A full set of gleaming, white teeth has always been a marker of vitality and class. A beaming smile elicits memories of movie stars, the rich and the famous and the powerful.
Most people’s teeth, for a variety of reasons, will lose their shine over time. Even if you’re fastidious in your oral health regime, your teeth may still darken, because the colour of your teeth doesn’t necessarily link up with how healthy they are.
Reasons for Teeth Discoloration
There are a variety of reasons as to why teeth discolour, including:
- Age: Like everything else, age has a deteriorating effect on our teeth. As wear and tear builds up over the years, you can expect to see your teeth slowly lose the gleam of your youth.
- Smoking: Smoking has a disastrous effect on your teeth. After only a couple of years of smoking, people will start to see stains on their teeth and a general yellowing in colour.
- Trauma: Trauma to your teeth can result in permanent dark spots, especially if the trauma failed to receive the appropriate dental treatment at the time it occurred.
- Red wine, coffee and tea: Excessive consumption of these beverages can have an affect on the whiteness of your teeth.
What are the Best Teeth Whitening Options Are Out There?
Teeth whitening options can essentially be broken up into two categories, at-home or in-chair, with a number of options for each.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
- Whitening strips: You can pick these up from the chemist or the supermarket for about $20 a pack. You can expect to see some results in 7 to 15 days and the results will usually last 1 to 2 weeks after treatment. The efficacy of these strips is negligible and they won’t be able to change very dark stains. These can be a good option for people on a budget who just need some light stain-removal.
- At-home kits: These are becoming more and more prevalent. The use of at-home kits involves the use of a bleaching gel, which is placed inside mouth trays (mouthguards) and then worn overnight. These can be quite expensive, so it’s important you research the particular brand you are thinking of use, or speak to your dentist about it, before you buy an at-home teeth whitening kit. This option can be very effective for people with light stains and results can last for up to two years with maintenance.
In-Chair Teeth Whitening
In-chair whitening uses the same whitening agent as at-home kits (peroxide), except results are seen immediately due to the use of a laser wand. Some systems use a bright light that activates the peroxide immediately, meaning that after one session you will notice that your teeth are whiter.
In-Chair and At-Home Combination
Our service can provide more sophisticated at-home whitening solutions by providing you with custom-made trays. Because the trays are made to fit your teeth, you can expect to see better results and you don’t risk the bleach running out and touching your gums due to an ill-fitting tray. We always provide you with an at-home kit as a way to follow up the in-chair whitening treatment you have received.
So Which Should You Choose?
In-chair whitening will get you the best results, but it’s also the most expensive. If cost is a factor the best way to get an at-home kit is to visit your dentist to organise some custom fit trays. Getting custom fitted trays is the best way to avoid some of the side effects that can be caused by teeth whitening such as gum irritation.
Is Teeth Whitening Worth It?
Teeth whitening is relatively inexpensive and it isn’t a vital dental procedure. Whitening your teeth will not make them healthier, less susceptible to decay and it wont stop them from falling out. However, there is no doubt that teeth whitening can have a tremendous effect on your inner-wellbeing. Getting a haircut, buying nice clothes or getting a spray tan wont improve your physical health but they help us to feel good about ourselves and the better we feel about ourselves the better our general health will be.
Whiter teeth can lead to an increased sense of self-worth and make you feel more confident in social situations. Every doctor is now aware of the undeniable link between psychological health and physical health, so if having whiter teeth is going to improve your psychological state then teeth whitening is absolutely a form of physical therapy.
If you’re considering teeth whitening options in Melbourne, contact our dentists in Camberwell. We will be able to assess your staining and come up with the best whitening option for you. We will be honest about the results you can expect to see and what you can do at hoe to ensure the results last as long as possible.