Surveys conducted into cosmetic dental care over the years have found a trend which seems to be ongoing to this day; the majority of dental patients in countries like America, the UK and Australia wish that their teeth were whiter.
As this trend has continued, more options have been put forward by dentists to help patients get the whiter smiles that they want, but when it comes to having your teeth whitened, what exactly is involved when you go to see your cosmetic dental team?
This article aims to explore why teeth whitening Macleod is as popular as ever, the options available to you through your dentist and the potential downside of using at-home remedies.
Why do people want whiter teeth?
It is because of Hollywood! Magazines and newspapers, as well as films, are full of glamorous celebrities with gleaming white teeth, which have now been denoted as a symbol of wealth and attractiveness.
When it comes to dental whitening, very few people want to aim for the phosphorescent smile of Hollywood stars and instead simply want to have their teeth look whiter and brighter by removing deeply set stains.
How to get whiter teeth with your dentist
There are traditionally 2 ways that your dental team will be able to whiten your teeth in surgery. The first is using bleach-based methods; this is usually suitable for people who have extrinsic staining or stains that have been caused by things such as diet, smoking or tannins. This type of dental whitening will need around 2 weeks to work and during the interim of the appointments with your dental team, you will need to put a custom-fitted tray into your mouth overnight and use a lighter version of the bleach used by your dentist, which they will provide for you.
The next way is using abrasion-based whitening. This is less common and is used for people who may have conditions such as fluorosis or issues with the whiteness of their teeth which are deeply rooted in illness or medications taken in childhood.
Prolonging the whiteness
When you have your whiter smile, there are many ways that you can prolong it. The first is to ensure that you maintain a rigorous dental hygiene regime to make certain that any plaque or initial staining is removed. You should also refrain from things like smoking, and drinking red wine and coffee and should aim to ensure that you are using the toothpaste and whitening gels that your dental team have provided for you post-whitening. It’s worth noting that most dental teams will be able to perform bleach-based whitening twice a year to help you prolong the brightness.
Whitening toothpaste and at-home kits
There has been something of a boom in recent years in at-home whitening kits with even porcelain veneers being available to buy from websites, which can technically whiten your teeth but are not custom fitted so may be useless!
When it comes to at-home whitening kits, they are simply not strong enough to remove the deep stains that many people want to have removed. This is because they do not contain a high level of hydrogen peroxide which is the active ingredient in bleach-based whitening kits in dental surgeries. For comparison, your dentist will use hydrogen peroxide bleach which is 60% and an at-home kit will contain no more than 3%. So, in simple terms, it’s not as powerful.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.