Teeth whitening can be one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your smile. At Freshwater Dental we offer take home whitening kits, which allow you to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home.
What is the process?
Once your dentist has determined that you are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening, they will take an impression of your teeth. This will allow them to create your custom fit bleaching tray. It normally takes a week or two for this tray to be created and once complete you will return for your second appointment. During this appointment you will collect your bleaching tray and whitening solution and your dentist will confirm the frequency of which you are to wear it. Most patients will wear the bleaching tray for a couple of hours a day however some choose the wear it overnight. Normally the treatment will take 10-14 days, depending on the desired results.
What results can I expect?
There are a number of reasons for tooth discolouration and these will all effect the results of your teeth whitening treatment. During your initial appointment you dentist will assess your teeth to evaluate whether or not your will be a successful candidate for teeth whitening. Once the assessment is complete they will be able to advise on the results you can expect to achieve.
How long do the results last?
The longevity of teeth whitening will vary from patient to patient, however for most it should last for 1-3 years. You can extend this by visiting Freshwater Dental for touch ups every 1 – 2 years. Lifestyle factors like eating habits and smoking will have a negative effect on your newly whitened teeth. Here are some tips to sustain your newly whitened teeth:
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid eating darker foods like blueberries or raspberries especially during the two weeks following your whitening treatment as your teeth will remain slightly more porous which makes them more susceptible to stains.
- Avoid drinking red wine, coffee and tea as these drinks will also stain your teeth.
- Eat foods like apples, celery and hard cheese as they will produce more saliva which helps to break down food particles that have collected in your teeth. These foods also gently scrub your teeth which helps to remove stains.
- Maintain a good dental hygiene routine which consists of twice daily brushing, daily flossing and mouthwash (however you dentist may recommend that you do not use mouthwash if you suffer from dry mouth).
- After eating, rinse your mouth with water to help remove food particles. Do not brush your teeth until 30 minutes after eating as the brushing may damage your tooth enamel.
- When drinking beverages that may cause stains (coffee, soft drink etc.) it is best to use a straw as this minimises contact between the drink and your teeth.
- Visit your Freshwater Dental hygienist for regular check-ups and cleans.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Many patients are worried about the safety of teeth whitening treatment. While the process does use a bleach, it is concentrated at a safe level and therefore poses little to no risk to patients. However it is important to have a consultation with your dentist before you begin any whitening treatments as they will be able to assess your teeth to ensure that there will be no side effects or issues. If you have any pre-existing dental problems it is important to disclose this information during your appointment before the treatment begins.
Are there any side effects?
While there are little to no major risks for patients undergoing teeth whitening treatment, some patients may experience some minor side effects. This normally includes tooth sensitivity, a sore throat and tender gums. The sore throat and tender gums is normally a result of too much bleach being applied to the bleaching tray and leaking onto the gums or down the throat. This irritation will normally only last a couple of days and will go away on its own. Tooth sensitivity should also only last a short period of time however can be eased through the use of a sensitive toothpaste.
I have crowns and veneers, will they also be whitened?
No, unfortunately not. The whitening bleach will only work on your natural teeth. During your consultation your dentist will be able to discuss your options with you to help avoid a noticeable difference.
There are lots of teeth whitening products on the market, why do I have to visit my dentist?
In order to achieve the best results and the whitest smile it is always recommended that you go through your dentist for whitening treatment. Not only we can provide high quality treatment and products we can also assess your teeth and monitor your treatment to ensure a safe and effective outcome. However, if you do decide to use a whitening kit from the supermarket or pharmacy or visit a whitening kiosk we still recommend that you visit us first so that we can evaluate your teeth and looks out for issues like weak enamel and receding gums to make sure that any treatment you undergo will be safe and not damage your existing tooth structure.
If you would like to update your smile why not consider teeth whitening? Call us today to book a consultation and discuss your options with one of our friendly and experienced dentists.