Teeth naturally darken with age and their appearance can be also affected by the accumulation of surface stains acquired from consumption of certain foods or drinks or using tobacco.
Although teeth are not naturally meant to be completely white, a lot of people want to have a brighter smile. Responding to this desire, a wide range of “whitening” options has become available to consumers. These products fall into two main categories: Surface whiteners and bleaches.
These products use special abrasives to improve the product’s ability to remove surface stains. Most products in this category are in the category of toothpastes. Because the special abrasives in these whitening products are often only finer versions of what is used in regular toothpastes, they are unlikely to cause excessive tooth wear. However, the effectiveness of these products is limited to surface stains and should not be used as a substitute for professional cleaning which is meant to remove the calculus.
Activated Charcoal is one of the most popular products being advertised for teeth whitening. Activated charcoal in toothpaste may help remove surface stains on your teeth. Charcoal is mildly abrasive and is also able to absorb surface stains to some degree. However there is no evidence that it has any effect on stains below a tooth’s enamel, or that it has a natural whitening effect.
Most bleaching products are peroxide-based which makes them capable of altering the colors of the teeth itself. However, not all tooth discolorations respond to tooth-bleaching treatments. Individuals considering tooth-bleaching should consult with a dentist to determine the cause of the discoloration and to determine whether a bleaching treatment will have the desired result. This is especially important for patients with fillings, root canal treatments, crowns and/or with extremely dark stains on the anterior teeth.
A number of different bleaching techniques and products are available to patients.
There are three methods for bleaching teeth. The method that will work best for you depends on the number of factors like the type and severity of discoloration.
The dentist may suggest you:
- Putting a special bleach on your stained teeth and using heat (or heat and light) to start the bleaching action; or
- Wearing a custom-made mouth trays filled with a special bleach for part of each day/night, or
- Using a ready to use whitening kit which can be purchased from dental offices only.
- Bleaching should be done only under a dentist’s care. In office teeth whitening systems like ZOOM can safely give you a brighter smile if you atre eligible for them.
Home-use tooth-bleaching systems are available to the general public, either from a dentist or from various retail outlets. Clinical studies support the safety and effectiveness of home-use bleaching gels when used appropriately and after consulting with your dentist. Using a home whitening kit without consulting your dentist can cause hypersensitivity and damage your teeth. If you have active dental cavities, it is not recommended to get teeth whitening. Tooth sensitivity and irritation to soft tissues can occur during bleaching treatment.
At Trillium Smile Dentistry, we provide different methods of teeth whitening. We provide complimentary consultations for new patients looking for teeth whitening and make sure you choose the right option.