Over time your smile may begin to dull. This is normal as your teeth endure daily wear and tear but luckily there are options to brighten them up again. Here, our Surrey dentists talk about your options for rejuvenating your smile with teeth whitening and what the potential side effects are.
What is the purpose of professional teeth whitening?
The main purpose of professional teeth whitening is to change the cosmetic appearance of your smile. One of the physical benefits of having your teeth whitened is that you may actually have a greater focus on your oral hygiene routine. This is because once your teeth are white you generally try harder to keep them looking this way through more consistent brushing and flossing.
Over time you may begin to notice a difference in the colouring of your teeth due to drinking or eating habits, smoking cigarettes or taking certain medications. You can also experience damaged or discoloured teeth due to tooth decay.
One of the reasons that teeth whitening is a common choice is that it allows you to alter your smile and make it brighter and healthier looking without the need for an invasive procedure.
Do I have to do teeth whitening at the dentist's office?
When you begin to think of teeth whitening treatments, you may wonder what your options are to achieve your new brighter smile. The two main options are:
- Professional at-home bleaching kits, which we offer here at Guildford Dental.
- Teeth whitening products are available over the counter, without supervision from your dentist.
What are the possible risks or side effects of teeth whitening?
There generally aren't any serious risks or side effects of teeth whitening but there can be some minor concerns. Luckily, these aren't usually serious and should pass fairly quickly. Some of these include:
Increased Tooth Sensitivity
Once your treatment is complete you may for a short time notice that you have an increased sensitivity to temperatures. You should notice this sensitivity decrease over the first week or two. In the meantime, ask your dentist about products that can help. They recommend products containing potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride to treat sensitivity.
Short Term Gum Irritation
The teeth whitening solution is effective on teeth but can be irritating to your gums. While your dentist will do what they can to help keep the solution on your teeth and off your gums a little may combine into contact. If this happens then minor irritation may occur. This side effect should not last very long once the treatment is complete and the solution is no longer in contact with your gums.
Is there anything else to keep in mind with teeth whitening?
If you choose to undergo teeth whitening it is important to be aware that this is not permanent and you will need to continue with touch-ups in order to keep new stains from forming. Also remember that teeth whitening will not work on restorations such as crowns, bridges, implants and dentures, it is meant to be used on your natural teeth.
Your dentist will be able to offer more information about the professional teeth whitening service and answer any questions that you may have. If you have certain dental work in progress or active cavities are an issue, your dentist may recommend against this procedure.
Teeth whitening methods approved by your dentist are considered safe. Before doing any treatment, always discuss with your dentist and pick the one that matches your needs. It is important to remember to follow your dentist's instructions closely and contact your dentist right away if you have questions, concerns or side effects.