The holiday season is here and with that comes a long list of social events — parties, work functions, family get-togethers, and maybe even the odd wedding or engagement celebration.
You’ll want to look your best and show off your brightest smile this festive season.
Fortunately, thanks to advancements in cosmetic dentistry, there are now so many ways to improve the appearance of the teeth and enhance one’s overall appearance. A cosmetic treatment which has become increasingly popular is teeth whitening. The process is relatively quick and easy and produces some very effective results.
What causes teeth to discolour?
There are a number of factors that can cause teeth to discolour and stain over time. Some of the most common causes include lifestyle habits like smoking and consuming dark coloured foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, berries and soya sauce. The natural ageing process can also cause some yellowing to occur as the enamel tends to get thinner and the underlying dentin becomes darker with time. Poor oral hygiene can also negatively affect the colour of the teeth.
What is tooth whitening, exactly?
Tooth whitening treatments work by lightening the colour of the teeth, as well as breaking down the pigmentation of stains and discolouration. It is a very popular cosmetic treatment thanks to its effectiveness, as well as the fairly simple process it involves. It’s important to note that whitening treatments work better for some people than others, so we recommend that you come in for a consultation — we’ll advise you as to your suitability for the procedure and recommend the type of treatment best suited to your teeth.
What can the treatment be used for?
Teeth whitening treatments are most often recommended for teeth that have surface stains. Also known as extrinsic stains, these refer to marks caused by foods, drinks and smoking. It is not always possible, however, to treat stains that occur inside the teeth with this kind of procedure. Stains that develop inside the teeth are known as intrinsic stains and are most often caused by factors like exposure to too much fluoride; certain antibiotics; and trauma.
How can I prepare for the treatment?
Before you have your teeth professionally whitened, it is important that you come in for a dental check-up. This will allow us to identify any oral health issues you might have and provide treatment for these before we go ahead with your whitening procedure. If you have any tooth decay, we will address the issue by treating any cavities with a simple filling or restoration.
During the procedure itself, we will start by cleaning your teeth in order to get rid of any bacteria, food debris, and plaque that may have accumulated on the surface of your teeth. Then, if you choose to go with an in-office procedure, a gel containing hydrogen peroxide is applied directly to your teeth. A special light is used to activate the whitening formula and speed up the bleaching process. This process typically takes between 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the results you are looking for.
If, however, you opt for an at-home whitening treatment, we will begin by taking impressions of your teeth so that customised mouth trays can be made for you. The mouth trays are designed to fit your teeth very closely. You will be provided with a whitening gel, which you will need to place inside your mouth tray. It’s important that you wear your mouth tray for the recommended length of time each day for optimal results.
Teeth whitening from Byron Family Dental
If you are interested in a teeth whitening treatment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to arrange a consultation. We will ensure that you are a suitable candidate for the procedure before recommending an appropriate treatment plan.
If it has been a while since your last dental check-up, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment so that we can check that your oral health is in good shape before proceeding with cosmetic treatment.