Teeth whitening is a common procedure for many patients. Whether you would like to whiten your teeth for a special occasion, or if you want to add teeth whitening into your oral care routine, your dentist will use a tooth whitening shade guide to help find the right colour for your smile. Here, our Ottawa dentists explain.
Teeth whitening is a safe cosmetic procedure for people with stained or discoloured teeth.
Teeth naturally darken overtime due to a variety of lifestyle factors such as diet and smoking. While professional teeth whitening may not entirely restore their original colour, it may help to lighten them and brighten your smile.
Teeth Whitening Shade Assessment
To begin the teeth whitening process, your dentist will assess the shade of your smile using a shade guide.
To use this guide, your dentist will match your current tooth colour to the corresponding colour on the chart, and then determine which shade you would like it to be. A change of just two or three shades can make a noticeable difference in just about anyone's smile.
How Teeth Whitening Works
The active ingredient in whitening solutions is usually hydrogen peroxide. The whitening effect takes place as oxygen acts on the tooth enamel and the active ingredient breaks down. Most dental office offer in-office treatment as well as take-home treatment.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
In-office teeth whitening must be done at your dental office. Your dentist will begin by placing a shield on your gums to protect them from the whitening solution. Next, they will use a custom mouth guard-like tray to apply the solution to your teeth. Once the solution is on your teeth, your dentist will use a dental laser to activate it.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
At your dental office, you can also receive a custom teeth whitening take-home kit. You will be fitted for custom trays which are used used to hold the whitening solution on your teeth. You can even sleep with them in to increase the exposure time.