Our teeth get discoloured over time as we grow older especially if we love to drink coffee, tea and red wine. We can however reverse this by applying a special gel to our teeth and leaving it to bleach or whiten over time. This can be done at home by placing the gel in a custom-made mouthguard and leaving it to whiten after a few days. Alternatively, it can be done in the clinic using a laser or blue LED light or laser over one or two sessions, each lasting an hour or less. Laser teeth whitening, which is available at our clinic, takes the least time to achieve a satisfactory result.
Types of Teeth Whitening
Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser teeth whitening uses a special amplified light which can quicken the speed at which your teeth can be whitened, when compared to chair-side whitening using ordinary LED blue light. Both these methods are more effective and less time-consuming than using a home kit. The surrounding gums are first covered and a concentrated bleaching gel applied to teeth that are to be whitened. The light or laser is then applied for around an hour to achieve the desired new shade. Laser teeth whitening is thus the most effective of the 3 methods available.
Home Whitening Kits
Home whitening kits can also be used to whiten teeth. However for safety reasons, the concentration of the gel is usually much less thereby prolonging the amount of time needed to achieve a satisfactory result. Home whitening kits are however beneficial when used in conjunction with conventional LED or laser teeth whitening procedures.
What to expect
In general it is painless. However some patients may feel some sensitivity or a tingling sensation, in which case the treatment can be divided over two visits.
Foods to Avoid:
Coloured foods and sauces - beetroot or curries
Drinks which stain teeth - coffee, tea and red wine.
While the teeth will slowly darken over time, you can help prolong the effect of teeth whitening through the following measures:
Good oral hygiene - brush your teeth at least twice a day and use dental floss to clean between teeth
Use of home-care kits or teeth whitening toothpastes
Return to the dentist for regular check-ups and teeth cleaning
Consider touching-up the whitening at intervals, depending on your lifestyle, especially if you consume lots of coffee, tea or red wine.