If you’re wondering how to keep teeth white as you get older, don’t waste your time and money on over-the counter treatments and teeth whitening kits because they just aren’t strong enough to achieve your desired results. In order to whiten your teeth effectively, you need professional, high-strength bleaching agents that can penetrate your teeth enamel to get the bright smile you desire. Let’s take a look at how this can be achieved.
What Causes Teeth To Discolour?
We all know that white teeth look healthy, restore our confidence and make us look younger, and the pursuit of this leads many patients to their local pharmacy in search of whitening gels, kits and toothpaste. As we get older the dentin inside the teeth turns from white to yellow. This effect is compounded by lifestyle factors such as drinking coffee, red wine and smoking tobacco products.
Surface or extrinsic stains on your teeth can be removed through daily brushing and professional cleaning by your dentist, but only high strength hydrogen peroxide-based products can remove the discolouration that is caused by intrinsic stains.
What’s important to note is that only dental and medical practitioners are authorised to administer teeth whitening treatments that contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide. This is because high strength bleaching agents must be used with extreme care and caution. It also means that the only effective products are available from your dentist. Don’t worry though – you can still choose between a chairside whitening treatment and a take-home treatment, depending on how quickly you’d like the results to show, and the budget you want to spend on the procedure.
Chairside teeth whitening treatments
If you have a special event you want to whiten your teeth for, having your dentist whiten your teeth will yield the fastest results. This option is best for patients who don’t want to do their own teeth whitening, and results can be achieved in as little as 45-60 minutes. In fact, most patients find the procedure so efficient, they can return to the office after a lunchtime whitening session. You can expect your teeth to brighten by as much as six shades and you have your dentist managing the procedure on your behalf.
At home teeth whitening treatment
It is also possible to whiten your teeth at home, under the supervision of your dentist. This typically means you will be given a lower strength teeth whitening product, and results will be a little slower than if you were having your whitening treatment in the dentist’s chair. Results are not that slow though – most patients report a noticeable difference in the colour of their teeth in as little as three days.
If you do opt for at-home whitening you should remember to take before and after photos so you can monitor your progress. What is important is that you follow the instructions from your dentist and do not leave the whitening treatment on your teeth for longer than directed, nor should you use the bleach for longer than recommended.
How To Keep Teeth White
As mentioned above, tooth discolouration is a normal part of the ageing process and is also subject to lifestyle influences. This means that your newly brightened smile will not last indefinitely, so you will need to speak to your dentist about top-up teeth whitening treatments in the future, and how soon you can expect to have them done.
Twice daily brushing and flossing, using whitening toothpaste and maintaining your six-monthly visits to the dentist will assist you in maintaining your white smile to some extent, but you may want to follow up whitening treatments to be done later on.
Make Changes To Your Lifestyle
Quitting smoking, and cutting back on the amount of coffee and red wine you drink can also make a difference to how long your newly whitened effect lasts. If you return to the same lifestyle and habits as before your teeth whitening, your teeth may not stay as bright for as long.
What Can You Expect From Whitening?
You should discuss your whitening needs and expectations with your dentist who will be able to give you a realistic idea of what to expect.you will consider factors such as cost, timing and practicality before deciding on whether a chairside or at-home treatment is best to achieve your whitening goals.
Do you want to know more details about how to keep teeth white? Please contact our practice to find out more about what you can do: (02) 8776 3232.