Teeth Whitening in Calgary

COSMETIC DENTISTRY

Teeth Whitening in Calgary

For many, bright white teeth are synonymous with youth and dental health. Countless tooth whitening products are available in stores, from toothpaste and oral rinses to special whitening strips and trays that seem to offer professional results. Do any of these products work? How do they compare to whitening performed professionally?

Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.

Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

Reasons for tooth whitening:

  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
  • Yellow, brown stained teeth.
  • What does tooth whitening involve?

    This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.

    At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution 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. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

    You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.

    COSMETIC DENTISTRY

    How Long Do Teeth Whitening Results Last?

    The answer to this depends on several factors ranging from the type of whitener used to your lifestyle habits. Having your teeth whitened will reduce stains, not keep new ones from forming. Both at-home and in-office whitening will last longer if you have good dental hygiene habits and keep your teeth clean.

    If you use a whitening toothpaste, you may be able to extend the effects simply by continuing to use it, but some users who are sensitive to the ingredients begin to experience discomfort with prolonged use. In addition, long-term use of whitening toothpaste may thin tooth enamel.

    Some at-home products are considerably more effective than others. Using whitening trays, for example, may give you long-lasting results. Combined with food oral hygiene, their effect may last as long as a year or more.

    In-office whitening will provide the longest-lasting results. This type of whitening may last from 1-3 years with proper oral hygiene.

    When it comes to whitening your teeth, in-office treatments offer the fastest, longest-lasting results. They will likely prove the safest as well, given that improper or prolonged use of at-home methods can lead to sensitivity and irritation.

    At-Home Whitening vs Professional Whitening

    Teeth are generally white to begin with, but tooth enamel comes in many shades, leaving some feeling that their teeth are not white enough. Whitening products have become increasingly popular over the years, and many are drawn to the idea of being able to whiten their teeth at home. The primary options available for whitening your teeth include:

    Whitening Toothpaste

    Whitening toothpaste removes surface stains on the teeth and is the gentlest means of whitening. This makes it the best option for those with sensitive teeth. There are generally no negative reactions because toothpaste whitens by polishing the teeth rather than using a bleaching agent. The downside to this type of gentle whitening is that toothpaste does not provide as noticeable a difference in the shade of your teeth. It also takes an extended period to reach its full effect.

    At-Home Whitening

    Whitening kits can be purchased in many pharmacies and include methods such as whitening strips, trays, lights, rinses, and brushes. They generally contain peroxide, which reaches below the surface to lighten tooth enamel when used regularly over days or weeks.

    Whitening trays are filled with gel and then worn for a period of time either during the day or overnight. When purchased in stores, the trays may be one-size-fits-all, or available in large, medium, and small. You may also seek to have your dentist make custom trays for you.

    Professional Whitening

    Having your teeth professionally whitened at your dentist’s office can change the colour of your teeth faster than the other methods because the whiteners are stronger. The process takes about an hour and your gums will be covered with a protective gel or thin sheet of rubber to protect them from the peroxide in the whitening agent. The process may also involve a light or laser that is used alongside the peroxide.

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