Teeth whitening has become one of the most commonly requested cosmetic procedures. Whether you are looking for a subtle change or for that Hollywood smile, your dentist will use a shade guide to help find the right colour for your smile. Here, our Ontario dentists share more information about the teeth whitening procedure and how a teeth whitening shade guide can help with your treatment.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that allows you to diminish any noticeable stains or discolouration in a safe manner.
Over time everyone's teeth will naturally darken and stain. This discoloration can be even more noticeable if you commonly ingest certain foods or with tobacco use. While professional teeth whitening might not be able to completely restore the colour of your teeth to their original state, it may be able to help brighten your smile and increase your confidence.
Teeth Whitening Shade Assessment
Prior to any professional teeth whitening treatment, your dentist will determine the tooth shade that you current have as well as the shade that you are hoping to achieve.
In order to make use of this guide, your dentist will first match the colour of your teeth currently to the corresponding colour on the chart, and then determine which shade you would like it to be. A difference of only two or three shades usually makes a significant impact on the appearance of almost anyone's smile.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Hydrogen peroxide is typically used as the active ingredient in whitening preparations. The whitening effect occurs as a result of the action of oxygen on the tooth enamel and the breakdown of the active ingredient. While not available everywhere, most dentists offer both in-office and at-home teeth whitening options allowing you to choose what works best for you.
Professional In-Office Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening performed in-office must be done at your dental office. A protective shield will be placed over your teeth and gums by your dentist in order to keep them safe from the whitening solution. Following that, they will apply the solution to your teeth using a mouth guard-like tray that is custom-made for you. Once the solution has been applied to your teeth, your dentist will activate it with the help of a dental laser.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
An at-home teeth whitening kit, created specifically for you by your dentist, is also an option. In order to hold the whitening solution in place on your teeth, you will be fitted for custom-made whitening trays. For maximum exposure time, you can even sleep with them in place.
Be aware that at-home teeth whitening is a process that usually takes longer than in-office treatment. This is due to the amount of hydrogen peroxide being used. In-office treatments can use up to 43% hydrogen peroxide. This is because the dentist is there and can control the amount of hydrogen peroxide and how it is used.
Take-home treatments normally use around 5% of hydrogen peroxide. While this does mean the treatment will take longer, there is less risk if you accidentally make a mistake during treatment. Remember, the lower amount of hydrogen peroxide is for your safety.