The shiny white sparkling teeth that you see on celebrities might not look natural in real life (and even on TV) but they definitely attract attention. Do you ever wonder what shade of white your teeth are and what shade of white you want them to be? A lot of patients ask us about it. We can do a shade test for you and find out what is achievable with whitening treatment.
Your teeth are exposed to substances every day that cause decay, fading, or darkening. Of course, good oral hygiene will help keep your teeth healthy and looking better for longer, but it’s also what you eat and drink that affects the state of your teeth.
Stains can attach themselves to the surface layer of your tooth or place themselves in the pores of the tooth enamel. This can be caused by overindulgence of coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco, as well as coloured foods and spices.
However, teeth also naturally change colour with age, if they have been damaged, or if root canal treatment has been done previously. These stains are intrinsic and affect the entire tooth rather than just the outer layer.
Professional teeth whitening
Teeth whitening, also known as bleaching, is a fast and effective way to bring the shine back into your teeth. It perfects your smile by whitening the natural intrinsic colour of the tooth. Here at Switch Dental we use the tray-based whitener Phillips Zoom Day White with 9.5% Hydrogen Peroxide. It’s a safe procedure and will give you the best result possible. Everybody’s teeth handle whitening differently, and some people may see results faster than others.
When you decide to have your teeth professionally whitened, we ask you to come in thee times. At your first session we will take impressions to produce custom-fit trays for your mouth, which are then sent to a dental lab. When your trays are ready, we will ensure they do fit perfectly and we will show you how to use them properly for maximum results during your second session.
For the next 10 to 14 days you will use the trays and whitening gel provided in the comfort of your own home. Due to the high concentration of the product, start with 15 minutes wear time twice a day. If no sensitivity occurs, proceed with regular wear time instructions of 30 minutes, twice a day. You may experience side effects including gum irritation or sensitivity to heat and cold, but this will go away soon after your treatment is finished.
While undertaking a whitening treatment it is ideal to avoid tea, coffee, red wine and any food or drink with a lot of colour until you are finished to avoid further staining. At your third and last session we will take another set of pictures to show you how much the shade of your teeth has improved.
Whitening is not permanent though! Over the next 2 years the colour will fade back to normal but the good news is you can maintain it by repeating the process.
If you don’t like the look of your teeth and are considering teeth whitening, please come and see us for a consultation to discuss whether this procedure is suitable for you. Existing fillings or crowns will not whiten, so you won’t get maximum results. Furthermore, if you have any of the following conditions it is absolutely vital that you consult with us first before considering teeth whitening: a history of gum disease, dental hypersensitivity, fillings on any of your front teeth, if you are pregnant or have ever had a reaction to hydrogen peroxide.
In addition, we highly suggest you talk to us before using any teeth whitening products, as misuse can penetrate cracks or cavities and cause irreversible damage to the tooth pulp and enamel as well as weaken any filling material you might have. Never use products for more than 14 days at a time and wait at least 3 months between treatments.