What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening involves bleaching stained teeth to restore them to their natural, pearly appearance. This is achieved by using whitening jells containing substances such as hydrogen peroxide and carbomide peroxide that react with the teeth’s enamel causing oxidisation.
Can everyone have teeth whitening treatment? Do results vary from person to person?
Teeth whitening is a treatment option that we prefer for young and adult patients who have healthy mouths. If not, this can cause sensitivity to develop, and dentists therefore will first treat any other problems such as cavities and gum complaints beforehand.
whitening is especially successful on patients with yellowed teeth. The amount of whitening depends on the level of staining and varies from patient to patient. You should thus discuss your expectations with your dentist beforehand.
What teeth whitening methods are available?
There are 2 teeth whitening methods, the first of which are home kits that can be used at home while the second are known as in-office which can only be used on patients by dentists.
Home Kit Steps
- Your dentist takes your teeth’s measurements and has silicone moulds made to measure.
- The patient places the bleaching agent inside the moulds and places them on the teeth. These should stay in place as per your dentist’s recommendation, and this usually is at least 30 minutes to 2 hours every day.
- Treatment lasts 1-2 weeks, on average.
- The bleaching agent is applied by your dentist.
- The dentist then applied a light source (LED, plasma) over the teeth, causing a chemical reaction (oxidisation).
Light and medium grades of staining can be removed in 2, 1 hour sessions, but heavier grades of staining may also require the use of home kits, including those that can be applied with toothbrushes.
Can my teeth become stained again after teeth whitening? How long will my teeth remain white?
Your teeth will be whiter after treatment with the degree of whitening after the first session being an indicator of how long your teeth will remain white. Other important factors pertain to the patient’s own lifestyle, such as the consumption of tea, coffee, coloured drinks, smoking and general oral hygiene. ‘Top-up’ whitening can be performed 1-2 times per year for especially stained teeth. However, the results of these touch-ups will not last as long as the original whitening treatment.
After the teeth whitening treatment, you can use whitening toothpaste and special toothbrushes known as whitening pens as per your dentist’