Over time, teeth can become discoloured due to a variety of health and lifestyle factors. Our Calgary dentists provide insights and advice on how to achieve a whiter smile, and how to keep it that way.
Teeth Whitening Options
Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser Teeth Whitening at your dentist's office can be completed in a single appointment, but may require further appointments to achieve the desired results.
Your dentist will start by applying a barrier over your gums, which will protect them from the whitening solution. Next, your dentist will apply the solution to your teeth with a syringe, and use a small laser to activate the formula. The compound will foam as it lifts the stains from your teeth.
Once your teeth have been whitened, your dentist will let the solution sit for a few minutes before removing it with a small vacuum tool. These steps will be repeated 2-3 times over, until the desired shade is achieved.
Custom Bleaching Trays
Take-home teeth whitening trays allow you to whiten your teeth over a longer period of time, in the comfort of your own home. However, you dentist can also use custom trays to whiten your teeth with a stronger whitening solution in-office. In-office whitening treatments use a much higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Home treatments use about 5%, whereas in-office treatments use up to 43%.
To start, your dentist will create a custom mold of your teeth, that ultimately allows the lab to create your whitening trays. These custom trays are made to fit your teeth exactly, and provide uniform coverage for the whitening gel. Your dentist will then set the tray firmly against your teeth, wiping off any excess gel, and keep the tray on your teeth anywhere from 30-60 minutes before removing it and cleaning your teeth.
Alternatively, he will provide you with the necessary instructions and materials to use the trays at home.
Over-The Counter Treatments
While over-the-counter treatments are affordable and easy to use, they may not be as effective as professional treatments. Some common over-the-counter treatments available at your local drugstore include whitening strips, special toothpastes, and take-home whitening trays.
Maintaining Your Teeth Whitening Results
Whenever possible, avoid foods and beverages that may stain your teeth. Things like coffee, tea, certain spices (like curry), and foods like chocolate and dark fruit may discolour and stain your teeth over time.
Brushing & Flossing
A good oral hygiene routine can help keep your smile bright. Brushing and flossing removes food and drink residue from your teeth that may otherwise stain them, and thorough brushing and regular professional cleanings can help polish away surface stains.
Whitening Touch Ups & Maintenance
You may find that in spite of your best efforts, after a period of time, your teeth need a whitening touch up. This is normal! Get in touch with your dentist to discuss your touch up options.