All teeth vary in colour – some are naturally lighter than others. It comes down to genetics – What you were born with. But teeth can become more yellow as you age. Your enamel helps to keep your teeth looking white, but as enamel wears away over the years, the yellowy dentin becomes more visible.
Children’s teeth are yellower when they first come in. There is a large proportion of nerve and the tooth is hollower. Consequently, it takes on a yellowy appearance. After approximately 18 years, the tooth will have thickened from the inside, giving it a whiter appearance.
Our teeth stain for many reasons, such as:
There are many over-the-counter or online whitening products available. Teeth bleaching typically requires either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The concentration in over-the-counter products will be significantly less than your dentist can prescribe.
Whitening toothpastes – Whitening toothpaste is easy to find on supermarket shelves. The strength of bleach will be so low that it is best for maintenance in between more potent whitening treatments.
Whitening strips – These are available over the counter and contain a small amount of bleaching product. They may provide some whitening effect over continual use.
Bleaching trays – A small amount of low strength bleaching product is placed into a tray which you must wear each day. Again, they may provide some whitening effect over continual use.
Your dentist can recommend either take-home whitening kits or in-chair whitening (after confirming that your teeth are suitable for professional teeth bleaching).
By seeing your dentist for tooth whitening, they can professionally monitor you – and – can give you a far more powerful solution for better results.
Both in-chair and take-home options are just as effective. However, in-chair whitening may give you faster results.
“According to the Australian Dental Association, under Australian law and Dental Board of Australia regulations, only dentists can use teeth whitening bleach containing more than six per cent hydrogen peroxide or 18 per cent carbamide peroxide.”
We all love a quick fix. So it is understandable that when first experimenting with teeth whitening, people often want to start with conveniently sourced over-the-counter kits from the supermarket. But a quick trip to the dentist to discuss your tooth colour concerns could be more advantageous for several reasons:
Faster results – using stronger solutions – Dentists can use stronger bleaching agents for teeth whitening that you can’t purchase over the counter or online.
Safety – Your dentist can examine your teeth before commencing teeth whitening to determine if your teeth and gums are suitable for the treatment. They can also recommend the right strength so you can get the best results possible without causing your teeth or gums any harm.
Communication and support – by working closely with your dentist, you can chat to them at any time about any concerns you have and get the help you need.
Maintaining good oral health – By checking with your dentist regarding teeth whitening, they can inspect your teeth and gums for any other potential problems that may have gone unnoticed if you bleach your teeth at home.
References: The Australian Dental Association: https://www.ada.org.au/News-Media/News-and-Release/Latest-News/Teeth-whitening-Surging-popularity-brings-issues-t#:~:text=Under%20Australian%20law%20and%20Dental,for%20in%2Dchair%20whitening%20procedures