Everyone should feel confident in their smile. It is, after all, one of the first things people notice when meeting you. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recently completed a study, which, from our experience, seems to be consistent with Canadian attitudes. The study shows that 96% of adults believe a smile that is bright and white makes a person more appealing. The same study also found that 74% feel an unattractive smile considerably reduces a candidate’s chances of making it past a first (in-person) job interview.
With those stats in mind, it’s understandable when someone feels self-conscious about their smile. But you don’t need to feel that way much longer. Cosmetic dentistry advancements have made it safe and affordable for many to improve their smile. That’s why this article is focusing on what you should know about teeth whitening.
WHY OUR TEETH TURN YELLOW
Teeth yellow over time, it’s completely natural. There are, however, several things that help increase the yellowing. These include:
- Red wine.
- Poor dental
- Medications such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, and antihistamines.
STORE BOUGHT PRODUCTS
Many grocery stores and pharmacies carry a small selection of teeth whitening products:
- WHITENING TRAYS OR STRIPS
These are similar products, just applied differently. Strips are clear pieces of polyethylene (paper-thin plastic) that stick to the fronts of your teeth. The trays are similar to night guards that fit over your teeth. Both are pre-loaded with a whitening product. It takes about 2-4 weeks of daily use to see a slight improvement. During this time, it’s common to experience sensitivity. If it becomes too much to bear, discontinue use and speak to your dentist.
- WHITENING TOOTHPASTE, GUM, AND RINSES
Neither of these products have earned a reputation for whitening teeth. It would be nice if stained teeth could be easily chewed or swished away, unfortunately, if it were this simple, then everybody would have beautiful whitesmiles. Additionally, these options usually contain a mild abrasive which increases sensitivity during and after their use.
We haven’t met a patient yet that prefers the results of store-bought whitening over in-office whitening. There’s two reasons for this:
- The whitening solutions made for in-office use are typically stronger.
- The devices used to apply the whitening solutions are customized and therefore more effective.
Dentists, especially our expertly trained staff here at Roy and Kali Family Dental Centre, are experienced in helping you find a whitening solution that will fight stains and discolouration, while protecting you from sensitivity issues.
We offer two types of in-office teeth whitening:
A one-hour process that some patients prefer because of its comfort and ease of use. To start, your lips and gums will be covered, and the Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied. The gel is activated when a special light is fixed over your teeth. Many patients use this time to read, listen to music, even nap. After, a sensitivity reducing paste is applied to the teeth. Three sessions are usually needed for best results.
Only two short appointments are needed for this option. The first appointment is a consultation where the current colour of your teeth are inspected and you select the shade of white you’d like them to resemble. A mold of your teeth is also taken so your results are customized. When the mold is ready, you’ll meet with your dentist a second time to ensure it fits, you’ll also receive the whitening formula. Full whitening is usually reached after about two weeks of use.
WILL TEETH WHITENING WORK FOR YOU?
Most patients have spectacular results with in-office whitening, but it isn’t for everyone. If you’re experiencing too much decay, need restorations, or have any chips and cracks, then professional whitening might not be your best option. In this case you may want to discuss crowns or porcelain veneers with your dentist.