Teeth whitening is a common procedure for many patients. Whether you would like to whiten your teeth for a special occasion, or if you want to add teeth whitening into your oral care routine, your dentist will use a tooth whitening shade guide to help find the right colour for your smile. Here, our Vancouver dentists explain.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that is safe (in most instances) for people who have stained or discoloured teeth.
Teeth naturally darken over time as a result of a variety of factors in one's lifestyle, such as diet and tobacco use. While professional teeth whitening might not be able to completely restore the colour of your teeth to their original state, it may be able to lighten them and brighten your smile.
Teeth Whitening Shade Assessment
Before beginning the teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will evaluate the shade of your smile with the help of a shade guide.
In order to make use of this guide, your dentist will first match the colour of your teeth currently to the corresponding colour on the chart, and then determine which shade you would like it to be. A difference of only two or three shades usually makes a significant impact on the appearance of almost anyone's smile.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Hydrogen peroxide is typically used as the active ingredient in whitening preparations. The whitening effect occurs as a result of the action of oxygen on the tooth enamel and the breakdown of the active ingredient. The majority of dental offices provide both in-office and take-home treatment options for patients.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening performed in-office must be done at your dental office. A protective shield will be placed over your teeth and gums by your dentist in order to keep them safe from the whitening solution. Following that, they will apply the solution to your teeth using a mouth guard-like tray that is custom-made for you. Once the solution has been applied to your teeth, your dentist will activate it with the help of a dental laser.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
An at-home teeth whitening kit, created specifically for you by your dentist, is also an option. In order to hold the whitening solution in place on your teeth, you will be fitted for custom-made whitening trays. For maximum exposure time, you can even sleep with them in place.
Be aware that at-home teeth whitening is a process that usually takes longer than in-office treatment. This is due to the amount of hydrogen peroxide being used. In-office treatments can use up to 43% hydrogen peroxide. This is because the dentist is there and can control the amount of hydrogen peroxide and how it is used.
Take-home treatments normally use around 5% of hydrogen peroxide. While this does mean the treatment will take longer, there is less risk if you accidentally make a mistake during treatment. Remember, the lower amount of hydrogen peroxide is for your safety.