Make sure you have an attractive and radiant smile by caring for your tooth colour with the assistance of professional dental support.
Young people have lighter, shinier teeth and a truly bright smile. Over the years, teeth become darker despite good personal and professional oral hygiene.
Over time, teeth become discoloured or darker for the following reasons:
- accumulation of natural and artificial colourings from food and beverages
- poor personal oral hygiene
- avoidance of professional oral hygiene
- aging of teeth
External tooth staining occurs when pigmented residue from food and drink get trapped in plaque on tooth surfaces. External tooth stains can be removed with professional dental cleaning.
It is important to know that without the use of active oxygen, teeth can never be as bright and shiny as they used to be. This is due to internal staining resulting from the presence of cracks in the enamel, through which dyes penetrate the enamel where they accumulate over the years.
Internal stains can be removed from tooth enamel by means of active oxygen:
- by bleaching in the dental office using 6% and 32% hydrogen peroxide
- by bleaching at home using 10% and 16% carbamide peroxide
In-office teeth whitening
In-office teeth whitening takes 1- 2 hours. The number of visits depends on the individual case. Often, you may only need one visit to achieve an extremely good result, with a smile that is at least four shades brighter. In order to get the best possible results, three visits are required over a period of two months.
The procedure is performed by applying a medical teeth-whitening gel containing 32% hydrogen peroxide to the outer surfaces of the teeth. The gel is activated with a special lamp producing light of a certain wavelength. Active oxygen breaks away stain molecules in tooth enamel. Active oxygen has no harmful effect on dental enamel which therefore remains unchanged.
Only the best systems can activate the gel without drying out the enamel which contains 4% water. Due to the short half-life of hydrogen peroxide decomposition into active oxygen and water, the whitening gel should be reapplied to the teeth every 15 minutes.
The results of internal tooth bleaching are visible immediately after the gel is removed. You can expect to see the final tooth shade within two weeks after the whitening treatment.
At-home teeth whitening
At-home teeth whitening is performed by using a brush, with which bleaching gel is applied to the outer surfaces of teeth, and a tray. The bleaching gel is applied with the tray that is custom made to fit your teeth with precision.
Trays are inserted into the mouth for a few hours during the day or for several hours overnight. The bleaching gel for at-home whitening contains 16% or 10% carbamide peroxide which is safe to use without dentist supervision.
At-home whitening kits should be used for at least 14 days straight in order to obtain some visible results, and it is crucially important that all the instructions are strictly followed.
Which teeth whitening method is the best?
The best method of teeth whitening is a combination of both methods and daily use of whitening toothpastes.
The maximum effect is provided with in-office bleaching. To maintain the new tooth shade, at-home teeth whitening should be performed by using trays and a bleaching gel. For day-to-day maintenance of the tooth colour and for enamel restoration, it is recommended to use a dye-free whitening toothpaste containing 30% xylitol, 15% hydroxyapatite, and 1100ppm fluoride.
What is the best way to take care of your natural tooth colour?
Below are some useful tips that will help maintain your teeth’s natural colour:
- avoid the consumption of food and beverages containing artificial colorants
- stop smoking
- maintain good personal oral hygiene
- seek regular professional oral hygiene treatments
- use safe at-home whitening gels
- get professional (in-office) teeth whitening
- check your teeth colour regularly by means of special dental-colour measuring instruments