Tooth whitening procedures are used to remove or hide discolouration and staining on teeth that occurs for various reasons. Tooth whitening is one of the most common dental procedures, and it can be accomplished in many different ways. Some treatments like fitting veneers are permanent, while others such as bleaching must be repeated periodically to achieve incremental whiteness or maintain the colour achieved following treatment. However, there are also some myths surrounding these teeth whitening procedures, and these can lead you to make the wrong choices when considering tooth whitening. Read on to learn more.
1. Grey teeth can be whitened with regular methods
Most often, teeth pick up yellow to brown stains from normal life activities, e.g. ingesting foods that stain enamel (wines, tea, coffee etc.), smoking, poor hygiene or aging. Typically, greyish-blue or blackened teeth are not darkened on the surface; they are often the result of trauma/nerve damage/haemorrhage in the internal layers of the teeth.
Regular tooth-whitening procedures such as whitening strips and in-office whitening are intended to clean out the enamel. This can actually make the greyed portions stand out more, since bleaching treatments don't reach into the centre of the tooth. If you have grey teeth, talk to your dentist about porcelain or feldspathic veneers, which are the most foolproof way to disguise grey teeth. If you still have healthy nerves, a root canal can remove/repair damaged portions, after which the internal and external surfaces can be bleached to reduce discolouration.
2. All whitening procedures are permanent
Getting your teeth whitened is not a license to do whatever you want with your teeth. While some treatments last longer than others, effectiveness of all treatments – including veneers – can be reduced by poor care practices. For instance, consuming dark foods can cause your enamel to stain shortly after your whitening procedures – rinsing or brushing is advised after consuming tea, dark berries, coffees, red/white wine and other dark foods. Proper brushing and flossing can also help to maintain your whitening procedure and remove bacteria that cause halitosis and gum diseases.
Porcelain veneers are generally stain resistant. However, rough treatment can cause veneers to break, become unbonded or crack, making your investment void. You should avoid biting hard foods, using teeth to open bottles or other items and using abrasive polishes or toothpastes.
Even though the surface won't stain, veneers can stain around the edges, especially if the bonding wasn't properly done or your gums recede and leave uncovered surfaces. Using whitening toothpastes can cause veneers to lose their sheen. Regular cleaning and whitening can maintain lustre, just like your regular teeth.
As a mum, I know how essential sport can be to children's development. Through team sports like soccer, kids learn persistence, sportsmanship and the value of supporting their team members. However, all that learning carries some risk as well, and a stray elbow or a ball to the face can result in oral injuries. I have been the mum rushing to the emergency room with a precious permanent tooth sitting in a cup of milk. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't even sure if the cup of milk was the right solution. As a parent, you will face those situations, and I'm here to make sure you know what to do when they pop up. With this blog, let's explore children's dentistry and sports injuries together... I want you to have the info you need to stay cool, calm and collected, regardless of how many teeth are on the pitch.