A Beginner’s Primer on Teeth Whitening

Before after image of teeth whitening in NW Calgary

Thinking about having your teeth whitened? Teeth whitening is a great way to look better in an instant, which is also why it is more popular than ever. Before whitening your teeth, however, it is important to know as much as you can in order to make the most informed decision about it.   There are a ton of NW Calgary teeth bleaching options, so we want to make sure you completely understand what it entails.  With a chock-full of information on how to get better-looking teeth through whitening online, we’ve whittled down the basics into this easy-to-read primer!

The Real Deal With Yellowing Teeth

Have you ever wondered why teeth turn yellow in the first place? This primary reason as to why people want to get teeth whitening stems from a very natural part of aging. Like our hair turning grey as we grow older, our teeth too will change in color and turn yellowish. Over time, our teeth enamel gets thinner and more worn-out, gradually changing its hue from white to yellow due to the changes also happening in the dentin inside it.

Other aspects that prevent us from having better-looking teeth include accidents involving our teeth, dental disorders, genetics, silver fillings, stained enamel due to consumption of dark liquids, and smoking tobacco.

Teeth Whitening: Inside or Out?

Whitening your teeth can come in two forms: intrinsic and extrinsic. Knowing the difference between these two is important in understanding the best possible options for whitening your teeth:

Intrinsic whitening has to do with lightening your tooth’s inner tissue by soaking up a hydrogen peroxide gel. The lightened inner part then reflects that color through your teeth’s enamel, which will then also look a lot whiter and brighter. If your teeth are naturally yellow, this is the best course of action to take to get better-looking teeth.

Extrinsic whitening focuses more on taking out enamel stains. In extrinsic teeth whitening, your dentist polishes and cleans your teeth with a whitening agent. The focus is on lightening the enamel by removing the stains that make it appear dark. If your teeth are dark and stained because you love to drink coffee or smoke, extrinsic whitening is the best procedure for bringing back your bright and beautiful smile.

Getting Started on Teeth Whitening

There are several things you need to know about and prepare for your upcoming whitening procedure:

Be sure to properly prepare for your teeth whitening appointment

  1. Begin with your best and healthiest teeth. Before whitening your teeth, it is important to first do any repair work that precedes the aesthetic procedure. This includes treating cavities and gum recession and other issues that may lead to pain and sensitivity. Any damage and problems should first be addressed prior to teeth whitening procedures.
  2. Prepare yourself for teeth sensitivity. In the first 24 hours after undergoing teeth whitening treatment, you will likely experience teeth sensitivity which will gradually fade over time. Meanwhile, to keep yourself comfortable you may ask your dentist about a good pain reliever to have on hand in case the discomfort is more than you can take.
  3. Whitening is not a permanent solution. Because our teeth naturally turn yellow and most will again be exposed to lifestyle habits and eating practices that can stain the teeth, one whitening procedure is not guaranteed to look as pristine as the first day several months or years down the line. Because of the rebound effect, you may have to have the whitening procedure done again at a later time or choose a more intense whitening shade to get better-looking teeth.
  4. Results will vary from patient to patient. The intensity of whitening that you get as a result will not be the same as anybody else’s, as it will depend on how your teeth looked prior to the procedure. Truth be told, teeth whitening cannot completely erase a lifetime’s worth of bad habits and at best can significantly reduce stains and yellowing. But if you already care for your teeth by exercising good dental practices, your results will definitely look a lot better than others who don’t.
  5. There is such a thing as over-whitening your teeth. Too many treatments too soon may seem like a good idea to get better-looking teeth, but it can also lead to permanently damaged teeth that may require tooth replacement. The best thing to do is to take your dentist’s recommendation and course of action and follow it to the letter. Because teeth have live tissue, it is best to seek professional advice on how much teeth whitening you can take, and your dentist is in the best position to inform you about this!

Teeth Whitening in NW Calgary - Hamptons Dental

For many people, better-looking teeth through whitening it can truly be a life-changing opportunity that gives them more confidence and opens up more doors, career-wise. While it’s good to know that whitening procedures are relatively safe and are becoming even more affordable, it pays to know the basics and follow the advice of dental professionals to have results that will make you look your very best!

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