Tooth discolouration is a normal process that occurs with ageing, and it can be exacerbated by drinking pigmented beverages, like coffee and tea, some medications and smoking. A bright white smile can help you make a good first impression and appear young and healthy.
Luckily, cosmetic dental procedures can help you regain a bright smile without damaging your teeth.
How Teeth Whitening Works?
Your teeth become discoloured when your enamel or dentine is stained and darkened over time. Your enamel is a semi-translucent, hard layer that covers the interior of your teeth. It is porous, and molecules can travel from the exterior of your teeth to your dentine interior by way of dentin tubules.
Whitening treatments work when bleaching agents penetrate your enamel and break up the stains on your dentin. Most teeth whitening products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
In-Chair Zoom Teeth Whitening
If you’re new to teeth whitening, an in-chair whitening treatment is the safest and fastest way to get a brighter smile worry-free.
During a Philips Zoom whitening treatment, your dentist will cover your lips and gums to protect them from the bleaching gel before applying the light-activated gel to your teeth.
A blue UV light starts the whitening procedure by causing the gel to penetrate the enamel and break up stains on your dentin. Each round takes 10 to 15 minutes, and your dentist will likely repeat the process 3 times to achieve maximum whitening results.
After the teeth whitening is complete, your dentist might apply a fluoride gel to reduce subsequent tooth sensitivity.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
Some people prefer to gradually whiten their teeth from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Take-home Zoom teeth whitening treatments are viable options that can produce the same teeth whitening results as in-chair procedures.
A cosmetic dentist can make a custom tray that fits your teeth perfectly and then instruct you on how to conduct the procedure to achieve your desired results.
You can often whiten your teeth effectively by applying the gel for as little as 15 minutes per session.
Repeat the procedure every day for two weeks to lighten your teeth six to eight shades.
Ask your dentist about a night-time whitening tray if you’d prefer to achieve a brighter smile as you sleep.
What to Do Before Teeth Whitening Treatments?
Before undergoing a teeth whitening procedure, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist for a general check-up and to discuss your treatment options. Teeth whitening procedures don’t work on all discoloured teeth, so it’s important to discuss your situation with your dentist before starting a treatment method.
Dental bleaches do not brighten dental prostheses, veneers, caps, crowns, fillings, or teeth that have become discoloured due to injury. If you have a dental implant, you may be able to whiten the teeth around your implant to achieve a unified shade.
If your dentist finds cavities or gum disease during your pre-treatment check-up, you’ll need to have these conditions fixed before the whitening treatment.
You should also have a conversation with your dentist about how you can enhance your oral health practices to keep your smile bright after your procedure.
How to Keep Your Smile Bright
Eating dark berries and drinking red wine will stain your smile quickly. If you continue unhealthy oral habits, like smoking or brushing your teeth irregularly, your teeth may revert to their pre-whitening discolouration within six months.
Once you’ve answered the question, “how to whiten teeth” for your situation, there are several steps you can take to keep your smile bright.
Drinking plenty of water and eating fruits and vegetables can enhance your oral health and help you keep your teeth white. Drinking water after a meal, or snacking on crunchy vegetables like celery, can help dislodge food particles from your teeth and hinder plaque buildup.
Brushing your teeth after every meal is another great way to stop plaque from discolouring your teeth and promote overall oral wellbeing. If you take good care of your teeth, the effects of the brightening procedure can last two to three years.
Repeating the Procedure
Your teeth will naturally become stained again after the whitening treatment, but you can restore your bright white smile by repeating the whitening treatment. Zoom in-chair and take-home procedures are dentist-recommended and safe for your teeth.
Zoom whitening treatments do not harm your enamel. This is in contrast to over-the-counter whitening treatments, which may or may not be dentist-approved and safe for use.
How to Whiten Teeth?
If you’re ready to whiten your teeth, book an appointment with your dentist to learn about the treatment option right for you.
Sydney Dental Group performs cosmetic procedures so you can enjoy the confidence of a bright, white smile. Contact us today on (02) 9158 6135 to learn more about our in-chair and take-home procedures and to book an appointment for a teeth whitening consultation.