Teeth whitening is a restoration of the tooth’s natural shade. This is made possible by removing surface stains with a bleaching agent. However, teeth also can be discoloured by plaque, also known as calculus or tartar. To get the optimal shade from your teeth whitening procedure tartar should be removed first by a dentist. Tartar is difficult to remove and that’s why it’s recommended that a dentist do it for you. When your teeth are cleaned off the tartar the restoration of the colour can begin. This is usually done with the bleaching agent. You will find bleaching agents in almost any tooth whitening product, from the grocery store to your dental office. However, if you’re looking for superior results you will want to go to your dentist to get your teeth whitening as those agents available over the counter are far weaker than those available through health professional.
How your enamel’s true colour is restored
The most commonly used bleaching agent is hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is an extremely effective tooth whitening agent. However, it is not the best product for everybody. Hydrogen peroxide can, in some patients, cause increased sensitivity in their teeth and irritate their gums. If you need an alternative because you are experiencing side effects from your teeth whitening procedure talk to us immediately and we will find a solution for you. Being health professionals we have access to whitening agents that the general public does not have and can determine which treatment is best for you.
Teeth whitening works by removing the stain within the enamel. The bleaching agent penetrates the tooth and breaks down the stain leaving your teeth whiter. It is important when whitening your teeth that you let a professional dentist perform the procedure. This is because you can experience over bleaching by doing it yourself. This can cause many different issues with your teeth including gum irritation, a receding gum line, and causing your teeth to become brittle and translucent.
Teeth become discoloured over time, usually due to lifestyle habits.
Common causes for teeth becoming stained
- Drinks such as black tea and coffee, wines, carbonated beverages, and sports drinks
- Coloured foods such as berries and other fruits and vegetables
- Sauces can also discolour your teeth such as curries, soy sauce, and tomato sauce
- Tobacco use, including chewing tobacco
- Various medications
- Mouth trauma
- Grinding your teeth can cause cracks making them easier to stain
- Certain medical conditions
- Exposure to metallic compounds
The teeth whitening process can be performed in the office or at home. In the dental office, a dental grade bleaching agent is typically used with an accelerator such as an LED, halogen, or plasma arc light. The dentist applies the bleaching agent to your teeth then the light is shined on your teeth as you sit there letting the bleaching agent become accelerated and in about 30 minutes depending on the process your teeth can be up to eight shades whiter. The alternative is a take-home kit. With a take-home whitening kit, you are still required to come into our office and get fitted for a custom pair of whitening trays. You’ll be provided with the bleaching agent and instructions directly from the dentist.
If you’d like more information or get booked into have your teeth beautifully whitened call our friendly staff on 03 9842 2677 or book on our website and we can get you on your way to a brilliant smile.