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How to get your teeth whitened

Given the availability of numerous teeth whitening products, people are able to get a set of whiter teeth without even having to visit the dentist. However, each whitening product is formulated differently and should be used with care. To play it safe, visit the dentist to have a routine check-up before you bleach your teeth. Ask your dentist if you are an ideal candidate for teeth whitening and find out which product is suitable for you.

Options for teeth whitening

Most products that whiten your teeth contain hydrogen peroxide in varying amounts. These products offer immediate results and help you to obtain a brighter smile. Products like teeth whitening strips, paint-on whiteners, teeth whitening trays, and whitening kits can be used at home. At home, whitening kits are convenient and work effectively, but they don’t leave you with professional results. Conversely, in-surgery teeth whitening procedures give you instant results and leave you with teeth that look noticeably whiter.

Brightening your teeth

Before you brighten your smile, visit your dentist to get rid of superficial stains. If you intend to use home whitening products, follow the instructions that come on the package and contact your dentist if you’re in doubt. The dentine, which is the layer of the tooth that lies just beneath the enamel, is the one that needs to be whitened. Once you allow the hydrogen peroxide to act on the dentine, your teeth will appear whiter in colour.

Laser teeth whitening

This form of whitening is generally performed at the dentist’s clinic. The dentist will first protect your gums and lips by applying a cream. This cream is then solidified with the use of a curing light. Once this is done, the dentist will apply a whitening gel to your teeth and use a laser light to speed up the teeth whitening process. Most dentists use a special UV light or a LED light to accelerate tooth whitening. The gel is left to act on the dentine for about 15 minutes, after which it’s wiped off. The gel is then reapplied once again followed by the use of the laser light. The entire process may last for nearly two hours as the gel will be removed and reapplied at least three to four times.

Teeth whitening: do's and don’ts

Avoid whitening your teeth before visiting the dentist. Whitening products may not be ideal for pregnant women or those suffering from tooth sensitivity, so a visit to the dentist can help you to clear your doubts. Lastly, have realistic expectations about the outcome of tooth whitening and avoid consuming a lot of caffeine or alcohol as this can stain the enamel of your teeth.

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