Why have my teeth become discoloured?
With the amount of processed foods and drinks in our diets that contain colours and sugars, it’s easy for teeth to become discoloured. Here are the most common causes for teeth discolouration:
- Soft drinks (cola in particular)
- Red wine
Are teeth whitening results permanent?
Teeth whitening is designed to achieve a long-term result. While this is the case, patients should enter into a teeth whitening treatment with the understanding that follow-up treatments may be required. Teeth whitening only removes stains prior to treatment, and does not protect against future staining.
Before we begin your treatment, we will discuss with you any prior oral health concerns. This is important as your dentist may discover the cause of your discolouration is not due to outside contaminants. In some patients, the cause for discolouration may be internal (for example tooth decay via a hidden cavity at the back of the tooth). In the case that the teeth are discoloured from the inside, teeth whitening may prove ineffective and corrective treatments may be advised before cosmetic treatments are undertaken.
Is teeth whitening painful?
In the majority of cases, teeth whitening causes little to no discomfort. Our trays are designed to limit gum exposure to the bleaching aid which limits skin sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth, or prior cavities, you may experience some discomfort. It is recommended that you address any prior dental concerns that may be required (such as fillings) before you undertake teeth whitening as untreated cavities may cause unnecessary discomfort.
How white is too white?
Unfortunately, due to Photoshop editing and drastic measures celebrities undertake to maintain a “picture-perfect” look, there is a common misconception that our teeth should appear a startling shade of “pure white”. This is not entirely true, and may in fact be detrimental to the finish you are wanting. Prior to undertaking your whitening treatment, we will provide you with a teeth whitening chart, and assist you in deciding which shade is best suited to your skin tone and overall expectations. A good rule of thumb for teeth whitening is to aim for a shade similar to the whites of your eyes. This will create an aesthetically pleasing, harmonious overall look.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
Is teeth whitening safe?
Yes, absolutely. As long as you have your teeth whitened by or with the guidance of a qualified and experienced dental professional, the treatment is both safe and effective. It is important to note, however, that there are some potential side effects that you may experience following treatment. These include teeth sensitivity, which should resolve over time; and irritated gums, which can occur if the whitening product makes contact with the gums. Your dentist will explain any risks to you in detail before beginning treatment.
Can you get your teeth whitened if you have cavities?
If you are suffering from oral health issues like tooth decay and cavities, we recommend that you have these problems resolved before going ahead with a cosmetic treatment like teeth whitening. If you are considering a whitening treatment, we encourage you to come in for a check-up first so that we can identify any issues and recommend treatment. Once any cavities have been repaired, your dentist will let you know if you are suited to a whitening treatment.
How does coffee discolour my teeth?
Coffee stains happen when tannins, which are organic substances found in plants, build up on tooth enamel and cause a stain. The acid in coffee is a contributing factor to the stains, as overexposure to the acid in coffee can degrade the enamel, making it more susceptible to staining from the pigments in coffee. Unfortunately, there is no solution that will please coffee drinkers but there a few useful tips to help with the staining.
- Rinse teeth with water after your favourite cup
- Try drinking it with a straw
- Drink your favourite cup a bit more swiftly, savouring it adds to staining
Chew on some sugar free gum afterwards