Tag Archives: teeth whitening

Will bleaching harm my teeth?

Many studies have shown that repeated bleaching, even every day for many months, causes no permanent damage to the teeth.

Dental bleaching or tooth whitening is an easily available cosmetic procedure. People whiten their teeth at all ages. Even though people under the age of 30 generally have whiter teeth than older people, they often still want their teeth whiter and brighter.

Aging darkens teeth because of the changes that occur in the mineral structure of the enamel. Of course dark-coloured foods and drink also contribute to the darkening of teeth from the outside in, over long periods of time. The kinds of staining that occur quickly can often be brushed away.

So what is dental bleach and what does it do? Most dental bleaches are carbamide peroxide, the same chemical people use to bleach their hair. This substance turns into hydrogen peroxide when exposed to the mouth. During hydrogen peroxide’s action on the teeth it turns into oxygen and water.

The hydrogen peroxide molecule is able to penetrate the tooth surface and get inside the tooth structure where it is able to bleach the whole tooth inside and out. Although this process can achieve long-term whitening, unfortunately it is also why some people experience tooth sensitivity. The nerves in the tooth can get irritated by hydrogen peroxide.

Tooth sensitivity doesn’t happen to everyone, and only lasts a short time. I advise my patients to stop bleaching for a few days if their teeth start to hurt, and then start bleaching again. It is a harmless side effect.

You shouldn’t brush your teeth or drink coffee or other coloured liquids for 20 minutes after bleaching. With every bleach application the surface enamel softens to a microscopic depth, making it more susceptible to stains from liquids consumed too early. After about 20 minutes the enamel surface returns to normal.

Quick one-hour dental office bleaching causes more sensitivity and has a higher rate of rebound. That is, the colour comes back more slowly with at-home treatments. Most people can make their teeth as white as they want in less than two weeks. using at home bleaching trays.

If you want whiter brighter teeth, first see your dentist and get your mouth checked to make sure you have no problems. Your dentist will make custom fit bleaching trays, give you the right strength bleach, and in less than two weeks you will have whiter teeth.

Should I get veneers for my front teeth?

I hear this question from people who don’t like the way their front teeth look when they smile. There are many reasons for this reaction.

When front teeth have large stained fillings.
Depending on the size and shape of the fillings, and position of the front teeth, this situation can be improved by replacing the old fillings with new ones. This is of course the quickest cheapest way to improve a smile. When replacing fillings is not enough, veneers often won’t work either.

Teeth with big fillings don’t make a good foundation for supporting veneers. In this case full crowns are the best answer. They can be all porcelain or porcelain-fused to metal. There are advantages to both. Certain degrees of crookedness can be corrected with crowns.

When the problem is small yellow teeth
Dark teeth look smaller than they are, so I often suggest bleaching the top and bottom teeth. Once the teeth are bright white they appear larger and minor crookedness is not as noticeable . This again can be a fast easy solution for some people. Large and normal size yellow or grey teeth also look better once they are bleached white.

Do veneers last a lifetime?
No they don’t. Veneers are porcelain covers glued to the front teeth, after a small amount of enamel is removed to make space. Well-made veneers will last 8 to 12 years. Over the years the glue joint deteriorates and stain takes hold. Even when the joints are hidden between the teeth, the staining shows through. If you are 25 years old, how many replacements will you need by the time you are 75?

How long do crowns last?
Crowns can last 10 to 30 years depending on many factors. A lot of things happen to people and their mouths over the decades.