You should be proud of your smile, it is after all, one of the first things others notice when looking at you. That feeling that you get when you make a good impression is a wonderful boost of self-confidence. In fact, your smile is so influential, that a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing. Unfortunately, the study also shows that 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances of nailing a job interview.
That’s why we understand when someone feels self-conscious about their smile. Thankfully, bright, white teeth aren’t just for Hollywood anymore; cosmetic dentistry advancements have made it safe and affordable to have that perfect smile. So, with this article, we’re going to dive in and learn all about teeth whitening.
WHY DO OUR TEETH TURN YELLOW?
There are several reasons your smile might not be more yellow than you’d like including coffee, cola, and red wine. Poor dental hygiene permits food stains and plaque to build up, which also causes discolouration. There are also illnesses and medications that lead to yellowing teeth including radiation and chemotherapy, some antibiotics and antihistamines too.
WHITENING TOOTHPASTE, RINSES, AND GUM
If it wasn’t so easy to stain your teeth then it might be easier to just chew or swish them away, unfortunately, it’s not so simple. Whitening products like this usually contain a mild abrasive that can help remove recent discolorations. However, you may find increased sensitivity during and after their use.
WHITENING TRAYS OR STRIPS
You can find these products in more grocery stores and pharmacies. They include a strip or a guard with a professionally dispensed whitening product. These over-the-counter options are good for removing surface stains and usually only take 2-4 weeks of use to see a difference. It’s common to experience sensitivity during this time, but if it becomes too much to bear, then discontinue use and speak to your dentist.
Dentists, especially our expertly trained cosmetic dentists at Tooth Harmony can have fantastic results with in-office treatments. This often takes two trips to the dentist. The first appointment is a consultation; we look at the current colour of your teeth, and the shade of white you’d like them to be. We also take the mold of your teeth so it’s ready for the second visit.
During the second visit, you can choose to take the trays with the whitening agent home with you. If we do your treatment at the office, we begin by applying a protective coating to your lips and gums. The whitening gel is applied and can be set by an ultraviolet lamp, “activating” the treatment.
In-office treatments usually cost more than other options such as whitening strips, the results however, are typically much quicker, whiter, and will last longer than store bought strips or trays.
ARE YOU A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR TEETH WHITENING?
Patients with strong and healthy teeth are the best candidates for cosmetic whitening. If you have too much tooth decay, chipped or cracked teeth, or need restorations, then professional whitening might not be your best option. You may want to consider crowns or porcelain veneers instead.