A Basic Guide to Teeth Whitening

Alex Yan By Alex Yan

Teeth Whitening

Considering a teeth whitening procedure? You have a lot to gain. A whiter set of teeth will inevitably brighten up your smile, thus making you more friendly and approachable. Also, what you might not realize is how much it boosts up your confidence and self-esteem in front of others.

There are also many other reasons to opt for teeth whitening services, such as darkening of natural teeth colour simply due to age, or stained teeth from constant exposure to smoking, coffee, and even red wine. Of course there are also other considerations such as trauma to a young tooth that causes it to darken, or use of tetracycline antibiotics during early childhood that results in formation of dark grey looking teeth.

What can you do to Brighten your Teeth?

Go for your routine dental cleaning. Start by simply getting your teeth cleaned by the dentist, by opting for scaling and polishing services to remove all the stains and tartar that would have given you the yellow discolouration around your teeth. You might be surprised by how much brighter your smile becomes after everything is clean!

You can also consider a take-home whitening kit. Your dentist will take a mould of your teeth to fabricate a custom fit tray that will snugly fit into your set of teeth. You will then be provided with whitening gel (with active ingredients of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that breaks down staining compounds by setting off an oxidation reaction) to apply on the tray and place over your teeth. Typically it is worn for few hours every day for a period of 2 weeks. This is easy to use and relatively lower in cost. A custom-made tray will also avoid gum irritation that may result from using ill-fitting, pre-made teeth whitening trays that are being offered over the counter.

If you would like to achieve immediate and effective results, in-office teeth whitening is a good choice for you. The procedure begins with a short preparation to cover the lips and gums, leaving just the teeth exposed. Then, a layer of strong bleaching gel is applied over the teeth and a special high intensity light is shone over the teeth. The same active ingredient is being used in this procedure but in a much higher concentration. The whole procedure will last for about an hour or two, under the supervision of a dentist. This is an option with much growing popularity due to its almost immediate results. While being effective, it is also safe, for the whole procedure will be under the supervision of a dentist.

How White is White?

A good shade of white is when the shade of teeth matches the shade of the white of your eyes, because it will represent a warm and natural shade, unless you would like to go for a Hollywood white. In that case, you can consider dental bonding or porcelain veneers for an obvious smile makeover.

Is it Safe to go through Teeth Whitening? 

Whitening does not soften the structure of teeth, but it is not unusual to develop temporary teeth sensitivity during the course of treatment. Thus, the bleaching procedure may best be done under the supervision of a dentist. Contact your dentist if you are doing it at home and problems such as sensitivity or gum irritation arise. Lifestyle habits such as coffee drinking, diet, and oral hygiene may affect the whitening results, so a touch-up treatment may be necessary. And of course, general oral health such as cavity free and healthy gums should be prioritized before proceeding to teeth whitening.

If you’d like to consider teeth whitening in Singapore, feel free to reach us at our island-wide clinics – at Ang Mo Kio, Balestier, Jurong West and Pasir Ris. Get a brighter set of pearly whites today!

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