Teeth Whitening Edmonton
How to Achieve and Maintain Whiter Teeth
Dental emergencies, like most emergencies, can strike at any time. Whether it’s an external traumatic impact that causes teeth to break or an internal issue that causes painful infection, it’s important to know how to handle a dental emergency when it happens. First, though, let’s have a look at the ways that we can prevent these issues from occurring.
If you are in pain, or if your tooth has been injured traumatically, you likely require an emergency dental appointment. Not sure? Call our clinic. Tell us what your situation is, and let us help you determine its severity.
Will Drugstore Brands Whiten as well as My Dentist’s Whitening Products?
The short answer is no. This is because while your dentist has access to higher concentrations of active ingredient, over-the-counter brands are restricted in terms of the amount and concentration of peroxide that can be present in their products. While these products may offer a whitening effect nonetheless, the trade-off tends to be your comfort.
Your dentist has a number of complimentary products available to assist you in remaining as comfortable as possible after whitening. For instance, your dentist can offer gum barriers that block access to your gums by the peroxide whitening product. Why does it matter? Your gums and other soft tissues are vulnerable to the products that you place on your teeth, and they can react with symptoms that mimic a mild (but uncomfortable) chemical burn. A barrier keeps your gums free of irritation and discomfort and puts the whitening right where you need it.
Your dentist also has access to special rehydrating products if you tend to get sore teeth after whitening. While the bleaching agent goes to work on your dentin, it has a slightly dehydrating effect. Although the teeth will rehydrate naturally, it can be nice to help things along to minimize discomfort. The discomfort occurs because the dehydration causes the dentin to shrink just a little bit, which can put pressure of the inner chamber of the tooth where the pulp and the nerve are held. Rehydrating your dentin restores it more quickly, and subsequently decreases discomfort.
Dentin? I Though We were Whitening My Enamel…
It is a common misperception that whitening your teeth is done by whitening your enamel. In fact, bleaching products are chosen because of their ability to penetrate through the enamel to act on the inner layers of your teeth. Enamel actually has almost transparent properties, believe it or not – and it might seem strange, but your enamel is actually porous! If the surfaces of your teeth are free of plaque and tartar, the colour you see is primarily determined by the colour of your dentin showing through the enamel. In order to act on the dentin, dentists use bleaching agents that can penetrate through the small pores of your teeth in order to access the dentin directly.
Keeping Your Teeth White After Whitening
Although it is true that one course of whitening treatment isn’t likely to sustain your tooth shade indefinitely, you do have some control over how well your teeth retain your brighter white colour. First, your teeth should be kept clean by brushing a minimum of twice-a-day, and after consuming sodas, alcohol or eating coloured sweets. This is because decreasing the presence of plaque in your mouth is the way to keep your teeth from accumulating tartar. Tartar can be considered the final stage of matured plaque – and not mature in a good way. What begins as soft, mostly transparent plaque begins to calcify if left on the tissues for too long, and, once that happens, you’ll need a certified hygienist to remove it. Not only is tartar hard on your enamel, but it is ready and willing to be stained by the foods and drinks we consume.
If you must consume coffees, teas and other staining drinks like coloured sodas and alcohol, consider consuming them with a straw. Using a straw directs the fluids to the back of the mouth where they are less likely to have access to the teeth we see when you smile. If a straw isn’t handy, consider consuming these drinks with food. Rather than sip on a glass of tooth stain, drinking it throughout a meal decreases the acidic power of these fluids and therefore limits their ability to stain.
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Let’s Talk Lifestyle
If you are whitening your teeth to keep pace with the disastrous effects of tobacco smoking or other habit, the chances are that you will be fighting a losing battle. Tobacco smoke is notorious for its ability to cling to the surfaces of the mouth, leaving yellow-brown tar stains there over time. If you are finding it difficult to quit, talk to your dentist or your family physician about the options available to support you along your journey. Your reward will be increased vitality and systemic health, more reasons to smile and a whiter smile when you do.
If you have questions about these or other services offered by our general dentists, contact our clinic today.