Teeth whitening has become very popular over the last decade – who doesn’t want to flash a sparkling smile?
While dentists have offered professional teeth-whitening procedures for many years, the DIY market has grown rapidly. In store and online there are a huge range of products, from bleaches to charcoal pastes, all promising pearly-white results.
The risks of DIY
It all looks so easy – just brush with this funny-looking charcoal paste or chomp down into a tray of gel and before you know it, your teeth are dazzling.
Sadly, dentists are seeing people with burns to their gums and damage to their dental enamel due to DIY teeth-whitening efforts. Unless a product contains a specially formulated medical bleach, no whitening will occur. While charcoal toothpaste may help remove stains, just like any toothpaste, it won’t actually whiten teeth.
Whitening your teeth is not like making your bath tiles or stovetop gleaming white. Your dental enamel is there to protect your teeth, but you can damage it and cause permanent problems with the wrong treatments. Not to mention the pain that dangerous bleaches can cause to your mouth and gums.
Professional teeth whitening
If your teeth are stained or darker than you’d like, see your National Dental Care dentist. They can assess your teeth and explain what you can do to lighten them.
Remember that if you have large visible fillings, they can’t be lightened without replacement. Likewise, if you’ve had crowns, bridges or implants done to match your current colour, they won’t be changed by lightening. But lightening can work if your teeth have aged or stained while your crowns were made when your teeth were lighter.
You can have your teeth professionally whitened by your National Dental Care dentist two ways: during an appointment at the dentist’s or using a custom-kit at home.
In-chair whitening is done using special strong whitening solution and sometimes also a special light, depending on your teeth. This process takes an hour at the dentist’s.
If you prefer to do the process at home, your dentist will supply you with a customised tray and whitening gel and explain how to use it. This is a slower process and depends on consistent use for ultimate results. You can also top-up at any time.
Keeping your teeth white
Whichever way you choose to whiten your teeth, your dentist will explain that to keep them white you need to avoid excessive consumption of coffee, tea and red wine and be sure to clean your teeth afterwards.
Stopping smoking is vital. Not only does smoking threaten your general health, it also stains your teeth and can create issues with your gums and jaw health.
Don’t risk your teeth with DIY whitening products, make an appointment online now with your National Dental Care professional.