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Common Teeth Whitening Procedures

As time goes by your teeth can lose their sparkle and become dull and stained. This staining happens as a result of activities such as drinking coffee and tea, red wine, smoking, and also just due to the natural aging process. Having a less than white smile can seriously affect your self-image. It can even become such a problem that you might be tempted to avoid smiling out of embarrassment. 

This does not have to be your story! There are lots of things you can do to make that smile shiny and new again. Some methods are more effective than others, and you should always consult a good dentist first before trying any of them. However, stained teeth is not a permanent condition. It’s possible to start a treatment right away and smiling again within a few months. 

Consulting with your dentist first is especially important if you have any dental issues such as receding gums, or if you have any tooth crowns in place. Your dentist will be able to recommend the right treatment for you depending on your individual needs. Your dentist may also recommend tooth veneers if you have very uneven or different shaded teeth. 

Otherwise, here is everything you need to know about common dental procedures that will help you gain your confidence back.

Teeth Bleaching 

Bleaching done by a dental practitioner is said to be the most effective as well as the quickest whitening method. The active agents that a dental practice will use will be much stronger at targeting tooth stains than products you can buy at the supermarket or drug store. This means you will get much faster and better results. 

By going to a proper dentist, you can also be assured that whitening will be done in the right way and that the tissues of your mouth will be better protected from the ingredients used to whiten your teeth. As the active agents used typically include carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, this is worth considering. Dentists will also use tools and ingredients that will look after the enamel of your teeth. 

The other great thing about going to a dentist is that once the procedure has been done, you won’t need to go back for a follow-up whitening appointment for more than a year. Most dentists can help you at the dental practice, or give you something to use at home. Both ways, you will be getting face-to-face advice and you can always call them for more information if you need it later on.  

Bleaching can, however, increase tooth sensitivity after the procedure. If you struggle with sensitive teeth as it is, this may not then be the best choice for you. 

Whitening Toothpaste 

If the teeth bleaching method doesn’t appeal to you, you can buy whitening kinds of toothpaste at most pharmacies or supermarkets. These will take a while longer to show results, and may still not quite have the effect you are looking for, but they do work. 

All kinds of toothpaste all have lightly abrasive materials in them to take away stains and other undesirables from your teeth, but whitening pastes have extra chemicals or ingredients for tooth polishing. Whitening pastes usually don’t whiten the teeth, however. They contain ingredients that simply help to remove stains. 

The products are best used in conjunction with a change of your teeth staining habits, i.e. if you stop smoking, and drinking coffee. If this method fits your needs, make sure that the toothpaste you choose has been approved by dental governing bodies such as the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). This will ensure that you will be using only properly tested ingredients, thereby making the product safest for your teeth and giving you peace of mind. 

Tooth Whitening Strips or Gels 

You can also get strips or gels that you can use at home to whiten your teeth from your drug store. The main active ingredient in both of these is again, peroxide. 

Gels 

The gel product that you buy will come with its instructions, but often the gel should be put on each tooth with a brush. It usually takes a couple of days for the gel to work, and this will be effective for about four months or so. 

Whitening strips 

Strips work in almost the same way as gels. They appear as see-through strips and contain ingredients with a peroxide base. With this method, you will need to apply the strips twice a day, for half an hour every time. 

You will notice that your teeth are whiter in a few days. You will have to continue to do this for two weeks, and again the effect will be in place for around four months. 

Your dentist may even be able to customize a plan using strips for you rather than you using a product bought from a shop. 

Tooth Whitening Dangers 

While most tooth whitening methods are said to be safe by professionals, it’s possible that you will experience some side-effects. These include:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • Gum irritation
  • Gingival inflammation 

If you are worried about side-effects, there are some home remedies you may prefer to try. Many of these have not been scientifically proven to work, however. 

Some home remedies include:

  • Brushing with activated charcoal or bicarbonate of soda
  • Using apple cider vinegar
  • Fruit and vegetables known for cleaning properties such as lemon
  • Oil pulling 

Many people also use turmeric as a whitening agent, as counter-intuitive as that may sound. You should consider adapting your habits to minimize tooth stains as well. You should always discuss any method with your dentist though beforehand. 

Bottom Line 

In short, whitening your teeth is possible, but you should do some thorough research. You should also have a chat with a dentist about the best method for you before you start your whitening journey. 

Crescent Heights Dental Clinic
#113, 831 Edmonton Trail NE
Calgary, AB T2E 3J8

Phone:
403-276-3660
Email:
info@crescentdental.ca

Hours of Operation:
Mon: 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday: 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wed: 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thurs: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

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Dear Patients,

We are pleased to WELCOME YOU BACK ! We are practicing SAFE DENTISTRY!

Rest assured that we have taken steps above what was required. After all, your health is our highest priority. We are finally OPEN and look forward to seeing you again soon!

OUR NEW HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOL:

  • When we speak with you regarding your appointment, we will be asking you additional screening questions. Patients who exhibit any symptoms will need to postpone their treatment.
  • When you arrive to your appointment, please wait in your car until your appointment time and bring as little as possible into the office with you.
  • If you have a mask or face covering, we encourage you to wear one to your appointment.
  • We will ask that you sanitize/wash your hands with soap and water upon entering the office and before leaving.
  • There will be a consent form for patients to sign upon arrival and we want you to know that the guidelines in place currently have staff member signing off on a daily consent that ensures they are ready and prepared to provide treatment in the safest possible way.

We want to assure everyone that our office takes the safety and health of our patients, their families, team members and doctors very seriously. Although our operations will be slightly different today than they were previously, we are excited to finally welcome you all back in a slow and safe manner.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of transition to the new normal.

Sincerely,
Your Dental Team