Microsoft word - tooth whitening smilecraft 6
Tooth whitening can be a highly effective, yet very simple way, of lightening the colour of teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a colour change, but lightens the existing colour.
In a live tooth the dentist applies the whitening product using a specially made tray which fits into the mouth like a gum shield. The active ingredient in the product is normally hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
Whitening depends on the amount of lightening that you desire and the original shade of your teeth.
If the tooth has been root treated, a different “in-and-out” bleaching technique is used.
If your teeth are quite dark or very yellow/ grey/ tetracycline stained it will take longer to bleach the teeth.
In both cases, the procedure needs to be repeated until
The darker your teeth, the longer your teeth will take to
get lighter. Tetracycline stained teeth can take 6 months or up to one year to bleach the teeth. Some teeth can whiten after one month.
If you cannot wear the trays for a few days because of
First of all you will need to visit your dentist. Your dentist
your hectic schedule, it does not matter. Bleach your
will need to make a bleaching tray, which is a bit like a
thin transparent mouthguard, and will need to take impressions for this at the first appointment. Once your
dentist has checked the fit of your bleaching trays he/she
will demonstrate how to correctly place the gel in the trays before seating them and you will continue the
Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour
treatment at home. This will mean applying the
varies, so do our teeth. Some teeth have a yellowish
bleaching gel regularly over 2-4 weeks for 2-3 hours at a
tinge, some are more beige – very few are actually
time. It is very important to remove all the excess
‘white’. Teeth also yellow with age, can become stained
material around the gums or the palate prior to sleeping
on the surface by food and drinks such as tea, coffee,
with the trays. We check your bleaching progress
red wine, blackcurrant and cola. Calculus (tartar) can
fortnightly during the period you are using the bleaching
also affect the colour of the teeth. Some people may
have staining inside their teeth. Intrinsic stain can be caused by certain antibiotics taken during tooth development, or tiny cracks in the teeth, which can allow stain to be absorbed.
Treatment results may vary depending on the original shade of the teeth. Teeth will tend to darken slightly over time. The effect lasts for around 1 to 3 years, although
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sometimes it can last longer. Some people find that their
Whitening toothpaste may also help to keep up the
teeth are sensitive for the first few days after treatment,
appearance, once teeth have been professionally
WHAT ABOUT BEAUTY SALONS & HOME KITS?
These days there is plenty of choice when it comes to
Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive
whitening. You can even have a procedure carried out at
to cold during or after the treatment. Others report
some beauty salons and hairdressers! You will pay less,
discomfort in the gums, a sore throat or white patches on
but you really will get what you pay for. It is vital that your
the gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary
teeth and gums are healthy before any procedure of this
and should disappear within a few days of the treatment
nature is carried out as off-the-shelf/amateur options can
lead to gum erosion, damage and loss of tooth enamel and structure, and extreme pain sensitivity. Some of your
teeth may be dark as they are dead and they require other treatment prior to whitening! The only person you
Wearing Your Bleaching Tray:
Home bleaching will
should really trust to give this assessment and any
only be effective if you conscientiously wear the
bleaching tray for the prescribed number of hours per day.
Over-the-counter kits are not recommended as they contain only a small amount of bleaching agent which
makes the product less effective. Some also contain mild acids, while others are abrasive. Although these
Sensitivity of teeth is the most common side effect of
products are cheaper, whitening is a complicated
bleaching. If you are experiencing any sensitivity you
treatment procedure and should only be carried out by a
should stop bleaching your teeth for a few days. You can
dentist after a thorough examination and assessment of
resume after about 3-4 days. If your teeth become ultra-
your teeth. It is very important to follow the instructions
sensitive you can place sensitive toothpaste into the
your dentist gives you, and to make sure that you go for
bleaching trays for an hour a day. That will usually stop
the sensitivity. Alternatively you can rub the de-sensitising toothpaste into the gum margins with your
finger 5 times per day for a few days. If you are at all concerned, please call the practice.
Whitening can only lighten your existing tooth colour. For a change to specific chosen shade veneering is another
option. Whitening only works on natural teeth. It will not
work on any type of 'false’ teeth. This includes dentures, crowns and veneers. Stained tooth coloured fillings,
If the teeth have white spots on them before bleaching,
veneers, crowns and dentures may need replacing.
these spots will appear whiter during the first few days,
however the contrast between the spots and the rest of the tooth will be less and eventually they will not be
noticeable. Sometimes the dentist can do a special procedure called “Microabrasion” for you where the white
There are now several whitening toothpastes you can
spots can be more permanently removed. Ask your
buy. Although they do not affect the natural colour of the
dentist about the procedure if you are concerned about
tooth, they may be effective at removing staining and
therefore improving the overall appearance of the tooth.
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You may notice new white spots occurring on the teeth
while you are undertaking the bleaching treatment. These white spots were already present on the teeth
Normally the new white colour of your teeth keeps quite
before bleaching. As the teeth become lighter they
well. The effect is dependent on what has caused the
become more visible. Do not worry. As the whole tooth
teeth to discolour in the first place. If you drink lots of tea,
itself becomes lighter these spots will fade. You may
coffee, red wine, blackcurrant and cola the effect may
notice these white spots immediately after a bleaching
darken slightly. Some patients do a top up treatment
after 18 months. Some patients do not need to.
Some teeth may appear banded with lighter/ whiter
areas. Again these bandings are originally present on the tooth. As the tooth is dark these bandings are not
Safety studies have shown that bleaching teeth using the
obvious. As the tooth becomes lighter, the lighter parts of
dentist prescribed home bleaching technique is perfectly
the tooth will lighten first followed by the darker banded
safe on the teeth, cheeks, gum and tissue of the mouth.
area. After a week or so these will not be noticeable any more.
There are problems with the bleaching kits that are purchased over the counter. Although they are
inexpensive, they normally contain an acid rinse, which can damage the teeth or thin down the enamel of the teeth. This acid rinse can be extremely harmful to the
Normally the teeth feel very clean after the bleaching
teeth. There was a case where a patient purchased the
procedure. The bleaching materials also have an indirect
kit over the counter, bleached the teeth. The teeth went
effect on the gums in helping them to heal or improving
darker and the patient continued using the treatment.
the health of the gums. This is how the technique was
The darkening of teeth occurred because the acid rinse
invented as it was first used to heal gum irritation during
had worn the enamel away and the darker shade was in
It is not, however, advisable to bleach your teeth if you smoke. It is best to stop smoking for at least 3 weeks before commencing the bleaching procedure. Smoking
Your smile will appear brighter as a bonus. It is very
causes the teeth to become darker anyway and the
rare, but sometimes the teeth do not lighten at all. If this
happens and you are wearing the bleaching trays as recommended, we may need to try a different bleaching
The technique of Bleaching Teeth is not for everybody.
product or a slightly higher concentration of the bleaching
There are some situations where bleaching teeth is
material. Discuss this with your dentist.
contraindicated such as when the front teeth are already crowned or when there are very large fillings on the front
If you have white fillings in the front teeth that match the
teeth or the teeth are already excessively worn and there
existing shade of your teeth before you bleach your
teeth, they may not match the teeth afterwards. This is because your teeth can lighten, but the fillings do not lighten. When the desired colour has been achieved, the dentist can replace these fillings with a lighter shade of filling material to match the new shade of your teeth. Normally the dentist will wait 2-3 weeks before changing the fillings.
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