People face different types of oral issues from serious dental problems to aesthetic issues. Since the array of upper and lower teeth are one of the most distinguished and visible parts of the mouth, the shape, colour, and the structure of teeth become crucial to one’s facial aesthetics.
One of the leading dental aesthetic issues is the discolouration or stains on teeth. Everyone wants white, shining teeth that can make them look more appealing and help them to offer a complete smile to others. Due to various reasons, many people do not get whiter teeth or become stained over the years.
Reasons For Teeth Discolouration
While most teeth discolouration issues happen due to lifestyle choices or the lack of dental care, some people face it due to their medical conditions or the treatments they go through.
- People who consume coffee, tea, wines, colas, and some fruits and vegetables experience stain issues on their teeth. People who eat potatoes and apples often struggle with stains on their teeth.
- Lack of dental care is another major reason for teeth discolouration. Insufficient brushing and flossing can lead to tooth discolouration and stains. Some antiseptic mouthwashes can cause stains on your teeth. People who use phenolic mouthwashes often experience yellow staining. Similarly, mouthwashes that contain cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine also stain teeth.
- The use of tobacco, both smoking and chewing, can lead to tooth discolouration and stains. Since tobacco stains go deep into the enamel after several years of smoking or chewing, dentists often find it difficult to remove.
- Certain antibiotic medications, such as doxycycline and tetracycline, can cause tooth discolouration in children. Also, certain antipsychotic drugs, medications for high blood pressure, and antihistamines also found to cause tooth discolouration.
- When people age, the outer white layer of enamel gets worn away. Therefore, the yellowish dentin becomes highly visible, and make the teeth look yellowish.
- Excessive use of fluoride in various forms, such as toothpaste, rinses, and food supplements, can lead to teeth discolouration.
- Some dental materials like amalgam restorations and products that contain silver sulphide create grey-black colour spots in teeth.
In most of these situations, teeth whitening is the only effective solution to bring back the natural colour of the teeth. However, people have many questions about teeth whitening services and are hesitant to use the treatment option.
Therefore, it is important to discuss some of the key characteristics of teeth whitening.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Most teeth whitening treatments are generally safe and produce guaranteed results. Sometimes, the bleaching agent present in the whitening product may irritate your gums, and most of the dentists use special protection devices to secure your gums from the bleaching agent.
People may also face tooth sensitivity of varied extents. However, none these issues are prolonged or severe, and people can be relieved from it after the teeth whitening process is over.
Over the counter teeth whitening kits available in Australia do not contain more than six percent of hydrogen peroxide. However, teeth whitening products that contain higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can lead to chemical burns.
Compared to teeth whitening at home, the treatment performed by a dental specialist reduces the risks associated with teeth whitening.
The chemicals used for teeth whitening do not cause any harsh effects on human body. Studies also confirm that it does not cause any long-term health implications.
However, new mothers and pregnant women are advised to avoid teeth whitening as the whitening chemical can enter the breast milk and the placenta.
Does It Produce Permanent Results?
Not everyone can expect the same level of whitening with the treatment. The degree of whiteness depends on a number of factors, including the level of discolouration, the type of treatment you receive, natural colour of your teeth, and much more.
You can speak to your dentist and explain your expectations from the teeth whitening service, before going ahead with the treatment.
None of these teeth whitening treatment options can provide you with permanent results. Most teeth whitening services produce results for six months to three years. By refraining from smoking and staining food as well as drink items, you can enjoy the whitening effects for a longer period of time.
Right Time For Whitening When Getting Ready For A Big Event
People who prepare for upcoming events want to look their best, and they take a teeth whitening service as an option to achieve it. You should learn about different teeth whitening options and the duration for each of them to produce best results, before deciding to have teeth whitening treatment.
For people who prefer teeth whitening at home, it may take up to two weeks to get the best results. In comparison, the teeth whitening service provided by a dental professional produces instant results. People who prefer whitening toothpaste should wait for at least four weeks to notice any changes.
However, people who are struggling with severe stains and discolouration can preferably go for the teeth whitening services offered by dental specialists. It will help them to get better and quicker results compared to other whitening options.
Treatment Results For People Who Have Veneers Or Crowns
Teeth whitening gels are made to specifically work on tooth enamel. Therefore, your veneers, crowns, and bridges do not show any colour change while applying the gels.
Since most veneers, crowns, and dental fillings come with the natural colour of your teeth, they may standout after the teeth whitening process. Your dentist will confirm this during the teeth whitening process and advise you on the need to replace any existing restorations.
Effects Of Excessive Teeth Whitening
Though teeth whitening will help to restore the aesthetics of your teeth, frequent whitening can affect the health of the teeth. Do not apply teeth whitening strips every day for a few years or go for dental whitening services every two months.
Teeth Whitening For People With Braces
People who go through orthodontic treatments may not get accurate results due to the placement of braces or aligners. Therefore, dentists normally request them to wait until the orthodontic treatment is over.
However, if you really require teeth whitening services, your dentists can still offer these to you. However, the whitening process with braces usually takes more time to complete and brings less effective results.
If you choose a teeth whitening kit to do it at home, the whitening trays will come with space for brackets without making them dislodged. After the braces are removed, you might find the areas beneath the braces look yellowish or darker than other areas of your teeth. In such situations, your dentists can provide you with a touch-up treatment to lighten the discoloured areas.
Who Are Not Advised To Go For Teeth Whitening
Though teeth whitening is the ideal solution for stained and discoloured teeth, not everyone can have it for a number of reasons. As discussed earlier, pregnant and lactating women are not encouraged to go for teeth whitening services.
Children Under The Age Of 15
The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry does not recommend teeth whitening services for children below 15 years of age. The nerve of the teeth and pulp chamber of children do not develop completely until this age. Therefore, teeth whitening gel can cause sensitivity to the pulp.
People Who Struggle With Gum Disease, Cavities, And Worn Enamel
People who suffer from gum disease, cavities, and worn enamel are not generally advised to go for teeth whitening. Instead, they should undergo treatments for dental issues and then go for the whitening procedure. The whitening solutions can enter the inner layers of the tooth through cavities and worn enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity.
Individuals who have exposed tooth roots cannot get the benefit of teeth whitening. The tooth roots have no enamel layer, and the whitening solutions can only produce results in teeth areas that covered by enamel.
Also, people who are allergic to whitening agents, especially peroxide, should not opt for teeth whitening services.
People With Unrealistic Expectations
People who have severely stained teeth cannot expect excellent whitening results. Most teeth whitening treatments can offer you a reasonable level of whitening, which is slightly whiter than your sclera (the white part of your eyes).
Smokers should try to quit smoking to get better and long-lasting results after teeth whitening.
You should note that yellowish teeth produce excellent teeth whitening results. Compared to this, brownish teeth produce less effective results whereas purple or greyish tooth do not respond to the whitening treatment at all.
Do you know that the blue-grey stains caused by tetracycline (an antibiotic) is very difficult to lighten? It needs up to six months of home whitening or several in-office sessions to produce satisfying results.
Teeth whitening treatments are highly effective and quick options to bring back the original colour of your teeth. Dentists offer both in-office treatment services as well as at-home treatment trays based on the requirements of people.
These whitening services provide guaranteed and lasting results for people. These procedures are safe for most people, except for pregnant women and people who face dental issues.