If you're considering whitening your teeth, you may have come across many teeth whitening options. But how do you know if they're effective — or safe? Our Surrey dentists share some tips to keep in mind when it comes to safely whitening your teeth.
How can I safely whiten my teeth?
At Clover Hills Dental, patients sometimes ask us about how they can safely and effectively whiten their teeth. While teeth whitening treatments can help us to feel more confident and give us a whiter, brighter smile, not every option out there is safe. Today, our dentists recommend ways to get this task done safely — and offer some advice on how to maintain your white smile.
Ask your dentist about teeth whitening options for you
Our teeth naturally lose whiteness as we age, for many reasons. Based on your specific needs, the reasons your teeth have darkened in colour and the current colour of your teeth, your dentist can conduct a tooth colour analysis and recommend options for safely whitening your smile. Keep in mind that existing restorations will not change colour, since whitening only works on natural enamel.
Our Surrey dentists offer at-home teeth whitening treatments that can effectively whiten your teeth. You'll come in for two appointments. At your initial appointment, the dentist will create impressions of your teeth so a custom whitening tray can be made. When you receive your tray, whitening gel and instructions at the second appointment, you'll try the trays on for a proper fit and any necessary adjustments will be made.
Place the whitening solution in each tray and wear either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks, depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening.
Work with your dentist to avoided adverse side effects
Since everyone's teeth respond differently to teeth whitening, it's important to consult your dentist before, during and after the whitening process to reduce the risk of side effects.
Tooth sensitivity and gum irritation are normal during the time you are whitening your teeth, but should subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching. If sensitivity and/or irritation persist, consuld your dentist.
Avoid dark-coloured, acidic foods and drinks
After you've invested in whitening your smile, you'll want to keep your grin looking bright as long as possible. If you're a pop drinker or coffee lover, it may be challenging to refrain from drinking your favourite beverage immediately after whitening, but we recommend doing so. Tomato juice, tea, wine and sports drinks can also dull your new colour.
We also recommend skipping highly acidic or colourful foods such as chocolate, orange, strawberries and ketchup immediately after a wound, since it will take time for saliva to create a natural protective coat around tooth surfaces and after whitening treatments.
Use mouthwashes and teeth whitening toothpaste to keep your smile bright.
You might want to consider over-the-counter toothpastes and mouthwashes to keep your smile white. Incorporate these into your daily routine maintenance to remove stains from your teeth. Brush twice daily for two minutes each time.
Make time for periodic touchups
Depending on your daily routine and oral hygiene, effects of at-home teeth whitening treatments may last for 2 to 3 years. Discolouration may slowly accumulate but will not return to its original, pre=treatment shade.