January 19, 2019

Safely Whiten Your Smile for Summer

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The days are getting longer and lighter, and there is a general feeling that summer is fast approaching. Many of us will feel inspired to try to improve the way we look, and while diet and exercise is a popular option, teeth whitening kits can do a huge amount to boost appearance, self-esteem and self-confidence, with very little effort required. So how do you prepare for teeth whitening, and are there any precautions you should take?

Book a Checkup
Your main concern should be to make sure your mouth is healthy before you begin any sort of tooth whitening treatment. Book an appointment to see your dentist, and it’s best to book an appointment for a professional cleaning at the same time. Your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and gums, as is essential you don’t have any signs of cavities or gum disease. Any signs of disease must be treated before you whiten. Any whitening products and bleach will easily enter any openings in your teeth or gums, and these products are only meant to be used externally. Otherwise you could find it pretty uncomfortable or even painful, and it’s likely to increase any tooth sensitivity.

Ask your dentist how well your teeth will react to whitening and how to manage any tooth sensitivity. They might recommend you use toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth prior to whitening. These toothpastes take several weeks to take effect as they work by gradually blocking up any exposed tubules in the dentine. The dentine layer is just underneath the tooth enamel, and consists of many thousands of tubules that lead directly to the pulp or centre of the tooth. When hot and cold foods and drinks penetrate these tubules they cause unwanted sensitivity.

Have Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned
A professional cleaning is an excellent treatment to have prior to whitening. Your hygienist will scrape away any hardened tartar before polishing your teeth. The whole process helps to brighten up your smile, and removes some of the surface stains even before you begin to whiten. In addition, it’s a great treatment for keeping your gums strong and healthy.

Choose Your Whitening Kit
Your next step will be to choose your home whitening kit. Read reviews or ask friends and family about products they’ve used. Ask how easy the product was to use, and whether they are happy with the results. You can ask if the product caused any tooth sensitivity, but this can vary from person to person, and can depend on how well they followed instructions.
Once you have picked your whitening kit then followed the instructions very closely. Following instructions will give you the best possible results with that particular product. Don’t be tempted to leave the product on your teeth for longer than recommended. It won’t help to whiten your teeth, but could end up damaging your teeth and gums.

Making the Results Last
Your kit should tell you how often you can safely re-whiten your teeth, as the colour will gradually fade. Tooth whitening is not permanent, but the effects can last from several months up to several years. This all depends on your lifestyle, as if you like a glass of red wine, or drink lots of tea and coffee these will all stain your teeth. Other culprits include highly coloured foods such as curries and tomato-based sauces.

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