Teeth Whitening

Brushing and flossing are everyday ways to keep your teeth bright, white and healthy. Still, if you might feel like your smile is lacking some sparkle or is more yellow than it used to be, you’re not alone. As long as your mouth is healthy, no broken or decayed teeth, you are eligible for teeth whitening.

Some frequently asked questions about whitening

Why do my teeth stain?
Over time, your teeth can stain for a number of reasons:

Coffee, tea, red wine
Coffee, tea and red wine are most common beverages to stain your teeth.

Smoking
Tar and Nicotine found in tobacco is known to cause surface staining when mixed with oxygen.

Age
As we age, the enamel (outer layer) of our teeth gets thinner over time because of brushing and normal functional wear and tear , leaving the yellowish coloured dentin to show through.

Trauma
If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may turn dark due to your body’s defence mechanism by depositing more dentin which is yellower in color.

Medications
Teeth can stain because of certain medications e.g. Tetracycline, some antihistamines etc.

How does teeth Whitening work?
Whitening products contain special component known as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that breaks down stain in much smaller particles making stain lighter and your tooth colour brighter.

Does Whitening work on everyone?
Not always. It is important to consult with your dentist regarding whitening. Whitening doesn’t work if you have veneers, crowns or bondings and if stains are because of medication or over fluoridation.

What type of Whitening systems are available?
Talk to your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are three ways to put the shine back in your smile:

In-Office Bleaching
This procedure is called chair side bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. In-office whitening takes place under carefully monitored conditions which allow for the safe, controlled, pain-free use of a relatively high concentration of bleaching gel, a special light or laser might be used to enhance the action of the whitening agent. – yielding results that are visible immediately.

At-Home Bleaching
With this teeth whitening option, a mouth guard-like tray is filled with a peroxide-based bleaching gel or paste and placed over the teeth for one to several hours a day for up to four weeks. You can buy tray-based tooth whitening systems over-the-counter or have one custom-fitted by your dentist. The concentration of the bleaching agent is lower than what your dentist would use in the office.

Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?
Tooth sensitivity and irritation to soft tissues can occur during bleaching treatment, but these effects are transient. Yet the effects of long-term tooth-bleaching are unknown and need to be researched, especially since the effect is not permanent and many individuals end up undergoing periodic bleaching treatments.

Ask your dentist to discover the safest and most effective method of teeth whitening.