Tooth Tips for Later Life

Why There's No Such Thing As Pure White When It Comes to Teeth Whitening

When you look in the mirror and smile, you don't like what you see. The colour of your teeth is not acceptable to you, and you're going to ask your dentist all about teeth whitening. What kind of result can you expect? This is another matter entirely, and it is dependent on so many different factors. What should you be thinking about before you pick up the phone to call the dentist's office?

Everybody Is Different

As no two people's teeth are alike, so every result is going to be different when embarking on a teeth whitening program. After all, everyone's teeth vary in terms of shape, shade, luminescence, thickness of enamel and many other elements.

Determining the Starting Point

The dentist will start off by figuring out the exact whiteness of your smile using a shade guide. This will allow the professional to determine both the overall "darkness" as well as the shade. This latter element refers to the tint or base colour of the tooth, rather than how dark or light it actually is. 

The dentist will also grade your teeth according to how dark or light they are, and there are a large variety of different grades available. By combining all of these results, the dentist will be able to suggest a point of reference on a whitening chart for you to consider.

How Teeth Lose Their Colour

Your teeth can become discoloured and take on different spots or stains due to a variety of different reasons. For example, external discolouration affects the outer layer or the enamel. Excessive tobacco use, red wine consumption or eating a lot of dark berries can all contribute to this. The internal discolouration of the teeth generates the familiar yellow tint. A number of conditions can contribute to this development.

The Possibilities

Your dentist can suggest a potential outcome, but remember that there are no guarantees when it comes to a very precise end result. It will all depend on the natural underlying colour of your teeth and how severe the existing stains, spots or streaks are. Also, the type of treatment you choose will impact the end result.

What Should You Expect?

Nevertheless, you can expect a difference of several shades over the course of a professional treatment and will notice a significant difference after only two shades have been revealed. Just remember that you will have to precisely follow the best oral care practices at home, including brushing, flossing and rinsing every time that you eat. You should also go to the dentist for twice-yearly professional cleaning to make sure that plaque and tartar do not build up.

Moving Forward

Have a chat with your dentist to come up with a proactive plan.