A smile is one of the simplest gestures that we can make, but it can also be one of the biggest. A bright smile is considered a reflection of friendliness, honesty, happiness, and health.
An attractive smile can be beneficial in social situations, help attract a partner and also make you more confident and outgoing. We are bombarded with pictures of celebrities flashing mega-watt grins, which unfortunately makes many people feel self-conscious about their own smile. These people often try and smile without showing their teeth which can look unnatural and forced.
The enamel covering the teeth can become stained over time for a number of reasons, and as such, teeth whitening is considered to be one of the easiest and most economical ways of enhancing the appeal of your smile.
White teeth are universally considered more youthful largely due to the fact that infant/first teeth are almost always whiter than their adult counterparts.
Adult teeth can become stained or discolored for a number of reasons including:
Smoking – one of the biggest contributors to yellowed teeth!
Use of antibiotics as a child/teenager
Exposure to high levels of fluoride
Food/drink containing tannins such as oranges,
carrots, red wine, and coffee
Trauma to the tooth
Damage to nerve or blood vessels inside the root canal
Genetics – the thickness of the enamel covering your teeth is usually determined by genetics. Thinner enamel can often show the color of the dentin beneath it, giving the tooth a darker appearance.
Aging – our teeth naturally darken as we get older
There are dozens of products on the market that claim to be able to improve the whiteness of your smile without the need for you to visit your dentist. However, over the counter products are simply not able to provide the same strength of whitening as professional-grade treatments that your dentist is able to offer. Not only are the results usually only mediocre, but they also fade quicker and as such require regular treatments.
We highly recommend that you have the first treatment at the very least performed by a dentist who is qualified in providing successful teeth whitening procedures.
Teeth whitening is actually a very safe procedure and is highly unlikely to cause serious side effects. However, you may find that your gums and teeth are a little more sensitive for a short time after the procedure. Not enough is known about the effect of teeth whitening on unborn babies and as such, pregnant women should refrain from having their teeth whitened until after delivery.
Unfortunately, teeth whitening is not a one-off procedure. However, the speed with which the whiteness will fade will vary depending on a range of factors including whether or not you smoke and if you consume a lot of stain-causing foods and drinks. If you participate in these activities, you could see the whiteness beginning to fade as quickly as six weeks after your procedure. If you avoid stain-inducing activities and maintain a rigorous oral care regime, then you may not require another teeth whitening procedure for between six and twelve months after your initial treatment.