A smile is one of the first things that people notice about you as it conveys positive emotions. We live in an era where people are judged by their appearance, so having an attractive and bright smile is essential. Also, recent research showed that people with an attractive smile are viewed more professionally successful, healthy, happy and intelligent. They are deemed more socially appealing as well. A beautiful smile can make a huge impact and add charm to your personality. In case you are not happy with your smile, you can change it to feel better about yourself. The first thing about getting an attractive smile is to have healthy and white teeth and there are various tooth whitening procedures available in Australia depending on how much money you want to spend and the desired results. You can get a professional whitening treatment done at dentist office or get over the counter (OTC) whitening kits to use at home or even use some natural methods.
However, before you consider tooth whitening, you should understand few basic things.
Why Teeth Tend to Change Colour?
Teeth become discoloured due to several reasons and are of two types
Extrinsic Discolouration – This occurs with eating foods, beverages or smoking habit that stain the teeth. Tea, coffee, red wines, foods with dye and tobacco contribute to extrinsic discolouration which affect the outside of the teeth.
Intrinsic Discolouration – This occurs from within the tooth and the reason could be certain medications, childhood illness, tooth trauma, infection and ageing.
Teeth whitening procedures are based on the type of staining you have.
Teeth Whitening Options
There are various methods and products available to whiten teeth that you may be confused about what to use and which are safe. Fret not, I am here to help you.
Tooth whitening can be administered by a dentist, dispensed by the dentist to use at home or you could obtain over the counter teeth whitening kit or natural methods like using activated charcoal.
The choice of teeth whitening method is based on certain factors such as, the type of discolouration, cost of the treatment, your age and dental history including fillings and crowns. It is advised that you discuss the teeth whitening methods with your dentist before trying one as they can recommend a treatment plan that best addresses your needs. With that in mind, here are options available for you and which is better.
Professional Teeth Whitening
You will need to visit the dentist’s office to get the treatment. The dentist uses several different methods, but each method they use, generally consists of a bleaching agent such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. This reacts with the stains breaking them down to offer pearly white smile. It is considered the safest way to whiten teeth.
The professional teeth whitening methods include
- Chairside Whitening
It is an in-office whitening method which works very quickly. A protective gel is applied to the gums and then bleaching agent is used to whiten the teeth. The whitening effect lasts longer than any other treatment method. However, after the procedure, your teeth may feel sensitivity for a day or two which subsides once the dental tubules close. To aid sensitivity issue it is recommended that you use ant-sensitivity toothpaste 2 weeks prior to whitening procedure. Your dentist may also use the application of light when applying whitening products to speed up the process known as zoom procedure. Touch-up treatment is occasionally needed to keep teeth from getting discoloured.
- Tray Whitening
It is a take-home teeth whitening kit supervised by the dentist. The dentist takes the impression of your teeth to custom make the tray and fills it with teeth whitening gel to be applied to your teeth for a prescribed amount of time. Typically, the tray is worn for 30 minutes to few hours a day for a period of 1-3 weeks depending on the staining and desired effects. This procedure allows for a gradual and controlled change in the shade of the teeth.
OTC Teeth Whitening
There are various over-the-counter teeth whitening products available. Unlike products administered by the dentist, these products have less concentration of the bleaching agent, meaning that it would take longer to whiten your teeth but are an inexpensive way to do so. Some OTC products have seal of acceptance from the dental association and some do not but are still fine to use. The seal of acceptance gives you more confidence to make a buying decision and ensure what you are using is safe.
When using the OTC teeth whitening products, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Teeth Whitening Kits
It is similar to take-home teeth whitening kit supervised by the dentist with a difference that it is not custom made. The tray is filled with the whitening gel which has a lower concentration of the bleaching agent. It is 6% for hydrogen peroxide and 18% for carbamide peroxide. So, when buying these kits look at the percentage of the active ingredient and if it is more or less than the recommended one, then don’t buy. Active Smile teeth whitening kits in Australia are best to use as they have the prescribed amount of bleaching agent and are safe to use. The kits they offer have a mouth tray, whitening gel syringes, LED light accelerator and a handy shade guide to track the progress. This kit has everything you need to get started on the smile you always wanted for a much lower price.
- Whitening Strips
Whitening strips are small pieces of flexible plastic made of polyethylene. Each flexible strip is coated with a gel containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and can be bought at almost any pharmacy. You need to attach the whitening strip to the front of your teeth and leave them on for 30 minutes or so. The length of the treatment similar to whitening gel but is entirely DIY and the results vary. This treatment makes your teeth look whiter on their flat surface, but yellower on the edges. If you have crooked teeth, the results will be hard to get.
These are few of the tooth whitening treatments you can undertake but the question which is better professional or OTC really depends on how much money you want to spend and how discoloured your teeth are. Both professional and OTC teeth whitening methods are safe to use, but if you want instant whitening then professional method is a good way to go. Talk to your dentist about the methods available as they will guide you better.
Sierra has done teeth whitening certificate training course and has flair of writing. She is working with Active Smile for the past 2 years and provides people the details of teeth whitening, oral and dental care, what treatments to take, their efficacy and everything related to teeth whitening.
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