News

YOUR HEALTH: Sinking your teeth into the tooth whitening process

In recent years, tooth whitening has become one of the most frequently requested treatments to improve smile esthetics.

Thus, I’m often asked how whitening works, and whether it will damage teeth enamel in any way (it won’t).

Whitening agents work by reacting to neutralize the stains deep inside the surface of your teeth. If you were to view your teeth under a microscope, their surface would actually have a “honeycomb” appearance.

Each perforation (or tube) is plugged with an organic material that keeps your teeth from being sensitive.

Whitening agents remove these plugs and work their magic on the inner layer.

Before long, the plugs re-form, which is why there are often periods of transient sensitivity after whitening.

Some things to consider before whitening:

l Always see your dentist first to discuss your options, expectations and potential risks or complications.

l Porcelain and composite dental work will not whiten. If you have white fillings or crowns at the front, whitening could leave you with a multi-coloured smile.

l Sensitivity, though temporary, can be quite intense. Your dentist will show you what you can do beforehand to reduce this.

l Make sure your whitening trays fit soundly and that you use the right amount of gel for the right amount of time. More (or longer) isn’t better and could lead to problems.

l After the initial whitening regimen, a couple of whitening sessions a month, or even just a few a year, should be adequate to maintain your new shade.

l Pregnant or nursing mothers should postpone whitening

For almost everyone, tooth whitening is a very safe and effective procedure. If you’re planning to use “over the counter” drug store brands, your dentist can help you choose the right product to make you smile.

 

Dr. Cory Seebach, DMD, is owner of Beyond Beautiful Smiles in Campbell River. To learn more, call 250-923-4746 or visit www.beyondbeautifulsmiles.ca.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Amrik Virk advised Kwantlen on secret executive bonus
 
Backyard breakfast
 
Advanced hearing aid made for Apple devices
Composting to resume at Central Saanich farm
 
Big wheels
 
This and That November 26
Flu vaccine less effective against mutant strain
 
ELECTION 2014: Alberni votes for change
 
Take a holiday home tour in Parksville Qualicum Beach


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.