How to whiten your teeth.
Food and drinks stain our teeth with time. In simple words stains penetrate our teeth and discolour them and that’s the reason no matter how good we brush or scrub our teeth, we can’t get rid of stained teeth. And that’s the reason teeth whitening or bleaching of teeth has become a routine procedure for many of us
1. How does tooth whitening material work?
Whitening material mainly consist of hydrogen peroxide, coming to contact with teeth, hydrogen separates from oxygen and oxygen simply dissolve the stain out of enamel.
2. Professional In Chair Whitening or Home Whitening kits?
There are 2 ways of doing whitening: In-chair and Home whitening:
- In chair whitening is done in the practice and takes about 1:15 to 1:30 mins. We will put a lip re-tractor in your mouth which pushes the lips back and keeps the tongue away. Then we seal all the soft tissue of the mouth like gums and cheeks. Then we apply the whitening gel on your teeth and leave it under the Zoom light for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, we will wipe off the whitening gel and apply another round of gel onto your teeth. We do this up to 4 times. Then the gel will be washed off your teeth and some Relief gel which helps with the sensitivity and stabilising the shade will be applied to your teeth. You should avoid eating or drinking coloured food (green curry, spaghetti bolognaise) and drinks (red wine, coke) for 48 hours.
- For home whitening, we get impressions of your teeth and make custom trays which are soft clear thin trays for you and give you a whitening kit and all the instructions. You are supposed to put a little amount of whitening gel into your trays and wear them for 15-30 minutes a day for 5 to 7 days.
3. What to expect after teeth whitening?
With any type of whitening you will get some temporary sensitivity which lasts about 24 hours only. The sensitivity comes from the fact that all the micro-tubes of the enamel open up to the mouth environment suddenly and some of the sensitivity is due to the heat from the light. It can range from mild to moderate. Whitening procedure when done with a skilled operator and in safe environment will not damage teeth or enamel or the soft tissue.
What you should know teeth whitening:
- You will need an examination before your whitening so we can check your teeth and mouth and go through the procedure with you.
- We always recommend our patients to have a scale and clean before their whitening as whitening gel does not work well on plaque and scale build up.
- Old and discoloured white fillings, crowns and veneers don’t change shade, they don’t go white with whitening. Though we cannot do anything for crowns and veneers but with white fillings, we can polish them and most cases they blend in and if they don’t, we can always replace them for you.
- White patches: some people have white patches on their teeth that mostly are innocent demineralisation of some areas of enamel and aesthetically annoying. They will still be visible even after whitening unfortunately.
- Not everybody gets the same results, it depends on the structure of the enamel and the type of staining. For example, yellow teeth show better results than grey discoloration.
- Heavily stained teeth may need extra round of whitening or a round of in chair and touch up at home.
If you would like to know more about whitening or the type of whitening that suit you, please call Excellence in Dentistry 07 3839 7757