Too many of us are ashamed to let our teeth loose in a big grin, whether it be for a hot date or posing for the ‘gram. So why is it that a level of our confidence is tied to the whiteness of our teeth?
You might have a big event coming up. Or your teeth are staining over time. You’ve found yourself touching up your social media photos before posting. Maybe you just want to clear up some of the yellowing from your daily coffee or wine. With the various teeth whitening options available now, being embarrassed of your smile is optional.
Just like hair colour, the tint of our teeth differs from person to person, therefore treating any type of discolouration is different for everyone. Teeth whitening is not suitable for everyone, before beginning any teeth whitening procedures consult with your local dentist. They can identify the cause of your discolouration, advise any pre-existing oral health conditions (decay, gum disease etc.) that may need to be treated and the best treatment for you based on your individual needs.
In the age of Instagram and influencers, there is now an extremely wide range of dental whitening, over-the-counter and online whitening agents that can be used. So the question is, which one works best? And more importantly, which one suits you best?
In-chair whitening is the fastest and most effective whitening option. Performed in your local dental practice by a dental professional you can walk in with yellow teeth and walk out with a brighter smile in as little as an hour (or the time it takes to finish a coffee!).
When you go for your in-chair teeth whitening appointment your clinician will apply a protective gel to your gums followed by the application of a whitening gel to your teeth. How long it lasts will depend on your lifestyle but can keep your smile nice and bright for a few years.
Custom manufactured take-home whitening kits are convenient and easy to use allowing you to apply a whitening agent, then sit back and relax while the whitening process begins.
There’s no funky blue light, but don’t let looks deceive you as these snug fitting impression trays and professional grade whitening gels are only available from a dental professional. These take home options provide results that over-the-counter supermarket options simply cannot.
Whitening toothpastes, strips, mouthwash and chewing-gums are easily accessible at your local supermarket or chemist and, in recent years, many alternatives are popping up on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
Whilst some are effective and can result in visibly whiter teeth, caution should be taken when considering some over-the-counter products especially if you are considering use for a long period of time.
Be aware that many white smiles seen on celebrities and your favourite influencers may not be real teeth and could in fact be ‘veneers’ on the surface of the teeth. Don’t be fooled by what you see, do your research first!
Teeth whitening is a non-invasive treatment and is completely safe when performed correctly. Teeth sensitivity is a possible side effect of whitening and some patients do experience this after treatments. The greater the concentration of gel, the greater the risk of tooth sensitivity. Dentists are trained to minimise the risk of such tooth sensitivity despite using higher concentrations of whitening gels to achieve better results than over-the-counter products.
You’ve finished your whitening treatment, your teeth are a nice, bright white, but how long will it last? Long term results are dependent on the upkeep and your lifestyle behaviours such as daily care and stain-causing habits including food, drinks or smoking. Regular visits to your dentist will allow them to remove any surface stains and prolong your whitening treatments.
Many fads come and go, but only your dentist has been trained in providing care to you, your family and friends. Your dentist generally makes a decision which is best for you based on clinical research, and experience so they can guide you toward that nice bright smile you’re looking for.