How to get a whiter, brighter smile

Oct, 31, 2016

Do you want a whiter, brighter smile before your formal event?

10 Teeth Whitening Questions Answered with Dr Maddison

 

1.  Why should I get my teeth whitened?

If you want a beautiful bright smile for a special upcoming event such as your formal, birthday or job interview, professional tooth whitening is an effective, simple and affordable option. Natural looking bright, white teeth can significantly improve your smile, boost your confidence and enhance your self-esteem. Tooth whitening is the use of bleaching agents to lighten the colour of your teeth. The normal colour of tooth enamel (the outer surface of each tooth) varies, with most teeth ranging from off-white to light yellow.

 

2.  Are all teeth susceptible to whitening?

The first step in deciding whether or not to whiten your teeth should always begin with a dental examination to determine the cause of the tooth discoloration. We need to talk to you about the appearance of your teeth and particular aspects of your smile you might wish to change. During the examination your dentist may find the need for a particular treatment, before or even instead of tooth bleaching. For example teeth may be discoloured due to various factors such as:

  • Surface stains due to lifestyle factors (For example coffee and tea)
  • Poor oral hygiene due to irregular flossing and brushing
  • Certain medications
  • Dental problems such as tooth decay, tooth injuries, thin enamel, the accumulation of plaque and calculus, old fillings
  • Age

It is important to understand that teeth whitening will not be successful in areas where there are existing fillings, onlays, inlays or crowns. Teeth discoloured by surface stains and age usually respond best to whitening treatment.

 

3.  What are the different professional treatments used to whiten teeth?

1300SMILES dentists offer three procedures; in-chair tooth whitening, take-home whitening kits and internal bleaching of a root-filled tooth.

  • In-chair light-activated tooth whitening is a procedure which will produce fast, immediate results.  Patients can expect to achieve up to 8 shades whiter within a 1-2 hour appointment. Your dentist may recommend custom made bleaching trays to maintain optimal results at home.
  • Take home tooth whitening kits are used to whiten your teeth gradually over a 2-4 week period. There are numerous bleaching gels which can be used depending on which best serve your particular needs (for example 30 minute day time bleaching gels verse 4-6 hourly night whitening gels).
  • Internal bleaching can be recommended for a tooth that has discoloured after root canal treatment. Your dentist will place a small amount of the bleaching product into the tooth itself. Usually the product is left alone for approximately 1 week. When the treatment is complete your dentist will remove the bleaching product and seal the hole with a permanent filling. This procedure may have to be done again to achieve desired results.

 

4.  What age can I start to bleach my teeth?

Professional take-home whitening kits are recommended for younger adults. However, your dentist will discuss the best treatment for you depending on factors including age, dental history, the cause of your tooth discolouration and the degree of discolouration. Sometimes the dentist may suggest a combination of treatments.

 

5.  What about over-the-counter and DIY whitening kits?

Buying a cheap product online or from the supermarket can be harmful to your oral health. These products can cause gum irritation and damage to the enamel on your teeth. Even natural ingredients or products found in your home (such as lemon juice or baking soda) are too acidic and abrasive and will cause significant damage.

 

6.  If my teeth do become sensitive during the whitening process, is there anything I can do about it?

Yes of course there is! The most common side effect is tooth sensitivity to hot and cold. With the help of certain toothpastes and professionally purchased products (such as tooth mousse etc) this will help you manage tooth sensitivity during and after the bleaching process. It is important to remember to consult a dentist beforehand and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to minimise any side effects.

 

7.  What can I do to make the results last as long as possible?

Remember to attend regular dental check-up appointments and maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine at home.  Avoiding beverages that stain your teeth such as certain alcoholic beverages, tea and coffee etc. You can also consider a bleaching touch-up once a year at home or at your dental clinic. Your dentist can advise you how to best maintain your results.

 

8.  How much does teeth whitening cost?

The cost of professional tooth whitening can vary between dental practices depending on the number of treatments required, how stained or discoloured your teeth are, and the specific whitening option your dentist recommends.

1300SMILES is currently offering take-home teeth whitening kits between $150 – $199.

 

9.  Is teeth whitening covered under my health fund?

Unfortunately it’s hard to say, all health funds are different! Some health funds may cover partial costs for a tooth whitening treatment. It is recommended that you phone your nearest 1300SMILES dental clinic to obtain the correct item codes for the procedure before you contact your health fund.

 

10.  How do I book in for a consultation or a dental check-up?

It’s as easy as making a simple phone call! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.  At 1300SMILES we care about your smile.

 

Dr Madisson Griffiths

Phone: (07) 4775 6655

Address: 49 Fulham Road, Pimlico, Townsville, QLD

Email: fulhamroad@1300SMILES.com.au