If you are looking to transform your smile then you may be considering tooth whitening treatments. Our Richmond dentists discuss professional teeth whitening and how a shade guide can help determine how bright you want to go.
Teeth Whitening To Brighten Your Smile
Our teeth, like everything else, change over time, especially in terms of brightness. Our teeth may become discoloured and darker over time due to general wear and tear, lifestyle factors such as regular tobacco use or consumption of dark-coloured beverages such as soda, coffee, or red wine, as well as some medications.
Fortunately, there are a few tried and true professional tooth whitening options that can provide you with long-lasting results. Below, we'll go over how a tooth-whitening shade guide can help you choose the best colour for your smile.
What To Expect At Your First Visit
To begin the tooth whitening process, your dentist will assess the shade of your smile using a shade guide.
Your dentist will compare your current tooth colour to the shade guide and then work backwards to determine what shade you want your teeth to be after treatment. When deciding on your tooth-whitening goals, consider the following:
- Existing stains on your teeth - Darkly coloured or grey can be hard to remove. Whitening may make these stains seem more prominent.
- Crowns and fillings - Any type of artificial restoration will not respond to whitening treatment. You should choose a colour that will help these restorations blend in.
- Your eyes - Your teeth should be a similar shade of white to the whites of your eyes. This helps you maintain a natural-looking smile.
Usually, your dentist will advise you to have teeth that look as natural as possible. Even though most teeth-whitening treatments can lighten your teeth by two to seven or eight shades, just one or two of those shades can frequently make a noticeable difference in how your smile looks.
When whitening your teeth, it is best to proceed gradually, as with most things. The upside is that you can return for additional whitening if you decide down the road that you would like your teeth to be whiter.
Is There More Than One Tooth Whitening Option?
If you decide to whiten your teeth at home, hydrogen peroxide is typically the whitening agent. When oxygen interacts with tooth enamel and the active ingredient degrades, the teeth become whiter. To allow you to whiten your teeth whenever it is convenient for you, the majority of dental offices offer both in-office professional teeth whitening procedures and take-home kits.
Tooth Whitening At Your Dental Office
Your dentist will perform in-office teeth whitening. Because your dentist can safely apply a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide than you can at home, in-office treatments are typically the most efficient and effective.
To protect your gums from the whitening agent, your dentist will first place a shield over them. The solution will then be applied to your teeth using a custom tray resembling a mouthguard. After the solution has been applied, your dentist will apply a special light to your teeth to expedite the procedure.
Take Home Tooth Whitening Trays
Many dental offices also offer take-home kits and detailed instructions to safely complete teeth whitening while in your home.
Take-home kits include custom whitening trays that will be used to keep the whitening solution on your teeth. These trays are typically worn for a portion of each day for two weeks.