Are you considering having your teeth whitened? There are a variety of teeth-whitening options, but not all of them are effective or even safe. Our Vancouver dentists can help you safely whiten your teeth.
How can I safely whiten my teeth?
At South Granville Dentistry, we get many questions from patients about how they can whiten their teeth safely and effectively. While teeth whitening treatments can help us to feel more self-confident with a whiter, brighter smile, not every option out there is safe. In this post, our dentists recommend ways to get the job done safely — and offer some advice on how to keep a sparkling white smile.
Ask your dentist for the best teeth whitening options
Our teeth gradually lose their natural whiteness as we age for a variety of reasons. Your dentist can perform a tooth colour analysis based on the current colour of your teeth, the cause of their discoloration, and your specific needs, and then recommend options for safely whitening your smile. Keep in mind that existing restorations may still be painted in their original hue.
Our dentists provide at-home teeth whitening services. You will usually have two appointments available. Impressions of your teeth will be taken during your initial appointment in order to create a customized whitening tray for you. You will be given your tray, whitening gel, and instructions on how to apply the gel at your second appointment.
After filling each tray with whitening gel, you will wear the trays in your mouth for 1 to 2 hours per day. Most bleaching systems produce results in 10 to 14 days. You may notice a change in the colour of your teeth in as little as four to six weeks.
Work with your dentist to avoid adverse side effects
Because each individual's teeth respond differently to teeth whitening, it is essential to consult with your dentist before, during, and after the procedure to reduce the risk of side effects. Gum irritation and tooth sensitivity are the most commonly reported adverse effects of teeth whitening. These side effects are typically temporary and disappear after teeth whitening. Consult a dentist if the irritation or sensitivity persists.
Avoid dark-coloured or acidic foods and drinks.
You recently spent money to whiten your teeth. The good news is that you can take measures to preserve the pristine condition of your teeth. The challenge for coffee and soda drinkers is to avoid consuming their favourite beverages immediately after whitening. Sports drinks, tea, red wine, and tomato juice can all dull the appearance of your new colour.
Furthermore, avoid highly acidic or brightly coloured foods such as strawberries, oranges, chocolate, and ketchup after your teeth whitening treatment because it takes time for saliva to form a natural protective coating around tooth surfaces.
Use teeth whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes to keep your smile bright
Toothpaste and mouthwashes available without a prescription can help you keep your newly whitened teeth sparkling. As part of your daily maintenance routine, you should brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes to remove stains.
Touch up your smile periodically
Two to three years, depending on your oral hygiene regimen and daily care for your smile. Even though discoloration can accumulate over time, it should never return to its original hue.
If you notice your teeth starting to darken again, our dentists recommend touch-ups — ask your dentist at your regular hygiene appointment for personalized advice.