Many patients want to whiten their teeth. Thankfully, there are various options available.
Professional tooth whitening, also called bleaching, is a simple and non-invasive way to lighten the shade of the tooth enamel. You’ll also find over-the-counter products. However, they can only do so much and may not be approved by the Canadian Dental Association.
Before you proceed, your dentist will first check whether you’re a good candidate for bleaching. Some types of stains may be difficult to remove, and your dentist may recommend another option like veneers.
Note, too, that tooth whitening only works on the natural tooth. Consider replacing old crowns or fillings before starting bleaching so you can achieve an even tooth colour. Your dentist will see to it that your new dental work is colour-matched to the new shade of your natural teeth.
Tooth whitening requires touch-ups since it’s not permanent. You may need to come back once every few years to maintain your white smile.
Here are the most common tooth whitening systems available at the dental office:
- Take-home Kits. At-home tooth whitening options are available in gel form. The gel is applied in a mouthguard that’s custom-made for you. You’ll wear the mouthguard or trays twice during the day, for about 30 minutes or while you sleep at night. It can take several weeks before the desired results are achieved. It depends on the severity of the staining and the shade you’re looking to achieve.
- In-Office Tooth Whitening. If you want faster results, this is the route you may want to consider. It can take several visits to the dental office, but each one will last for only 30 to 60 minutes. The bleaching solution will be applied to your teeth while your gums are covered for protection. Your dentist may use a special light during the process.
You may feel tooth sensitivity afterward but this should resolve within a week. This method can be very effective.