When you think of teeth, most people think of them being white. Most people’s teeth naturally are not perfectly white, they vary in colour. Teeth also begin to turn yellower and darker as we get older. There are many reasons why teeth can become discoloured over time, here are a few:
- Tobacco use
- Injury to teeth
- Contact with stain causing food and drinks over time
(such as coffee, red wine, black & also green tea)
(such as antibiotics when taken as a child when the adult teeth are still developing)
- Poor cleaning of your teeth
- Tooth decay
It is important to establish the cause for the discolouration before considering teeth whitening options.
Once a dental professional has examined your mouth they can then best advise you of the teeth whitening options which are best for you.
Options for whitening teeth
Whitening toothpastes can help remove some stains on the outer surface of your teeth. Some whitening toothpastes can lighten teeth slightly over time as they contain hydrogen peroxide.
They should not be used as a daily long term toothpaste. This is because whitening toothpastes can be more abrasive than regular toothpaste and may wear your teeth more quickly.
Over the counter whitening trays and strips
These products can have some effect on whitening your teeth over time. There are many “at home” whitening products available online and in shops. It is best to speak with your dentist before using any of these products. It is important your teeth are healthy before putting whitening gel or strips over your teeth as this may cause harm. Some whitening products are also not approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), and may not be safe for you to use. It is important to do thorough research on the products ingredients.
At home whitening provided by a dentist
At home whitening can get very good results. After a dentist has examined your mouth and determined that teeth whitening is appropriate for your situation, impressions are taken of your teeth. You are then fitted with custom made whitening trays. At home you then apply a TGA approved whitening gel inside these trays.
Depending on the whitening gel being used, the trays are worn from 15 minutes to an hour per day over a period of approximately 2 weeks. It is possible to keep whitening for longer and/or repeat the process in the future.
In chair teeth whitening
This method of teeth whitening can be good for people who are time poor and want to get a quick result. Having said this, a top up treatment at home is generally required to achieve optimum results.
The initial process is similar to that of ‘at home whitening’. Your teeth are examined to determine if in chair whitening is suitable and custom trays are made so you can continue whitening at home or top up your whitening in the future.
Then the dentist or (appropriately trained) dental hygienist/therapist will apply a high concentration whitening gel to your teeth, which is then cured with a light. The teeth and gel are carefully isolated from the rest of your mouth. The high concentration gel is applied several times over a 90 minute period.
Before starting any type of teeth whitening it is important to have a dental professional examine your mouth. Whitening teeth that aren’t completely healthy or without proper instruction can cause undesirable results and harm.
If you think you may like to whiten your teeth you can book online or call us on 07 3268 3689 to book your FREE 15 minute whitening consultation. You just have to mention this article.