stains along with ageing that can affect us. Extrinsic which is surface level staining, and Intrinsic which is when the staining penetrates the tooth enamel and stains from within. This type of stain will require more work and will benefit from professional teeth whitening treatments.
If you do not follow the aftercare instructions precisely, then your whitening results will not remain at their best and soon start to look dull and stained again.
Your smile plays an important role in creating first impressions, and having a confident smile with clean, healthy and white teeth will help you appeal to others and make you feel better from within. Our smiles help us interact, create bonds and show happiness, so experience teeth whitening and take care to maintain it for a boost to your quality of life.