A teeth whitening procedure could be just what you need to turn over a new leaf this spring

What better way to get rid of the winter blues and ready for a beautiful spring than a bright white smile? Thanks to advances in dentistry technology, teeth whitening has become an affordable option to give your smile that sparkling white glow.

Can I whiten my teeth at home or do I need to have it done professionally?

There are two different approaches to teeth whitening – you can either take the DIY route and buy a whitening kit to use at home, or have a professional like a dentist or oral hygienist do it for you at their practice. While the DIY option is more affordable than the professional option, it is not one that we encourage because it always carries the risk that your gums may be injured or damaged.

How are teeth whitened?

Before the teeth whitening procedure can start, your dentist will have to look at your teeth to see if they will be able to withstand the procedure. While most people are ideal candidates, there are rare cases where the procedure is not recommended. People with grey/brown coloured teeth might be advised not to undergo the procedure because it is not that effective compared to yellow coloured teeth where it is incredibly effective.

Once your dentist has prepared your teeth and have given the go-ahead, you will get a professional cleaning, then your lips and gums will be covered so that only your teeth are exposed. The Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel will then be applied to your teeth and a special light will be used to enhance the gel’s active ingredients. The procedure takes 60  minutes and a gel is then applied to your teeth to assist you with sensitivity. A kit to use at home for touch ups will be supplied to you.

How do I avoid getting new stains after my teeth have been whitened?

Your dentist will be able to provide you with examples of food and drinks to avoid. Avoiding drinks like red wine, coffee, tea and food like beetroot and dark chocolate will greatly assist the longevity of the procedure. Eating dark fruit like berries that could stain your teeth easily, or even smoking can lead to new stains developing over time. A quick way to determine whether or not your teeth will be stained by something you eat or drink, is to think if it will stain a white shirt. If it will stain a white shirt, it will definitely stain your teeth as well.

Good and regular oral care is also necessary to ensure your teeth are not only kept whiter for longer, but also to ensure healthy gums and teeth.

Are there any side-effects to teeth whitening?

Compared to before the procedure, you could find that your teeth may be a bit more sensitive, but it shouldn’t last long.

What are the advantages to having your teeth whitened?

That age-old question “how long is a piece of string?” comes to mind! Not only will white teeth give you the confidence to smile again, but it will also give you a new lust for life. With spring in the air and everyone in the mood to start fresh, a teeth whitening procedure could be just what you need to turn over a new leaf.

Niel Burg