Who doesn’t want a whiter, brighter smile?
Unfortunately, our teeth are not immune to stains. There can be several reasons for this: not properly brushing or flossing, smoking, certain medications, drinking tea, coffee or red wine, or eating darker foods such as plums, cherries or beetroot, while some people are just born with yellowish teeth. For others, they might become more yellow as they age.
When it comes to whitening your teeth, there are a variety of options.
According to the ADA, certain foods help clean teeth and remove bacteria, including apples, pears, cauliflower, celery, carrots, cucumber and strawberries.
Whitening toothpastes, as well as whitening pens, trays, strips, mouthwash and certain types of gum, can also help teeth look brighter in conjunction with your regular oral health routine. You can even use a whitening kit as recommended by your dentist in the comfort of your own home.
Among the most popular teeth whitening methods on the market are bleaching gel and Phillips Zoom whitening.
Bleaching gel is applied directly onto the tooth surface and contains some form of hydrogen peroxide. Phillips Zoom whitening, however, uses a mix of gel and blue LED light-accelerated technology, which is safe and effective, as well as clinically proven to whiten teeth up to eight shades in just 45 minutes. Both methods can be done either at home or at your dentist’s office.
According to Canstar, whitening trays for home use can cost anywhere between $350 to $500, while over-the-counter products usually cost around $5 to $60. DIY (do-it-yourself) teeth whitening strips only whiten what they come into contact with, so they will miss the crevices between teeth. In addition, it can take a large amount of time to see results from this option.
DIY treatments are not as effective as in-chair treatments and may take up to two weeks to turn your teeth a single shade lighter. In-chair treatment usually lasts between 1-3 hours.
High quality in-chair treatment, meanwhile, has an estimated price of at least $700 – but you’ll get better results in much less time. It’s also performed in a controlled environment that includes all the features in place for safe application.
Teeth whitening is not suitable for those under the age of 18 as mineral content is considerably less than that found in an adult tooth, and might disrupt the mineral calcification process, as well as have a much higher risk of irreversible damage.
Those with sensitive or underlying medical conditions are also ineligible for treatment. Pregnant women and new mothers should also avoid teeth whitening altogether, as breast milk and the placenta can be susceptible to chemicals.
Whitening, when done by a dentist, poses a lot less risk than doing it yourself. Before whitening your teeth, you should consider undergoing a thorough dental examination to determine whether you’re an appropriate candidate, as well as to address any underlying problems. Teeth or gum sensitivity, in particular, might prohibit you from treatment, while all teeth whitening methods are incompatible with crowns, veneers and dentures. Over-bleaching teeth can also weaken tooth enamel and put you at higher risk of cavities.
You might also experience some sensitivity when ingesting hot or cold foods 48 hours after a bleaching procedure, which is normal. However, if your pain is particularly severe, you should immediately contact your dentist.
It’s also important to avoid places that are not qualified to whiten teeth, including beauticians, hairdressers and shopping centre kiosks. If teeth are not properly whitened by an experienced dentist, it could result in permanent damage. To find out how you can get a whiter, brighter smile, call or email Positive Dental Health today!