If you are looking to transform your smile then you may be considering tooth whitening treatments. Our Summerland dentists discuss professional teeth whitening and how a shade guide can help determine how bright you want to go.
Tooth Whitening To Brighten Your Smile
Like everything else, our teeth also change over time, particularly in terms of brightness. Due to general wear and tear, lifestyle factors like regular tobacco use or consumption of dark-coloured beverages like soda, coffee, or red wine, as well as some medications, our teeth may become discoloured and darker over time.
Luckily, a few tried and true professional tooth whitening options can give you lasting results. Below we explain a little more about how a tooth-whitening shade guide can be used to help pick the optimal colour for your smile.
What To Expect At Your First Visit
To begin the tooth whitening process, your dentist will assess the shade of your smile using a shade guide.
Your dentist will compare your current tooth colour to the shade guide and then work from there to determine what shade you'd like your teeth to be after treatment. Here are some things you should think about when trying to decide on your tooth-whitening goals:
- Existing stains on your teeth - Darkly coloured or grey can be hard to remove. Whitening may make these stains seem more prominent.
- Crowns and fillings - Any type of artificial restoration will not respond to whitening treatment. You should choose a colour that will help these restorations blend in.
- Your eyes - Your teeth should be a similar shade of white to the whites of your eyes. This helps you maintain a natural-looking smile.
Typically, your dentist will recommend a natural-looking tooth colour for you. The majority of teeth-whitening procedures can lighten your teeth by two to seven or eight shades, but just two or three shades can often significantly improve the appearance of your smile.
As with most things, it is better to take things slowly when whitening your teeth. The plus side is that if you decide later on that you would like your teeth to be whiter you will be able to go back for more.
Is There More Than One Tooth Whitening Option?
If you choose to whiten your teeth at home, the active ingredient in the whitening solution is usually hydrogen peroxide. The teeth become whiter when oxygen interacts with tooth enamel and the active ingredient degrades. Most dental offices offer both in-office professional teeth whitening procedures and take-home kits so you can whiten your teeth whenever it is convenient for you.
Tooth Whitening At Your Dental Office
In-office teeth whitening is done at your dental office. In-office treatments are typically the most efficient and effective because your dentist can safely apply a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide than you would be able to at home.
To protect your gums from the whitening agent, your dentist will first cover them with a shield. The solution will then be applied to your teeth with the help of a custom tray that resembles a mouthguard. To expedite the procedure, your dentist will apply a special light to your teeth after the solution has been applied.
Take Home Tooth Whitening Trays
Many dental offices also offer take-home kits and detailed instructions to safely complete teeth whitening while in your home.
Take-home kits include custom whitening trays that will be used to keep the whitening solution on your teeth. These trays are typically worn for a portion of each day for two weeks.