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What is tooth whitening?

As we get a little older, the brightness of youth can fade and we all experience changes to skin, hair and teeth. Because we live in an age where cosmetic improvements are readily available, many of us take advantage of such offerings to keep us looking young and attractive. This applies to men, as well as to women and particularly when it come to our teeth.

Teeth get stained by foods such as coffee, tea and red wine and also by smoking. Teeth are coated with light-coloured enamel. This gets stained over time and also gets thinner as we age, which then leads to us feeling self-conscious when we talk or smile and may prompt us to want to get something done about it!

You may be given the opportunity when you’re at your dentist to fill out a form, saying whether or not you’re happy with your smile. Most dentists offer a package called a ‘6 month smile plan’, or something similar. This is basically a makeover for your teeth, including straightening and whitening, spread out over 6 months.

The bad news is, the process involves wearing braces. The good news is that at the end of your treatment, your dentist will put the icing on the cake, so to speak, by whitening your teeth. So in just 6 months, you’ll have a beautiful straight, white smile.

Contrary to popular belief, adult teeth respond well to both straightening and whitening. Once your teeth have moved into the desired place, the whitening process begins. There are two types of whitening. ‘Vital whitening’, which is for healthy teeth and ‘Non-Vital’ whitening, which is for teeth that have been root-canal filled. ‘Non-Vital’ whitening is subtly different in that the tooth is whitened from the inside, as opposed to on the surface.

Your teeth whitening procedure can be done by your dentist or dental hygienist at the surgery, or by you at home. If carried out at home, you’ll be given plastic trays, shaped to the size and shape of your mouth and teeth, both upper and lower. A whitening solution is put in the trays, which you then wear in your mouth for several hours a day, or at night for the whitening to take effect.

Teeth whitening uses a special dental form of hydrogen peroxide, or more commonly known as bleach. If you have this carried out at your dental surgery, it will take 30-40 minutes and will require several appointments. Your dentist will use a stronger form of bleach than if you were carrying out this treatment at home and they’ll use a laser to expedite the whitening process as you sit in the chair.

Results from teeth whitening are usually very good. You can determine the shade of white that you prefer and stop the process when you get there. Most people don’t have any problems from the process being carried out. Occasionally a little mild irritation to gums and slight sensitivity to teeth are experienced, but these side-effects are usually very short-lived.

Further informations on the website Birchgrove Dental Teeth Whitening

Whitening doesn’t last a lifetime and will need to be repeated periodically, as the teeth begin to get stained again. This usually happens over a period of several months to several years, much depending on what you eat, whether you smoke or not and how you care for your teeth. Effective brushing and regular flossing are recommended and the use of a toothpaste that promotes white teeth is also a good idea.