A smile is one of the simplest gestures that we can make, but it can also be one of the biggest. A bright smile is considered a reflection of friendliness, honesty, happiness, and health.

An attractive smile can be beneficial in social situations, help attract a partner and also make you more confident and outgoing. We are bombarded with pictures of celebrities flashing mega-watt grins, which unfortunately cause many people to feel self-conscious about their own smile.

The enamel covering the teeth can become stained over time for a number of reasons. The fix for this is teeth whitening, which is considered to be one of the easiest and most economical ways of enhancing the appeal of your smile.

Reasons for tooth discoloration

White teeth are universally considered to be more youthful due to the fact that infant/first teeth are almost always whiter than their adult counterparts.

Adult teeth can become stained or discolored over time due to:

  • Smoking – one of the biggest contributors to yellowed teeth!

  • The use of antibiotics as a child/teenager

  • Exposure to high levels of fluoride

  • Food or drinks that contain tannins such as oranges,
    carrots, red wine, and coffee

  • Trauma to the tooth

  • Decay

  • Damage to nerve or blood vessels inside the root canal

  • Genetics – the thickness of the enamel covering your teeth is usually determined by genetics. Thinner enamel can often show the color of the dentin beneath it, giving the tooth a darker appearance.

  • Aging – our teeth naturally darken as we get older

Can’t I just use an over-the-counter teeth whitener?

There are dozens of products on the market that claim to be able to improve the whiteness of your smile without you needing to visit the dentist. However, over the counter products are simply not able to provide the same strength of whitening as professional-grade treatments that your dentist is able to offer. Not only are the results usually only mediocre, but they also fade quicker and usually require more treatments. 

We recommend that you at least have the first treatment performed by a dentist who is qualified in providing teeth whitening procedures. 

The in-office whitening procedure

Dental whitening is a painless procedure, but one that may require several visits to your dentist in order to achieve the final color results you desire. During your consultation visit, your dentist will likely photograph your teeth to provide a starting point for comparison so that he/she can effectively monitor the progress of your treatment. Your dentist will then perform a thorough examination to ensure that no other treatment is required ahead of the whitening process as well as ask you a number of questions to get to the cause of the discoloration.

Next, your dentist or dental hygienist will give your teeth a thorough cleaning to remove any residue or bacteria that may prevent the whitening process from working properly.

After this, it is time for the whitening to begin.

There are two main types of tooth whitening performed in most offices.