Why whiten your teeth?
Are you tired of the colour of your teeth? Are they stained? Dull? Yellow?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone and we are here to help! If your pearly whites have lost their lustre in recent years, there are a number of ways you can solve the problem.
Let your teeth shine to their full potential
Teeth whitening is a specific treatment for those with stained or discoloured teeth. It is the process of improving the colour of your teeth.
Teeth can become stained or discoloured for multiple reasons. The most common cause is dietary habits; your teeth will be discoloured if over time you drink large amounts of caffeine, sugary drinks, red wine or tea, or if you smoke or take certain medicines.
The effectiveness of treatment varies. Your National Dental Care dentist will examine your teeth to determine if teeth whitening will be a suitable and effective option for you.
There are two main options for teeth whitening: at home, or at the dental practice.
Having your teeth whitened at the dental practice involves a one-hour treatment in the dental chair.
Make sure to discuss treatment in detail with your National Dental Care dentist so you will have realistic expectations of the outcome.
Any large fillings in your front teeth may need to be replaced after the whitening process as fillings do not change colour, but your teeth do which leads to a mismatch in colour.
Once your teeth have been whitened satisfactorily, lifestyle changes such as drinking less caffeine, red wine, and tea, and stopping smoking, can help keep your smile clean and white.
Your National Dental Care dentist will use a whitening solution with or without a bright light to improve the shade of your teeth. This method usually involves a strong chemical bleaching agent, so it is important to receive treatment from a qualified National Dental Care practitioner.
Alternatively, your National Dental Care dentist will prepare a take-home whitening kit of clear custom trays and whitening gel. They will show you how to apply the whitening gel to receive optimum results.
You can top up your whitening at any time that’s convenient for you. This method may take longer to achieve ultimate results and is dependent on consistent use, however it is less invasive than the other options, due to lower concentrations of bleaching agents.
Not all whitening kits have the same ingredients and depending on your teeth, some may do more damage than good. Using store-bought DIY whitening kits isn’t advisable as they often contain harsh bleaching chemicals that may affect your dental enamel or make your teeth painfully sensitive.
There are also plenty of ‘solutions’ on the internet using household products which can cause serious problems as well. There may be another reason why your teeth are discolouring, so it’s always best to check with your dentist before undergoing treatment.
In chair and take home bleaching kits – what is the difference?
In-chair teeth whitening uses a strong active ingredient, which can only legally be prescribed and applied in the dental practice. This type of whitening can only be applied for an hour at a time and if multiple visits are required, they must be at least one week apart. While this whitening process may result in a dramatic change in brightness, it also causes more sensitivity and temporary tooth dehydration.
One visit may not be sufficient to get your teeth to the brightest shade they can be. Because this treatment is done in surgery, there is a higher cost associated with the treatment. Take-home whitening is gentler, has a mild active ingredient and is safe to use without constant professional supervision. However, some professional supervision is still advised as all whitening can cause side effects like tooth sensitivity and even chemical burns.
It is important to follow instructions from your dentist, therapist and hygienist regarding the safest application of your home whitening kits. You should also check in with your NDC dental team regularly to ensure you are on track for the best results. Take-home whitening is also very economical: once you have been issued your custom made home kit and starter gel, you will only need to top up your whitening once per year and the gel can be supplied at minimal cost by your National Dental Care dental practice during your preventative care visits.