Teeth can become discoloured due to a variety of health and lifestyle factors. Our Halifax dentists provide insights and advice on how you can achieve a whiter smile, and how to keep it that way.
Teeth Whitening Options
There are different teeth-whitening options that your Halifax dentists will explain below. These include laser teeth whitening, custom bleaching trays, and over-the-counter treatments.
Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser Teeth Whitening at a dentist's office can usually be completed in a single appointment but may require further appointments to achieve the desired results.
Your dentist will start by applying a barrier over your gums, which will protect them from the whitening solution. Next, your dentist will apply the solution to your teeth with a syringe and use a small laser to activate the formula. The compound will foam as it lifts the stains from your teeth.
Once your teeth have been whitened, your dentist will let the solution sit for a predetermined amount of time before removing it with a small vacuum tool. These steps will be repeated 2-3 times (in most cases) until the desired shade is achieved.
Custom Bleaching Trays
Take-home teeth whitening trays allow you to whiten your teeth over a longer period of time to make the change less sudden to outside observers. The treatment has the advantage of being done in the comfort and flexibility of your own home. However, your dentist can also use custom trays to whiten your teeth with a stronger whitening solution in-office. In-office whitening treatments use a much higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Home treatments use about 5%, whereas in-office treatments usually use up to 43%.
To start, your dentist will create a custom mould of your teeth. This is sent to a lab to create your custom whitening trays. These custom trays are made to fit your teeth as exactly as possible and provide uniform coverage for the whitening gel. Your dentist will then set the tray firmly against your teeth, wiping off any excess gel, and keep the tray on your teeth anywhere from 30-60 minutes before removing it and cleaning your teeth.
Alternatively, the dentist will provide you with the necessary instructions and materials to use the trays at home.
While over-the-counter treatments are affordable and easy to use, they might not be as effective as professional treatments. Some common over-the-counter treatments available at your local drugstore include whitening strips, special toothpaste, and take-home whitening trays. We recommend caution when buying teeth whitening kits online because they may come from other countries that do not necessarily have the same standards for health and safety as Canada.
Maintaining Your Teeth Whitening Results
There are a variety of ways to maintain your whitened teeth, including watching your diet, brushing & flossing, and touch-ups.
Whenever possible, avoid foods and beverages that may stain your teeth. Things like coffee, tea, certain spices (like curry), and foods like chocolate and dark fruit might discolour and stain your teeth over time.
Brushing & Flossing
A good oral hygiene routine can help keep your smile bright. Brushing and flossing remove food and drink residue from your teeth that may otherwise stain them, and thorough brushing and regular professional cleanings can help polish away surface stains.
Whitening Touch-Ups & Maintenance
You may find that in spite of your best efforts, your teeth might need a whitening touch-up. This is normal! Get in touch with your dentist to discuss your touch-up options.