Smile Bright This Summer with Professional Teeth Whitening!

 

What Causes Teeth Discolouration?

Over time, your teeth can change colours due to a number of factors:

  • Food and drink: Coffee, tea and red wine have intense colour pigments called chromogens that attach to your tooth's enamel.
  • Tobacco use: Tar and nicotine found in tobacco can turn your teeth into a yellowish colour.
  • Age: Below the hard, white enamel of your teeth is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
  • Trauma: If you've been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change colour because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin.
  • Medications: Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications. Chemotherapy and neck radiation can also darken teeth.

In-Office vs. At-Home Teeth Whitening

You may see different over-the-counter (OTC) bleaching products online or at your local pharmacy, such as toothpaste or strips that whiten by bleaching your teeth. However, before you try these, keep in mind a few limitations of these kits:

  • They are not made with a custom fit, so they may irritate your gums, especially if your teeth or gums are sensitive.
  • The concentration of bleaching agents in these products is not as strong as in-office products, so they will take many more applications and more time to achieve the same results. This can actually lead to more sensitivity than in-office whitening.
  • They can be more costly than in-office whitening over the long run because of the need for multiple applications.

How Does In-Office Teeth Whitening Work?

In-office teeth whitening procedure uses a formula containing hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down into water and oxygen components when exposed to the air and water in your mouth. The oxygen molecules then break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the colour less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

Some people may experience tooth sensitivity from whitening procedures. This happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases, the sensitivity is temporary. Make sure to follow the directions of OTC whitening products and/or talk to your dentist for guidance.

The results from professional teeth whitening can last for as long as a year depending on your diet and lifestyle. With touch-up treatments (at home) every few months, your results can last even longer. "Touch-ups" are especially useful for patients who regularly drink beverages that can stain teeth, including coffee, tea and red wine.

Be sure to talk to one of your dentists about professional teeth whitening as well as OTC whitening products. Together, we can compare treatments and determine which solution will be most effective for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment!

 
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