Three facts about tooth whitening
Tooth whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental treatments.
People of all ages choose to have their teeth whitened for a brighter, more beautiful smile. Generally, young people are convinced to try the treatment to improve the shade of their teeth — the teeth naturally begin to lose their brightness at around the age of 29, and the darkening process gradually takes place after this. By the middle years and later, the teeth often begin to wear down. Read on to find out more about the whitening process, and if it’s right for you….
1. Most discolouration can be resolved
Many people notice that the biting edge of the upper front teeth becomes yellow with time — this is the part of our teeth that sits below the line of the upper lip and the yellowing is often caused by dehydration because this area of the teeth often sits out in the air. Fortunately, this common issue is easily resolved with a whitening treatment. Other common causes of stains and discolouration include certain foods and drinks, as well as smoking. Most stains caused by tobacco use and dietary choices can be treated with a professional clean and/or whitening treatment.
Certain antibiotics that were commonly used in the past can cause the teeth to darken. Although this can be difficult to treat, it is possible to treat.
2. There are a few treatment choices available
If you are considering a whitening treatment, it is advisable that you see your dentist for a check-up first so that they can let you know if you are a suitable candidate. In some cases, a professional cleaning will be enough to get rid of stains and brighten your smile. Your dentist may also advise you of lifestyle changes that can help to keep your teeth looking good.
If you choose to go ahead with a whitening treatment, you might consider professionally-fitted whitening trays that are used for an hour or so every night, or in some cases, overnight. If you decide to use a take-home treatment, be sure to consult with your dentist to make sure that you use a good quality product and that proper impressions are made for you.
Another available option is to use professional-strength bleach-impregnated wax wafers. These are pressed against the teeth and held in place for 30 to 40 minutes by your dentist. You can then follow-up the treatment with a take-home kit of wafers.
Laser in-office whitening produces the most dramatic results. The treatment takes around 80 minutes to complete and is often followed up with custom whitening trays for maximum impact.
3. Over-the-counter products should be treated with caution
You may have seen whitening products in your local supermarket and pharmacy, but it important to know that these non-professional whitening agents are not regulated by the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) which regulates all drugs and products used by the health professions. Products that are marketed through the beauty industry cannot legally use professional-strength materials as they are not regulated by the TGA, so you can’t expect the same standards in terms of both results and safety that you get with the help of a dental professional. It is always advisable to practice caution when it comes to over-the-counter whitening products. Rather, speak to your dentist about a treatment that is most suitable for you.
How can we help?
If you are interested in brightening your smile with a professional whitening treatment, we encourage you to come in and see us at Future Dental in Cairns. With over 45 years of experience in the field, our team provides excellent care and can help you achieve the results you are looking for. Our dentists Dr Bob Gibbins and Dr Sujin Lee will answer any questions that you have about the process and guide you through the method that is most appropriate for you.
To find out more about the whitening treatments that we offer, please have a look here.
If you would like to come in for a consultation, please contact us here or give us a call on (07) 4051 4580.