Tooth whitening lightens the teeth and helps to remove discolouration and stains. Whitening is a common dental cosmetic procedure that can greatly improve how your teeth look. At Albion Dental Office, we provide an at-home tooth whitening treatment that achieves great results in only a few days. Tooth whitening is actually not a one-time procedure. Whitening of the teeth does fade with time, and the whitening needs to be renewed periodically in order to maintain the results you wish to achieve. As part of any whitening protocol, it is very important to maintain your teeth and gums through regular dental hygiene visits, which help address the debris and stain that can accumulate on the teeth over time, as well as to remove the plaque and calculus (or tartar) that impact the health of the teeth, gums and bone in your mouth.
Enamel is the outer layer of the tooth. The colour of the natural tooth is created by the reflection and scattering of light off the enamel and dentin under it. Every day, a thin layer of plaque will form on the enamel and this picks up the stains: if the plaque is not removed by regular brushing, these stains can begin to become embedded in the enamel. Pores are also present in the tooth enamel which can retain pigments present in food and drink which also cause staining.
The most common reasons for developing stains are
- Not taking good care of the teeth.
- Using tobacco
- Drinking dark-coloured liquids such as red wine, coffee, tea, and cola.
It is also possible to develop stains inside the tooth, which are referred to as intrinsic. While whitening will address both surface stains and intrinsic stains, intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove and need a greater amount of time and intervention to do so.
Regular dental hygiene visits will help with maintaining a whiter smile, as removal of plaque and calculus will whiten the teeth, and the tooth polishing that is performed during a hygiene visit will also give a natural white luster to the smile. Using a mouthwash, whitening toothpaste, whitening pens, strips or trays are all different ways to whiten teeth, and they have varying degrees of impact in this regard. The most effective way to whiten teeth is through a tooth whitening regimen that is performed by a dentist, as a dentist is trained to use ad dispense materials with greater strength that can whiten reliably and safely.
Sometimes after whitening, the teeth can be very sensitive. You have several options to reduce the pain in case it occurs to you.
- Chew gum- More saliva will be produced when chewing gum. The saliva help close any open pores on the teeth surfaces, which can make sensitivity more acute, and the act of chewing can also provide momentary distraction from sensitivity.
- Avoid whitening for a while – Sometimes, the teeth need a break from whitening in instances when the pulp of the teeth become irritated. After a couple of days, the sensitivity subsides, and whitening can be resumed.
- A sensitivity toothpaste should be used- The pain associated with tooth sensitivity will be relieved with using sensitivity toothpastes, as they contain potassium nitrate, which can help close open pores on tooth surfaces.
Some tips to prevent tooth discolouration even after tooth whitening are mentioned below. After your whitening treatment, there are some steps which you should take to maintain that bright smile.
- Avoid beverages and stain-causing foods- wine, tea, coffee, hard candy, sports drinks, and tomato sauce are different food items which can cause tooth discolouration.
- Quit smoking- It is obvious that smoking tobacco can cause tooth discolouration. Eliminating tobacco use can keep your teeth white.
We are pleased to offer excellent treatments both in office and at home to our patients. Whitening you teeth is an inexpensive way to provide your smile a noticeable enhancement.
If you are interesting in brightening your smile, schedule a consult at Albion Dental Office by calling (416) 749-9732, and Dr. Trotti will be happy to speak with you about it.