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 makes many people feel self-conscious about their own smile. These people often try and smile without showing their teeth which can look unnatural and forced.
The enamel covering the teeth can become stained over time for a number of reasons, and as such, teeth whitening is considered to be one of the easiest and most economical ways of enhancing the appeal of your smile.
White teeth are universally considered more youthful largely due to the fact that infant/first teeth are almost always whiter than their adult counterparts.
Adult teeth can become stained or discolored for a number of reasons including:
Smoking – one of the biggest contributors to yellowed teeth!
Use of antibiotics as a child/teenager
Exposure to high levels of fluoride
Food/drink containing tannins such as oranges,
carrots, red wine, and coffee
Trauma to the tooth
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
There are dozens of products on the market that claim to be able to improve the whiteness of your smile without the need for you to visit your 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 as such require regular treatments.
We highly recommend that you have the first treatment at the very least performed by a dentist who is qualified in providing successful teeth whitening procedures.
Dental whitening is a painless procedure, but one that may require several visits to your dentist in order to achieve the final color that you are aiming for. 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 perform a thorough examination to ensure that no other treatment is required ahead of the whitening process, and may 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 clean 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.