With all the crazy lip art taking over the internet, the geode, glitter and holographic lips, our collective smile game have officially been taken to the next level. However, our lips only account for half of the equation, so it is important to take care of our pearly whites as well because no lipstick shade is going to look its best set against a set of yellow teeth. In the pursuit of whiter smile, tooth whitening is one of the largest growing cosmetic procedures in Australia and world over, and there are plenty of choices for all as far as cost, commitment and colour change is related allowing pretty much anyone to make minor or significant improvements to the shade of their teeth.
That said, with the variety of choices along with a surge of the treatment there has been an increase in unlicensed and untrained procedures. If you are looking to whiten your teeth for a whiter and brighter smile, it is essential to consider the risks, efficacy and the options available.
Here I have rounded up a few things about tooth whitening that you should be aware of before taking the plunge.
1. Culprits for teeth staining
The biggest culprits for changing the colour of your teeth include drinking too much coffee, tea and red wine. Drinking several cups per day might cause the chemicals in these beverages to turn your teeth yellow. Smoking tobacco and cigarettes are one of the worst culprits of teeth staining. Dark carbonated drinks also pose a risk as the food colouring used in these products can have a major staining effect.
2. Consider the safety
The safety is the foremost thing when looking to get any treatment and the same applies to teeth whitening. There are many options available from bleaching kits and toothpaste to in-office procedures and holistic remedies. It is important to remember that before trying anything, patients should consider the safety and efficacy and look for treatments that are approved and conducted in a clinical environment. Many over the counter or online bought products can pose health risks, mainly if they don’t signify the level of bleach they contain. Similarly, teeth whitening treatments performed in unregistered beauty salons or shops can also be risky. Therefore it is essential to remember that only registered dentist can carry out teeth whitening.
3. Whitening is not suitable for all
For the vast majority of people, whitening works well offering significant improvement. However, there are some instances where patients aren’t fit to take the treatment. These include people who have had dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, porcelain veneers, cosmetic bonding or tooth coloured fillings. Teeth whitening products contain bleaching agents that don’t work on them.
4. Your teeth may feel sensitive
Tooth whitening is entirely safe when conducted properly, but may sometimes lead to sensitivity to temperature, pressure and touch as well as gum irritation which are temporary. Some people find that their teeth and gums may become more sensitive during the treatment, but toothpaste designed for sensitivity will reduce or stop this. However, that it is important you visit the dentist to assess the status of your teeth and gums before treatment.
5. Choose instant teeth whitening at the dentist
To get the most out of your tooth whitening treatment it is best to book an appointment with the dentist. The dentist uses a more powerful whitening gel and a specialized laser activates the gel allowing faster whitening. In-office treatment usually takes 30 to 90 minutes and you would need 1 to 3 appointments depending on the severity of the stain and the desired results. Another quick and effective way to whiten the teeth in a short span of time is zoom whitening treatment. Meaning you will see visible results in just under an hour, whereas home whitening can take a little longer.
6. Results last for three years
The effects of tooth whitening can last up to three years but can vary from person to person. The outcome is less likely to last if you smoke, eat or drink things more commonly that stain the teeth. After tooth whitening, it is essential for patients to maintain good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing for the results to last longer.
7. You can whiten on a budget
Teeth whitening kits which are available online or at your local pharmacy are inexpensive way to whiten your teeth. Go ahead and buy them and see how diligent you can be to follow the directions. It is an excellent way to judge what kind of results you would get. Try out these whitening kits for a few weeks and if you still aren’t satisfied with the results, you can check with your dentist for the other options.
These are few of the things you should know before taking on the tooth whitening treatment and remember that when buying teeth whitening products online they are safety approved and don’t have a very high level of bleaching agent as it can harm your teeth and gums.