What is teeth whitening?
It can be confusing to know the difference between cleaning your teeth and whitening your teeth. Cleaning you teeth is much like cleaning your clothes. Tartar, stains, and plaque are removed in a scale and clean. This will improve the appearance of your teeth but does not alter the inherent colour or shade of your teeth.
Teeth whitening is similar to bleaching your clothes. It chemically breaks down the pigments inside your tooth. The active ingredient in whitening gels is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide reacts with water and forms hydrogen peroxide. There is very little evidence that lights make your teeth whiter, despite the marketing.
Why should I get my teeth whitened?
The same reason why you place make up on your face. To look good!
How long does the procedure take?
In chair whitening takes an hour in the dental chair, while you watch a movie. Take home whitening is performed at your own home, and requires you to leave trays in your mouth for 30 minutes each day for a couple of weeks.
How much does teeth whitening cost?
In chair whitening is approximately $700. Take home whitening $440.
How long will my teeth stay whiter?
The results for everyone will be different, but in general, the whiteness will last a couple of years. A great advantage of take home whitening is that you can keep it and buy the whitening gel only, to boost the whiteness over time.
Are there any side effects?
With take home whitening, there are minimal side effects, as long as used as directed by your dentist.
In chair whitening will cause strong and sudden feelings of pain in your teeth. The material can burn your gums, which is why a protective barrier must be placed on your gums, during the treatment.
How do I look after my teeth after they have been whitened?
You should brush and floss your teeth as you would even if your teeth were not whitened. Continue to enjoy your coffee and tea, as they will only cause superficial staining of your teeth. The intrinsic colour of your teeth will not be affected by food and drink.