When you make the choice to begin professional teeth whitening treatment then you may be wondering what you can expect during your visit. Our Victoria dentists discuss the teeth whitening process and how a teeth whitening shade guide can help when planning your treatment.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Generally, as we age and use our bodies for longer, we experience changes, one of which can be in our teeth. Teeth may develop stains and become darker over time due to general wear and tear or lifestyle factors, such as the regular use of certain medications or the consumption of tobacco or dark-colored beverages, such as soda, coffee, or red wine.
Luckily, there are options available to you if you are thinking that you may want to brighten up your teeth. Below we explain a little more about how a teeth whitening shade guide can be used to help pick the optimal colour for your smile.
What to Expect During Your Teeth Whitening Consultation
To begin the teeth 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 from there to determine what shade you'd like your teeth to be after treatment. Here are some things you should think about when trying to decide on your whitening goals:
- Existing stains on your teeth - Stains that are darkly coloured or grey can be hard to remove. Whitening may make these stains seem more prominent.
- Crowns and fillings - Artificial restoration of any kind will not respond to whitening treatment. You will want to select a shade 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.
These guidelines will help you achieve a smile that is brighter while still appearing natural. Most teeth whitening procedures can make your teeth anywhere from two to seven or eight shades lighter, but often only two or three shades can make a significant difference in the appearance of your smile.
As with most things, it is better to start small and go bigger later and by whitening a little at first you can gauge how you feel before diving in and going brighter later on.
Options For Professional Teeth Whitening
Typically, hydrogen peroxide is the active component in take-home teeth whitening solutions. The teeth are whitened when oxygen interacts with tooth enamel and the active ingredient breaks down. Typically, dental offices offer both in-office professional teeth whitening treatments and take-home kits that allow you to whiten your teeth at your leisure.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Your Dental Office
In-office teeth whitening is done at your dental office. In-office treatments are typically the most efficient and effective because your dentist can safely apply a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide than you would be able to at home.
Your dentist will cover your gums with a shield to protect them from the whitening solution. The solution will then be applied to your teeth using a custom mouthguard-like tray. Once the solution has been applied to the teeth, the dentist will use a special light to expedite the process.
Professional Teeth Whitening Kits to Use at Home
Many dental offices also offer take-home kits along with detailed instructions to allow you to safely complete the teeth whitening process while in your own home.
Take-home kits feature custom whitening trays which will be used to hold the whitening solution on your teeth. These trays are typically worn for a period of time each day for two weeks.