Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours.
Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from brushing twice daily with fluoride-containing toothpaste, cleaning between their teeth once a day and the regular cleanings at your Dentist’s clinic. If you decide you would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter, you should investigate all of your options.
You can take several approaches to whiten your smile:
What should you ask your dentist?
You may want to start by speaking with your dentist. He or she can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-coloured teeth may bleach less well, and greyish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-coloured fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the colour of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.
What is dental clinic bleaching?
If you are a candidate for bleaching, your dentist may suggest a procedure that can be done in his or her office. This procedure is called chair side bleaching and may require more than one visit. Each visit may take from 30 minutes to one hour.
- During chair side bleaching, the dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent. Lasers have been used during tooth whitening procedures to enhance the action of the whitening agent.
What are at-home procedures and products?
There are several types of products available for use at home, which can either be dispensed by your dentist or purchased over-the-counter.
These products contain peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. These products typically rely on percent carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent; carbamide peroxide comes in several different concentrations (10%, 16%, 22%).
All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches products do not alter the intrinsic colour of teeth.
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