Enhancing your smile
Teeth whitening is all about enhancing one of your most important features. Your smile! And not surprisingly, it is one of the most sought after cosmetic dental procedures. It is a simple, non-invasive way to transform the way you look and feel.
Teeth whitening is used to alter the colour of natural tooth enamel and transform your discoloured and stained teeth into a brighter, whiter smile.
Why are my teeth discoloured?
There are a variety of reasons people have discoloured or stained teeth. For some people their adult teeth develop with discolouration and pitting, but for most of us our teeth will simply become yellow with age. Regular drinking of coffee, tea and red wine can all contribute to discoloured teeth, while smoking and some medications can also cause teeth to stain.
Can I really brighten the colour of my teeth?
The good news is that many of these superficial stains can be removed by your dentist. As a matter of course, it is recommended that you visit your dentist regularly for a professional scale and clean.
To keep your teeth as bright as possible, our dentists recommend:
- Brush twice daily and floss regularly to remove food scraps
- Stimulate saliva flow by chewing sugar-free gum
- Limit the amount of black tea, coffee and red wine
- Drink water regularly
- Avoid smoking
- Visit your dentist regularly to remove plaque and calculus build-up
To enhance your smile further, you may also like to consider a teeth whitening treatment. At Health Partners Dental we offer an at-home whitening kit, which is specifically prescribed, and the whitening trays fitted by one of our experienced dentists.
Am I a suitable candidate for teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening works best with teeth that are stained yellow, brown or orange rather than grey. Grey stains often only lighten slightly from teeth whitening.
Before undergoing teeth whitening it is important to have a professional dental assessment to determine if your teeth are suitable, as whitening is not recommended when dental disease (e.g. dental decay) is present or if there are signs of:
- Advanced gum disease or gum recession;
- Intrinsic staining of teeth (e.g. medication related); or
- Defective or absent tooth enamel (e.g. erosion, heavy tooth wear).
Crowns, veneers and multiple composite (‘white’) fillings can also interfere with the teeth whitening process as they may not change colour during the whitening process and ultimately cause uneven teeth colour. Your dentist will need to discuss with you whether these fillings will require replacement post-whitening in order to achieve an even colour.
How does teeth whitening work?
Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and create custom-made whitening trays. These trays are specifically designed to hold the whitening gel close to your teeth and away from your gums.
Your dentist will advise you on how you should use the whitening trays and the total duration of treatment. Normally, whitening trays will be worn for a set period of time, either during the day or night depending on the type and concentration of whitening agent.
Good results are usually achieved within a 2 - 4 week period. A follow-up visit is always recommended in order to review the effectiveness of the treatment and to ensure that the health of your gums has not been compromised.
How long will the whitening last?
Although teeth whitening can last for up to three years, results are dependent on your eating and drinking habits, as well as your general oral hygiene. When the initial whitening process has been completed your dentist will let you know how you can maintain your teeth colour for as long as possible. Your dentist can also discuss with you how your custom-made tray can be used for touch-ups in order to keep your brighter, white smile.
Are there any problems associated with teeth whitening?
It is possible you may experience side effects from teeth whitening. This is why it is important for your dentist to assess your suitability prior to commencing. The most common side effect is short-term increased tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot and cold extremes. To manage this your dentist may:
- Apply a topical fluoride or a tooth remineralisation treatment; or
- Recommend the use of de-sensitising products.
If not applied correctly, whitening agents may also cause chemical burns resulting in blistering of mouth and gum tissues, which is why consulting your dentist before the procedure is essential.
20% off all teeth whitening products
To help you achieve a brighter, white smile Health Partners Dental offers Health Partners members 20% off all teeth whitening products* when purchased at Health Partners Dental practices.
*Excludes items already covered by a health fund rebate (such as consult fees). Discount applies to "Poladay" whitening products, bleaching trays, and tooth-mousse (if required).