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Your Guide To Teeth Whitening

We all know about the prospective dangers of not looking after our teeth properly — cavities, decay, damage to enamel and more. But one risk that tends to be less discussed is the effects of discolouration. Although regular brushing and flossing — as well as periodic cleaning from your dentist — will help preserve the look of your teeth and enhance their colour, numerous factors can contribute to the natural whiteness of your teeth becoming dulled over time. Certain types of food, regularly drinking coffee and red wine, smoking or even just the ageing process can all contribute. Medication can also be a factor; long-term antibiotics, such as those prescribed for acne, can cause teeth staining over time.

Fortunately, this is an issue that can be addressed relatively easily, thanks to teeth whitening procedures. Here at iSmile Studio, we’re firm believers that keeping your teeth white and bright isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s also about looking after your whole self. Our teeth are seen as extensions of our inner selves and in turn, have an influence on our confidence, help boost positive mental health and can reflect overall physical health. That’s why we offer professional teeth whitening — not simply to get your teeth looking great, but to enhance your whole self.

In this guide, we’ve put together some of the key questions around teeth whitening and how it can benefit your teeth. If you’re looking at getting professional teeth whitening, we want to make sure that you’re well-prepared ahead of time.

What is teeth whitening?

While brushing and cleaning will remove plaque build-up and help maintain the health of your teeth’s functionality, it can be beneficial to periodically invest in teeth whitening to maintain their look as well.

In its simplest terms, teeth whitening is the process of lightening the colour of your teeth with a bleaching agent, in order to remove staining and discolouration, while also lightening the shade of the teeth in the process. If you’re considering professional teeth whitening, your dental professional will need to assess the source of discolouration and staining in order to outline the best course of action for treatment — both for the whitening process and for the subsequent aftercare. This may include avoiding certain foods or beverages, as well as utilising specific kinds of toothpaste and modifying your oral care regime.

How does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whitening is a multi-step process. Although home kits can be purchased, we believe that the best teeth whitening is done professionally, to ensure an even and effective outcome for your mouth. It should only be performed on mouths with clean and healthy teeth, and gum health must also be good. In this way, mouth sensitivity can be controlled and there’s a much lower chance of gum ulceration or other irritations occurring. Accordingly, having your teeth whitening supervised by dental professionals is the best way to guarantee safety and a professional result.

  1. Cleaning and polishing

Your teeth are initially cleaned and polished to ensure that you’ll get the most even whitening result possible.

  1. Whitening

A specially formulated gel is applied to your teeth, which is then activated via UV light. This gel aids in lightening the external colour of the teeth, giving them a brighter and healthier appearance in the process.

  1. Repeat as required

Depending on the nature of your staining and your desired shade, the gel may be reapplied a number of times to ensure the best possible look.

  1. Rinsing

Afterwards, you will rinse out your mouth to get rid of any residue from the whitening agent. Your dental professional will likely also clean your teeth again to prepare for the final step.

  1. Tooth mousse and fluoride treatment

To help preserve the longevity of the whitening process, we will apply tooth mousse to stabilise and seal the brightened tooth surface after treatment. Your dental professional will treat your teeth with a CPP-ACP-naturally derived remineralising technology, in the form of tooth mousse. Fluoride treatment will also be applied after this tooth mousse too, to aid in the long-term wellbeing of your teeth.

During these steps, most clients experience no discomfort at all. While you might feel some warmth from the UV light, we’ll be nearby to ensure your comfort and make sure it’s as pleasant as possible.

Additionally, we also offer internal teeth whitening; this is intended to address teeth that have been discoloured as a result of previous procedures such as root canals. We can also provide ceramic, white fillings for your teeth as necessary, either to replace old ones or for newer cavities. Together, this helps create a more natural look for your smile.

How long does teeth whitening last?

With proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, you should be able to see the benefits of your teeth whitening for at least twelve months. A periodic refresher will also guarantee the best results; your dentist will be able to give you a more specific timeline for your next appointment.

Home whitening kits usually last a shorter amount of time — usually several months — though can be redone as necessary.

How much does teeth whitening cost?

The cost of teeth whitening varies depending on the nature of your staining or yellowing, as well as how many shades lighter you would like your teeth to be. Speak with the team at iSmile Studio for more information — we believe that investing in the teeth whitening cost is not a mere expense; it’s about investing in your overall look, mental health and wellbeing.

What to eat after teeth whitening?

After you’ve had your teeth whitened, it’s important to eat foods that can help maintain the look of your teeth. Broadly, lighter-coloured foods are preferable for at least the first few days, in order to prevent staining. Cauliflower, apples and celery are all recommended; not only are they unlikely to stain your teeth, but they also require considerable chewing, which generates beneficial saliva. Cheese and milk are also beneficial, due to their calcium content. Additionally, strawberries — despite their bright red colour and attendant juice — are also full of malic acid, which helps keep teeth white.

Food and drinks to avoid

There are also a number of things we don’t recommend you eat or drink after having your teeth whitened. It’s important to avoid dark or strongly coloured liquids, as well as anything acidic; tea, coffee, red wine, soft drinks, tomato juice, fruit juice and alcohol are key examples. Additionally, foods and condiments with heavy natural or added colour content are also critical to avoid; chocolate, soy sauce, spaghetti bolognese are some key examples. These can re-stain your teeth and undermine the work done by whitening in the first place!

At iSmile Studio, we’re committed to helping you get the smile that you want. We provide a variety of cosmetic dentistry options, including Invisalign, braces, veneers, implants and much more. Any underlying oral issues can be rapidly addressed, helping you create a look that suits your preferences. Contact the experts at iSmile Studios today to find out more about how we can help.

There’s a misconception that dentistry is solely about caring for the wellbeing of your teeth, disconnected from the rest of your body. But in truth, the health of your teeth has wider implications for your overall sense of health and wellbeing. Having beautiful teeth also gives you a beautiful smile, which has the power of transforming your self-image — and in turn you as a person, and your life. 

Problems with your teeth can result in health issues in other areas of the body (pain and infection being two of the most common), while the psychological impact and effects on emotional wellbeing are also often understated. Crooked, discoloured, damaged or missing teeth can all impact on our ability not only to carry out basic functions like speaking clearly or eating but also profoundly impact our self-image. The impact extends beyond the purely personal, too. Teeth-related issues can hinder the perceptions others have of us — something of critical importance in situations like job interviews or when making public appearances. 

Hence, the importance of cosmetic dentistry runs far deeper than simple vanity. Having good teeth is important for a variety of reasons, both personal and external. It’s no coincidence that procedures such as composite or porcelain veneers have taken on an increasing popularity in recent years, as people seek to not only look their best but to also better look after their health. 

What are veneers?

Veneers are mouldings placed over your teeth, designed to improve the size, shape and colour of your natural teeth. They’ve emerged as a popular cosmetic dentistry option as they can solve multiple problems in one fell swoop — gaps in teeth, discolourations, cavities, chipped teeth, misalignments and restoring natural tooth function, among others. 

Veneers allow the natural tooth to be preserved, while also augmenting its size and shape accordingly to your individual needs. They can also be used to improve the colour of a tooth when whitening has previously been ineffective. Porcelain veneers have become an increasingly popular option for dental patients across the spectrum — from people who require whole-mouth replacements, through to others who have largely healthy teeth but are looking for cosmetic touch-ups. Ultimately, veneers allow us to upgrade good teeth into perfect smiles. 

Composite veneers vs porcelain veneers

There are two primary types of veneer currently available to patients — composite veneers and porcelain veneers. While both operate on similar principles, porcelain veneers are increasingly emerging as a popular option, in part due to their more natural appearance and longer-term durability. So what’s the difference between porcelain and composite veneers? 

Essentially, composite veneers are resin-based covers that are attached to an individual tooth or multiple teeth to provide a more even look for the patient’s mouth. The basic structure of the tooth remains unchanged, and the veneer can be removed at a later date if the patient so desires. Typically, composite veneers last from 4 to 8 years. They can be an economical solution if you’re concerned about cost; they’re also easier to repair if any issues such as chipping occur. Additionally, composite veneers can be useful as a transitional restoration between current aesthetics and future aesthetics. It’s especially useful for younger patients, particularly while they decide on a more permanent replacement later in life.    

Porcelain veneers are a more permanent solution. Veneers can be purely additive, with minimal or no tooth preparation required in order to give you a flawless smile. This can be a particularly useful solution in situations where the veneer is replacing a tooth that has already sustained considerable wear, either due to injury or grinding. 

Impressions of your mouth are then taken by the dentist, which is sent to a specialist to prepare your veneers. Your veneers are then handcrafted in a laboratory by a skilled ceramic master technician, using layers and a full palette of dyes to match any surrounding teeth. Once they have arrived, your dentist will bond them to your teeth in order to ensure that they mimic the natural structure of your teeth as effectively as possible. 

Ultimately, veneers are more than just an effective means of restoring or creating the picture-perfect smile that you want. They’re also about restoring confidence, enabling better mouth function and enabling you to feel better as part of your overall wellbeing. In terms of comparison, composite and porcelain veneers are somewhat comparable to vinyl and ceramic finish; both offer a distinctive finish, colour depth and wear resistance, bringing their own benefits into the mix. Your dental professional will be able to advise on which particular style is best for your specific needs. 

Composite or porcelain veneers from iSmile

For individual patients, it’s worth weighing up what is the difference between composite veneers and porcelain veneers — both serve a valuable function for restoring a healthy smile and confidence, but the best option will vary depending on your specific circumstances. 

Here at iSmile Studio, we want to help you find the smile that’s right for you. Teeth aren’t something to be viewed in isolation, but seen as part of your whole face. For every patient, we start with a face and smile analysis, so that we can be sure that your final smile will enhance the whole look of your face. We can fit you for veneers, or carry out a variety of other orthodontic and cosmetic dentistry procedures according to your individual dental needs. Contact us today to discover more about how our face-driven smile design and execution can help you get the smile you want.