There are many options available to improve the appearance of your smile! The first step is to have a full check up so we can assess your concerns, and a thorough clean to remove surface stains.
Whitening is one option. The two main types of tooth whitening are “take home” or “in office” procedures.
“Take Home” Whitening
After the consultation appointment, impressions are taken of your teeth to make customised trays that fit snugly around each tooth. At the next appointment, the trays are tried in your mouth and adjusted if required. Your dentist will go through some instructions and answer any questions.
Most people wear the trays with the whitening gel inside every night and see results in about 2 weeks. If you find the trays uncomfortable to wear overnight, you can wear it for 4-6 hours any time, eg after dinner until bed time.
“In Office” Whitening
At Brighter Smiles, we include a “Take Home” kit with our “In Office” Whitening, for longer term maintenance. After the consultation appointment, impressions are taken of your teeth to make the customised trays.
At the second appointment, the teeth are isolated with a special gum barrier, desensitised and whitening gel applied. The gel is activated with a Sapphire light for two 15 minute sessions. The results can be seen immediately, but to stabilise the effect we do suggest wearing the nightly trays for a week after.
What are the side effects?
Whitening is a very safe procedure that does not damage the teeth. The main possible risks are gum irritation and sensitivity, and both are reversible after about a week. Fillings and crowns do not whiten, and some types of discolouration do not respond to whitening, so it is important to discuss with your dentist about what results to expect.
What about the kits I see at the supermarkets/chemists?
There is a variety of whitening products on the market, and not all use effective ingredients. However, the biggest disadvantage of the off-the-shelf kits is that they are not designed to fit around your individual teeth, so the material does not sit evenly on the surface. There can be increased risk of gum irritation where the material leaks.
What if my teeth get very sensitive?
Make sure you use a soft toothbrush and sensitive toothpaste, and use a desensitising ToothMousse every other night in the tray. It may just take a little longer to get the final result.
How long does it last?
Everybody is different, and it depends on your diet as well. Avoiding staining foods like curry, tomato-based sauces, red wine, tea/coffee and smoking will help. Generally a top-up take home whitening kit is required every 6-12 months.