At the end of orthodontic treatment, if you have dark or discoloured teeth, a nice finishing touch can be to whiten your teeth. There are several ways that this can be undertaken, however Angus prefers to undertake tooth whitening at home. The reason for this is that it can be done slower and therefore resulting in less discomfort.
Angus prefers to let his patients teeth settle for several weeks to months after braces are removed before considering tooth whitening. The reason for this is to allow the teeth to settle down after the brace treatment has been removed to minimise the chances of tooth sensitivity.
Angus (or your dentist) will show you how to place tooth whitening gel in your retainers and then place them onto your teeth. You would then keep them on your teeth for a set period of time to allow the teeth to whiten. The changes in the tooth shade can take several days/weeks to occur so it’s best to be patient to allow the improvements to take place. You may also need to use a sensitive toothpaste to reduce tooth sensitivity whilst you whiten your teeth.
Prior to tooth whitening an assessment of your teeth is necessary to minimise risks. Exposed roots, cracked teeth and leaking fillings can become very uncomfortable when whitened. Most patients would comment that their teeth are sensitive when they are whitened and often need to use sensitive toothpaste. Careful placement of the whitening gel is also important to avoid the whitening gel from causing gum irritation. Angus (your dentist) would be able to advise you if it is safe to whiten your teeth.
Tooth whitening isn’t a permanent change to the shade of the teeth. It can last anything from a few months to a few years. Things that can stain the teeth include; smoking, red wine, coffee and tea.
Tooth whitening only works on natural teeth and doesn’t change the colour of crowns, veneers, bridges, fillings or other false teeth. Therefore its important that you have your teeth assessed for tooth whitening before you have treatment.
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