At Thornton Dental, the most common question we get from our cosmetic dentistry patients is how they can make their teeth whiter.
Improving their smile is high on their priority list, and white teeth are a large part of having a great smile.
The good news for such patients is that teeth whitening in a dental office has become increasingly common, affordable, effective, and safe.
And in comparison to over the counter whitening products, or DIY products described on the internet, whitening products at Thornton Dental are significantly stronger, safer, and designed to allow maximum contact with your teeth, in order to reach a desirable shade in a quicker time.
As to your role, there are several things you can do to protect their colour.
Causes of discolouration
There are two categories of tooth staining:
- Extrinsic (or external) staining. Caused by poor oral hygiene, smoking, and heavy consumption of staining foods.
- Intrinsic (or internal) staining. Caused by trauma, excessive fluoride exposure while teeth are developing, or some kinds of medication.
Managing potential discolouration
Here are some specific causes and what you can do to avoid them.
Food and drinks
To prevent and manage:
- Rinse your mouth with water after consuming staining foods/drinks.
- Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production and wash away staining foods.
- Use abrasive toothpaste to remove superficial staining. Be careful, though, as abrasives can harm enamel
- Brush twice daily and floss once to reduce plaque-forming bacteria in your mouth.
- Have your teeth cleaned regularly at Thornton Dental – we recommend every six months. At these visits we can remove dental plaque/bacteria, calculus/hardened tartar and surface staining.
Yellowing due to age is natural and cannot be stopped, but it can be managed.
- Use a soft toothbrush and don’t “scrub” the tooth surface when you brush. Use a gentle circular motion that does not thin tooth enamel.
Intrinsic staining can result from trauma medication, or excessive fluoride exposure while teeth are developing.
- Avoid medications that stain teeth.
- Monitor fluoride intake.
- Wear a mouthguard or protective splint if you play sports or grind your teeth.
How we treat stained or discoloured teeth
So, how can you achieve whiter teeth? We’ve already mentioned the necessity of regular check-ups and cleans to maintaining white teeth, but we also offer various ways to increase tooth whiteness, including chemical whitening and cosmetic dentistry.
Thornton Dental offers three whitening solutions. In-chair whitening is almost instantaneous, while our at-home kits take about two weeks.
In-chair whitening uses whitening peroxide, activated by shining a special light, and is treatment is complete within two hours.
We also offer Zoom Teeth Whitening Solutions, which uses high strength peroxide activated by shining an LED light in a 1-hour treatment.
The results of these procedures can be maintained and enhance either byat-home whitening, or through additional bleaching procedures.
At-home whitening begins with upper and lower moulds of your teeth which are used to make custom-fitted bleaching trays.
Once you receive the trays you fill them with whitening gel daily, whenever convenient in your schedule, and apply them for the period of time we recommend.
This is repeated daily or nightly over a few weeks.
While at-home whitening might not seem as convenient as in-office whitening, it does have three advantages:
- It places you in control, allowing you to determine how white your teeth should be before moving on to maintenance.
- It is its own maintenance system – you can touch up your whitening whenever you wish.
- It allows sensitive patients to control their own whitening procedure.
Keep in mind that filings and other dental appliances do not respond to whitening and you need to be very careful to follow post-treatment recommendations, including avoiding smoking and pigmented foods and drinks.
What are the risks involved?
The primary risk is sensitivity, which increases most for those with gum recession, failing restorations, or cracks in their teeth.
There are gels and toothpaste available to deal with this and it should only last a day or so.
Porcelain veneers are wafer thin porcelain caps cemented onto the face of your front teeth to achieve a pleasing result.
They can be placed on one or all of your front teeth and work great for teeth with permanent stains, or teeth with discolouration and another cosmetic issue.
Why Choose Thornton Dental?
Our mission is to make dentistry affordable at the highest level of care.
- We focus on patient care
- Exceptional infection control
- Friendly, approachable and experienced team
- Relaxing and child-friendly environment
- Patient comfort, safety and satisfaction are our primary goals
- Customised care tailored to your specific needs
- High standards, Integrity, premium quality materials
- Pain management and anxiety control
Call us on (02) 4966 2996 or visit us at 9/1 Taylor Ave in Thornton.