Teeth Whitening.

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Teeth Whitening

Your local drugstore shelves are full of teeth whitening products, from strips to rinses and even chewing gum that claims to whiten. If this is proof of anything, it’s that most of us are in search of a whiter brighter smile. Whiter teeth are more achievable and more affordable than ever before, with some dentists offering take-home solutions.

Over-The-Counter or Clinical Strength?

If you are considering purchasing a whitening product for your smile, we recommend speaking to your dentist before making a decision about what product is best for you. Many dentists see patients arrive at their clinic for teeth whitening after having spent their hard-earned money trying drugstore products that didn’t produce the result they were looking for. Your dentist can look at the shade of your teeth and provide a whitening recommendation, since not all discolouration will respond to bleaching.

Get a Dazzling Smile At Morrison Centre

We look forward to providing you with quality dental care in Fort McMurray & surrounding area to ensure you have a healthy and happy smile for life! Please give us a call @ 780-743-3570 or request an appointment online.
All services performed by a general dentist.

Greying Teeth

If you’ve had a root canal completed on one of your front teeth and are finding that the tooth is turning a different shade than the rest of your natural teeth, you could be throwing your cash in the trash by opting for standard whitening products. That’s because this condition typically indicates that the tooth is showing discolouration that must be treated from the inside. Whitening strips and other over-the-counter solutions risk whitening all of your teeth except the one you’re most concerned about, worsening the esthetic of your smile.

In these situations, your dentist will likely use a whitening solution in the inner chamber of your tooth rather than the outside. This is achieved by drilling a small hole on the back side of your tooth and filling the inner chamber with whitening solution. This solution would be left to act upon the tooth for a predetermined time period, typically no more than two days, before being cleansed and sealed.

While whitening solutions may provide the effect you’re in search of, some patients may prefer to discuss other more lasting solutions for tooth discolouration such as bonding or a veneer.

How Does it Work?

Teeth whitening was discovered by accident while it was being used as an antiseptic to treat gum disease, and since then it has been reliably and safely used on patients who want to lighten the shade of the teeth visible when smiling. Teeth whitening products rely on peroxide to produce their desired effect. Peroxide has the ability to ‘swim’ through the channels of the semi-transparent enamel on the surface of the teeth in order to whiten the visible layer of dentin inside.

While all dental whitening solutions use the same active ingredient, they are not all the same. While over-the-counter products contain a small amount of active ingredient, dentists have access to stronger concentrations. That means that having your teeth whitened at your dentist’s office once may have the effect of several treatments performed at home using drugstore products.

Other Considerations

Peroxide has the effect of whitening the dentin inside the tooth as well as dehydrating it slightly. When dentin is dehydrated, it contracts slightly, which can put pressure on the nerve of the tooth. For some patients, this dehydration results in soreness and sensitivity in the teeth until it rehydrates. Peroxide may also cause discomfort of the gums due to a slight chemical burn when strips are placed over them. Your dentist is equipped with products for providing a protective barrier over your gums during whitening in order to avoid this, and even has rehydrating solutions on hand to rehydrate and relieve the teeth after the whitening treatment is complete. For these reasons, we think that clinical whitening treatments offer significantly more value for your investment over drugstore products.

Supporting Whiter Teeth

While whitening treatments are an effective means of whitening the teeth, it should be noted that discolouration due to nutritional and lifestyle habits will reoccur if changes are not made to support maintenance of the lighter shade.

Smoking, Eating & Drinking

It goes almost without saying that smoking is a habit that will reliably discolour teeth. Toxins contained in the smoke envelop the teeth in a toxic fog that clings to the surface and results in yellowing of the teeth with every draw. If cigarettes can discolour the teeth this way, imagine what it’s doing to the lungs.

Your dentist isn’t just interested in supporting the health of your teeth, they are interested in helping you achieve systemic health as well. If you have a smoking habit that you are struggling to quit, speak to your dentist about what medications are available to help support you in your mission to achieve whiter teeth and a healthier you.

The foods that you eat and drink have an impact on the shade of your teeth, so if you are eating a diet high in simple sugars you are likely to have more acid present in the mouth. Over time, plaque and tartar can accumulate on the teeth. Tartar is readily stained, so coffee and red wine are likely to darken these deposits and the overall appearance of the teeth. A diet high in healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables, and low in sugar will support your whitening efforts and keep your smile looking bright and healthy.

For more information about this and other services offered by our general dentists, contact our clinic today.

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