It’s no secret that the things we eat and drink slowly affect the overall appearance of our teeth. Acidic foods and beverages, such as certain fruits and juices, will wear away the enamel of teeth over time, reducing their original white appearance and slowly revealing the grey or yellow matter underneath. This also allows for other foods and beverages to more easily stain the teeth. Things like coffee, black tea, red wine, soy sauce, and sodas in particular will leave unsightly dark stains on the teeth. Whitening methods are available, but before you visit your local clinic specialising in cosmetic dentistry, you should make note of the condition of your teeth. In-office whitening solutions are much stronger than those available for at-home use.
This is because your dentist has the training and expertise necessary to safely handle solutions with higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. This also means that a single treatment can yield much higher results than what you can accomplish with home teeth whitening kits. However, the effectiveness of this cosmetic dentistry procedure is still greatly dependent on your overall oral health. For example, any restorative work that you have had done to your teeth will not be affected at all by the solution. This can present a problem, as many restorations are made to match the colour of your teeth, and will remain the colour that your teeth once were. This includes fillings, porcelain veneers, crowns, implants, and cosmetic bonding.
Your dental regimen both before and after having the procedure done is also incredibly important. Keeping on top of brushing and flossing, as well as attending regular cleanings, is a good practice for anyone. But when it comes to teeth whitening, the better shape your teeth are in before the procedure, the more likely you will be to attain your desired results. And in order to make those results–which are not permanent—last longer, you definitely should not slack off after it’s done.
Keeping up with a strong regimen is the best thing you can do to maintain your results. Of course, like any procedure, this branch of cosmetic dentistry isn’t for everyone. Your dentist may recommend different preliminary treatments before you begin, or may even suggest an alternate course of treatment all together. This is especially likely if you have particularly sensitive teeth and gums, or if you are pregnant or nursing. The effects of swallowed bleach on fetal development are not yet fully understood, and are best avoided. Teeth with exceedingly worn enamel may not show signs of improvement, and may in fact worsen. To find out more about teeth whitening and if it’s right for you, contact your local dental clinic.