Whiten Teeth

Coffee. Tea. Tobacco. Antibiotic Use. Age. All of these things can change the colour of our teeth over time. Fortunately, there are several ways to change them back to white. Choose from:

    · in-office bleaching
    · at-home bleaching kits
    · whitening toothpastes
    · peroxide strips
    · porcelain veneers

In-office bleaching. Sit comfortably in your dentist's office chair while he or she applies a hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth, then flashes a light on the gel. The light speeds up the breakdown of the hydrogen peroxide, which oxidizes your teeth. This quick, painless process is also called chairside or one-hour bleaching. A new, extremely effective in-office option is laser whitening. Instead of using a lamp, the dentist will flash a laser light pen on the gel. The pen allows your dentist to treat teeth with differing degrees of discolouration individually to achieve a consistent whiteness.

At-home bleaching also involves covering your teeth with bleaching gel (this time carbamide peroxide), but instead of flashing a light on the gel, you hold the gel in place with a mouthguard. If you purchase the bleaching kit from your dentist, he or she will custom-make this tray based on a mold of your teeth, then give you instructions on when and for how long to wear it. If you purchase an over-the-counter bleaching kit, you will either make an impression of your teeth yourself and send it off to a laboratory, or you will use a one-size-fits-all tray. This kit will give instructions as to how to long and how often to wear the tray in order to get the results you desire.

Whitening toothpastes do not oxidize your teeth (except for Rembrandt toothpastes, which contain peroxide). Rather, they contain polishing agents that remove deep stains and return the teeth to their original shade of white. These toothpastes brighten your teeth without actually changing the colour of the enamel.

Peroxide strips, such as Crest Whitestrips and Crest Whitestrips Premium, oxidize the teeth and remove deep stains. Wear the strips on your teeth for two thirty-minute intervals a day. You should see results in fourteen days with regular Whitestrips and seven days with Whitestrips Premium.

Porcelain veneers offer the longest-lasting whitening option. Veneers are thin ceramic shells fitted onto the front of the teeth. The dentist shaves away part of your natural teeth to make room for the veneer, then creates a set of porcelain shells based on a mold of your teeth. Once your veneers are cemented in place, your teeth will look not only whiter but likely straighter, too.

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