Having shiny white teeth is a goal of many people, which is why you can now find so many specialist toothpastes and other whitening products on the shelves. To really get good results, however, it's best to go for a professional teeth whitening treatment instead of trying to do it yourself, as it's far more effective.
Before you begin your teeth whitening treatment, you should make sure you're doing the right thing for you and that the treatment will be successful. Here's what you need to do.
Rule out dental conditions
Before you get your hopes up about having a whitening treatment, schedule a regular appointment with your dentist. Although discoloured teeth are often the result of staining or enamel erosion, they can also be caused by an underlying condition. Some of these conditions make you unsuitable for teeth whitening, as it will be ineffective. Talk to your dentist about the colour of your teeth, and they'll check if there's anything causing it.
Find out what type of discolouration you have
The type of discolouration you have can affect what treatment is available to you. If your teeth are stained, it's possible the staining can be fixed with a professional clean by a dental hygienist. In more severe cases, however, whitening with bleach is required, either by using a mouthguard or lasers.
If your enamel is damaged and the underlying dentin is showing, this can make teeth appear yellow. In this instance, bleach can still be used to whiten the teeth, but it's a more delicate procedure that can make your teeth sensitive. Your dentist may recommend a slower treatment over a longer period of time.
Avoid any home treatments
Home whitening treatments can interfere with professional ones, so stop using them as soon as you've decided to get your teeth whitened properly. Some of them are even abrasive, which damages tooth enamel and may actually make them appear more yellow.
Take the opportunity to review your lifestyle
If you're doing anything that can contribute to off-white teeth, like smoking, eating a lot of acidic foods or drinking a lot of tea and coffee, it's best to cut down. You'll get better results that will last longer. Also, make sure you're following the normal dental advice on regular brushing and flossing to avoid stains setting in.
Consider any cosmetic dentistry you have
You might have crowns, veneers or other cosmetic dentistry treatments already fitted. When your teeth are whitened, these can suddenly cause a mismatch, so ask your dentist if it's possible to have them replaced after the whitening treatment. That way, all your teeth will look as bright and sparkling as they should, without any standing out.Share
10 August 2018
As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.