Most people love to smile! But …. does your smile bother you? Is discolouration of your teeth discouraging you from smiling?
If so, you’re not alone. Lots of people look to whitening their teeth to improve their appearance and boost their self-confidence!
Being a busy mum, self-care can often be at the bottom of our ever growing to do list! We need quick and easy solutions. One thing that helps us feel a bit better – is a white smile!
However, like a lot of mums, caffeine is the key to surviving the day but tea and coffee are also one of the main causes of staining and discolouration of our teeth – along with smoking and red wine!
Being aware of that and, perhaps cutting back a little, is a good start before your quest for whiter teeth. If you are going to look at teeth whitening there are a few points worth mentioning:
To start with visit your dentist for advice. They will perform a full oral examination to ensure you are a suitable candidate for whitening treatment. For example, if your periodondic condition (that’s the fancy name for the condition of your gums, usually shortened in the dentistry sector to ‘perio’) is not healthy you shouldn’t consider whitening until your perio condition is improved and stable. Usually this can be done by improving your teeth cleaning and flossing routine.
It’s also worth noting that any existing fillings, crowns, bridges or veneers you may have will not change shade.
At First Alba Healthcare your whitening options are either carried out at the surgery or the at home or DIY method.
Whitening at the surgery uses a specialised light system to lighten stains and discolouration to whitening your teeth. It takes approximately an hour to go several shades lighter. This is a popular method of whitening because it is quick and effective for patients who want a whiter smile instantly.
If you want to ‘whiten’ at home your dentist can take impressions or scan your teeth to provide customised whitening trays to use alongside the recommended bleach. You control how often you whiten, usually once or twice a day for 20 to 30 minutes until you reach your desired shade. It can take two to three weeks but you can whiten your teeth while you iron, bath or even put the baby to sleep!
With this method you should be aware that you may experience some sensitivity but this can be controlled by using sensitivity controlling toothpaste and limiting how long and often you whiten your teeth for.
Another popular option that can remove surface staining and give teeth an instant lighter appearance, although perhaps not as white as the other methods, is airflow stain removal. This is a fantastic, safe and quick treatment to refresh and remove that staining dulling your smile!
Air Flow is essentially a way of deep cleaning your teeth. It uses a powerful yet controlled jet of water, air and fine powder which polishes all the surfaces of a tooth.
It’s completely safe to use with crowns, bridges, dental implants and veneers. It will remove the stains and discolouration caused by the aforementioned caffeine, red wine and smoking and has the benefit of also thoroughly removing dental plaque. Air flow can be done by either your dentist or dental hygienist.
A final and very important point is that you should always get professional advice and treatment. Please remember it is actually illegal for anyone to carry out whitening treatment unless they are a qualified dental professional registered with the General Dental Council (GDC), the professional body governing dentistry in the UK.
Article written by Laura Russell, First Alba Healthcare Clinical Manager
Laura Russell is based mainly at First Alba Healthcare’s Forfar Practice although works across all five of their practices in Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross. She has worked for First Alba for the last 12 years, having gained the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN) national diploma in 2007 and supplementing this with the Childsmile qualification in 2016 which she passed with distinction.