Do you suffer from grey or yellowing teeth? Stained teeth affect your appearance and lower your confidence, making you less likely to share your smile with others. Age, diet, medications and illness can all contribute to staining and tooth discolouration, but a professional whitening treatment at your dentist can restore your pearly white smile in a single session. If you want a radiant smile, read on to find out more about how teeth whitening works.
Types of Tooth Discolouration
There are two types of tooth discolouration, each of which needs to be treated with different procedures, including professional teeth whitening, cleaning, or cosmetic dentistry.
Extrinsic stains are the discolourations you see on the outside of your teeth. They are typically yellow or grey, but they can also show up as bright white patches. Surface stains are caused by a number of different factors, including:
The enamel of your teeth is porous, and when you consume acidic or sugary foods, the enamel wears down and absorbs the colour pigments from the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. Coffee, red wine, tea, chocolate, berries and tomato sauce, as well as many other foods, contain strong pigments that can easily stain teeth if not removed quickly by brushing or rinsing after eating.
Tobacco smoke, as well as chewing tobacco, can cause tooth discolouration as the compound contained in the smoke and tobacco leaf penetrate the tooth enamel and build upon your teeth giving them a brown or dark yellow appearance.
- Poor Oral Hygiene
Not maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine can cause a build-up of plaque and tartar. Plaque is the byproduct of bacteria that live on your teeth and feed off the sugars in the food you eat. This sticky substance combines with minerals naturally occurring in your saliva to create a hard, calcium deposit on your teeth called tartar. Tartar is yellow or brown and can only be removed with professional cleaning.
Intrinsic stains are those that originate from within the tooth. They are often a result of age-related thinning enamel which exposed the yellow dentin layer underneath. However, some other causes of intrinsic stains include:
- Chemotherapy and high blood pressure medications and some antihistamines.
- Some diseases and health conditions.
- Trauma that affects enamel development in children, or trauma that damages enamel in adults.
How Teeth Whitening Works
At Available Care Dental, we offer two different teeth whitening treatments: An at-home teeth whitening kit and in-chair laser teeth whitening.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit
For mild staining, we recommend our simple, easy-to-use teeth whitening kit. The kit features a custom-fitted mouth tray which helps to focus the bleaching agent on your teeth and reduce gum exposure.
You fill the tray with peroxide gel, ensuring that the gel reaches all the crevices in the tray.
Place the tray in your mouth for the time recommended by your dentist, then remove and rinse.
You can repeat the process daily until you achieve your desired shade.
The premium, concentrated peroxide gel is formulated by dentists and is safe to use under supervision.
In-Chair Teeth Whitening
For the best way to lighten your teeth several shades quickly, you need professional in-chair teeth whitening. At Available Dental Care, we use the Pola Teeth Whitening System, which is suitable for treating both intrinsic and extrinsic stains.
Pola Teeth Whitening works by using Pola’s patented red hydrogen peroxide gel, which is non-acidic, so it won’t damage your tooth enamel. The red bleaching gel is activated by a laser which produces green light to reach large light-absorbing particles deep inside the tooth. The large particles are broken up into smaller particles which reflect the light to give the appearance of brighter teeth.
Our Pola Teeth Whitening treatment takes approximately one hour, but you will see the results immediately for a more radiant smile.
Caring for Your Teeth After Teeth Whitening Treatment
To prolong the effects of your teeth whitening treatment and minimise any tooth sensitivity, it is essential to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions.
To keep your teeth bright and white, avoid eating or drinking pigmented food or beverages for at least 48 hours after treatment. Try to reduce the amount of dark coloured foods you consume or rinse your mouth with water afterwards to minimise pigment exposure to your teeth. If you must drink dark beverages, try to drink through a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.
To alleviate any sensitivity after teeth whitening treatment, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth when brushing your teeth.
Shop bought over-the-counter bleaching kits pose a number of risks to your health and often do not produce the results you desire. Professional teeth whitening treatment is the best way to achieve a smile several shades lighter in just a single session. Alternatively, opt for a professional at-home whitening kit so you can whiten your teeth at your convenience using dentist provided products.
To find out more about our professional teeth whitening services, call Available Dental Care on 1300 896 532 to book your consultation.