If you look in the mirror, and the smile that looks back at you isn't as bright as you would like it to be, then you could consider investing in some tooth whitening treatment. Your local dentist will be able to explain exactly what is involved in tooth whitening and what the advantages can be for you. In general, tooth whitening often improves confidence because not only do you know that you look better, but you are more likely to want to smile at people as well, which increases trust and confidence with those you meet. Before starting the tooth whitening process, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of what is involved so that you can see why it could be the perfect treatment for your situation.
What does tooth whitening do?
Over time, teeth can lose their natural whiteness and become discoloured. While smoking is a common cause of discolouration there are many other reasons including ageing and the consumption of coffee, tea and other dark coloured liquids. Tooth whitening bleaches the outer surface of your teeth and helps them regain their original sparkle. While tooth whitening is an effective procedure, it is important to understand that it isn't a permanent fix and will need to be repeated at regular intervals to keep your teeth bright and white.
Preparing for tooth whitening
Before your dentist can begin a tooth whitening treatment, he will want to fix any outstanding dental problems you may have. In particular, he will want to fill any cavities to prevent the whitening solution penetrating the decayed area and reaching the inside of the tooth. Most dentists start tooth whitening by photographing your teeth so that they can monitor the improvement in brightness after each tooth whitening treatment. After taking the pictures, they will allow the dental hygienist to remove the bacteria other substances that may have built up on the outside of your teeth.
How is tooth whitening done?
There are various methods which your dentist could use to whiten your teeth. One of the most common involves a hydrogen peroxide gel which is applied straight onto the surface of your teeth. A laser is often used to activate this gel and help the bleaching to occur more rapidly. Depending on the severity of the stains on your teeth, you may require multiple tooth whitening treatments before your teeth achieve the shade of whiteness which you want. Your dentist will be able to tell you what results you can expect from the treatment and how many sessions may be needed.