It is worrisome when you see someone with the normal colour of teeth requesting for teeth whitening.
When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they’d most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists also found that nearly 90% of patients requested tooth whitening. It’s okay when you want a whiter teeth, but you must know that not every teeth need to be whitened and not every discoloured teeth is amenable to teeth whitening. You have to be realistic about your expectations.
Before you spend your hard-earned money on teeth whitening, read the following basic facts:
1 . Expecting perfection just leads to disappointment – Your teeth will probably never be 100 percent white even if you’re using the absolute best and most expensive treatment out there. If you expect your teeth to go from being yellowed and even brown in nature to perfectly pearly white, you’re leading yourself up to some disappointment. However, if you are diligent with treatments and whiten your teeth at least once or twice a year, you’ll find that you can keep stains at bay and get your teeth to where they’re beautifully white.
2. It only whitens a few shades – If you have very yellowed teeth from smoking, drinking and other activities and expect the whitening treatment to get your smile to near perfect whiteness, you’re only gearing yourself up for disappointment. Tooth whitening products often whiten teeth just two to five shades per treatment. Using a tooth shade chart can help you to determine where you’d like to be after treatment is finished.
3. Results aren’t permanent – Just because you’re whitening your teeth now does not mean that your teeth are going to stay white for the rest of your life. Results only last as long as you maintain them and avoid dark foods and drinks. Once you go back to smoking or drinking coffee, the stains will again build upon and within the enamel, requiring future whitening treatments.
4. Not all products work the same – Every whitening product on the market works differently in some way. Some products rely on thin strips that are placed on the teeth and worn for 30 to 60 minutes per day. Other products use hard plastic trays that are filled with a gel to whiten the teeth. Others use a blue LED light to help the gels penetrate deeper. When choosing a product, it’s important to consider what you are able to afford and the results you’re looking to achieve.
5. There are side effects – The most common side effect of whitening your teeth is having gum and tooth sensitivity. However, this sensitivity typically only lasts during the treatment and for about a week afterward, so it is not permanent. Another common side effect of whitening the teeth is having small white blotches on the surface of the teeth. This is caused by the peroxide working underneath the enamel and eradicating stains, some often being removed quicker than others. This is also a temporary side effect that you should not worry about.
6. Crowns and veneers can’t be whitened – If you have crowns or veneers, they cannot be whitened using whitening products. These appliances were created in a dental lab for you and the porcelain surface of the crown or veneer was determined during its creation. Therefore, it cannot be changed with whitening products. If you have veneers in the front of your mouth or a crown that you’d like to whiten, your best bet is to talk to a dentist about having the appliance removed and remade for you in a lighter shade.
7. It’s best to whiten dirty teeth – Believe it or not, it is best to use your whitening treatments on teeth that have not been brushed. When you brush your teeth, you take away any plaque on the surface of your tooth, which many products use as a way to adhere better to the teeth. When your teeth are perfectly clean, you’ll find that the products do not stick or work the way that they should.
8. The best time to whiten is before bed – At night, you won’t be eating or drinking the same way you would during the day. This allows any leftover peroxide from the whitening treatment to penetrate the teeth even further without being disturbed. In the morning, you can brush your teeth as you would normally.
9. It’s safe – Tooth whitening products are made using either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which are both incredibly common ingredients in most dental products. Because of their long history of being used in the dental field, they’re incredibly safe and will not damage or destroy your teeth. However, it is important to note that you should not whiten your teeth excessively, as this can literally strip the teeth of their opaque nature and cause a more translucent look to your smile.
General Dental Council(Image)