We all agree that whiter teeth gives us a more attractive smile. While there are many ways to improve your smile, teeth whitening is one of the fastest and easiest ways to do it.
Today, there are many methods to whiten our teeth. Spoiled with choices, how do we know which one to choose? Before you grab your whitening kit, mix a home remedy, or book a laser whitening appointment, here are 5 professional tips from dentists on how to whiten teeth.
Tip 1: Consult a dentist on your whitening options if you have sensitive teeth
If you experience discomfort or pain during teeth whitening, it is most likely due to teeth sensitivity. Some people naturally have teeth that are sensitive to the materials used in whitening products.
For some cases, this sensitivity extends to after the treatment, eg. sensitivity when consuming hot or cold food and beverage. The side effects are usually temporary with no permanent damage to the teeth.
If you have sensitive teeth, it is recommended to consult a dental professional on your teeth whitening options. By assessing your teeth, the dentist can advise on the suitable teeth whitening methods, or recommend any pre or post-treatment that can help to ease the discomfort.
Tip 2: Be wary of over-the-counter whitening product choice
There are many over-the-counter products being sold as a teeth whitening options. These products include whitening toothpastes and rinses.
Over-the-counter whitening products usually contain abrasive ingredients that can remove surface stains on teeth. Unlike products for professional use, these over-the-counter products do not change the natural colour of teeth.
It is important to take note of the amount of abrasives the whitening product contains as they may damage the enamel and gums when used long-term.
When in doubt, consult a dental professional on your product choice and how often you can use it.
Tip 3: Professional teeth whitening tends to be more effective and lasts longer
In-office professional teeth whitening is designed to provide safe and effective results. Performed by a dentist, stronger whitening agents are used, and the patient can have teeth up to 10 shades whiter.
Although the chemical concentration applied is higher, the patient’s mouth and gums are protected throughout the procedure with a special rubber barrier that isolate the teeth. Furthermore, teeth sensitivity or other concerns can be properly managed by the dentist.
The whitening procedure usually takes 1 hour. During the treatment, a combination of whitening gel and a special activation light is used. Learn more about T32 Dental’s in-office whitening service.
Tip 4: Some dental clinics offer take-home whitening kit as a more affordable alternative
While in-office professional teeth whitening is effective, the cost of the treatment may be high. Hence, some dental clinics offer take-home whitening kits that are custom made, safe, effective and affordable.
The do-it-yourself alternative contains a lower whitening concentration. It comes with custom-made trays that will fit perfectly around your teeth. This gives a more comprehensive whitening result (as compared to the default trays of over-the-counter products) and prevents the whitening gel from affecting the surrounding gums.
A professional whitening kit not only removes deep and surface stains, but also changes the natural teeth colour. For optimal results, the kit will have to be used daily for 30 minutes for 3 to 4 weeks. Learn more about T32 Dental’s take-home whitening kit.
Tip 5: Prolong your whitening results with daily maintenance and stain prevention measures
Regardless of your teeth whitening choice, the results will not be permanent. However, you can prolong the whitening effect with daily maintenance and stain prevention measures.
There are 10 ways you can improve your smile! Find out how.
Daily maintenance includes brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. Also remember to go for a regular dental check-up twice a year. Professional teeth cleaning by a dentist will remove hard-to-reach stains and plaque.
Not smoking will prevent new stains, as well as drinking less coffee, tea and red wine. With every drink, tannins will build up on the tooth enamel and result in the yellowing of your teeth. Instead, always choose water.
Read our FAQ with Dr Ouh and learn how you can smile better!
Choosing the suitable teeth whitening option for yourself
When choosing a teeth whitening method: factor in your budget, consider the time you are willing to commit and note your expectation on how white you want your teeth to be.
For professional dental advice, contact us for a teeth whitening consultation.
Reviewed by Dr. Chin Shou King