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What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening usually changes your natural tooth colour by 5-7 shades brighter.

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry because white teeth generally gives people the clean and pretty impressions! As the saying goes, ‘A beautiful smile is the best make up one can wear’. Teeth whitening is the most instant, easiest and cheapest cosmetic dentistry to enhance your smile and confidence!

What is Professional Dental Chairside Teeth Whitening?

  • Professional dental teeth whitening uses active whitening ingredient (either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide).
  • Working from the inside out, the active ingredients in teeth whitening gels penetrate your teeth to break down the discoloured molecules deep down in your teeth, removing stains and whitening your smile.
  • The whitening process takes about 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Instant results upon completion of treatment.
The dental team …….

Is Teeth Whitening A Myth?

This patient achieved the whitest shade by improving her natural teeth colour by 5 shades brighter.

Tooth whitening is a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surfaces. It cannot make a complete colour change but it may lighten the existing shade. Everyone responds differently to whitening treatments and everyone’s teeth will whiten at different rates. Some stains are easier to treat than others. Teeth that are yellow or brown are easier to whiten than teeth that are grey/blue. Younger patients typically whiten more quickly than older patients, but every patient is different.

Before you start the teeth whitening procedure, keep in mind that your smile looks most natural when the colour of your teeth matches the whites of your eyes. Some people want a Hollywood white smile, but that is not a natural colour for teeth and may look weird on you. In fact, very few people can achieve that level of whiteness.  Generally, professional teeth whitening treatment changes your natural tooth colour up to 5-7 shades brighter. For people who has grey teeth or other serious discolouration which teeth whitening alone is not sufficient to satisfy the whitening effect, porcelain veneers is the other alternative to achieve the smiles they have always wanted. Nevertheless, always check with your dentist to determine the perfect option for you.

How Long Will My Teeth Stay White?

On average, the effects of whitening typically last up to 3 years. However, this will vary from person to person. Few factors that can make teeth lose their lustre are:

  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Age
  • Some Medications (Tetracycline, antiseptic mouthwash)
  • Habits (Smoking)

The effect of teeth whitening stays longer if you avoid engaging in habits or eating food/drinks that can cause stains such as smoking/vaping, drinking coffee/tea etc. Fortunately, home-use touch-up whitening products are available for a quick and easy treatment to help bring the bright smile back

Any Side Effects?

Dental whitening is generally safe. Teeth sensitivity is the most common side effect. This symptom is temporary and should disappear as soon as the treatment is completed or within a few hours to days of the treatment finishing.

To overcome the sensitivity, here are our tips for you:

  • Use a sensitivity toothpaste such as Sensodyne Rapid
  • Chew gum. It is believed that gum chewing helps to produce more saliva to hydrate the teeth. When the teeth get hydrated, it becomes less sensitive. You may choose to drink more water! But chewing gum helps you to stay distracted from the sensitivity sensation.

How should I Care For My White Teeth After The Treatment?

For the first 24 hours post treatment – Avoid stain-causing foods and beverages eg coffee, curry, wine, pasta sauce etc. Basically anything that can stain your white shirt! You may choose to eat egg sandwich, chicken porridge, chicken rice, clear noodles soup or potato salad.

After the first 24 hours – You can resume back to your daily lifestyle with your whiter teeth! We encourage you to do the following 3 to help your whiter teeth to last longer.

  • Brush your teeth after stain-causing foods and beverages.
  • If brushing is inconvenient, use a straw to drink beverages to keep stain-causing dyes away from your teeth.
  • Quit smoking.

How Safe Is Teeth Whitening Performed By Beauticians at Beauty Salons/Kiosks? 

In Malaysia and many countries, whitening can only be legally carried out by a dentist. Teeth whitening treatment performed by beauticians are illegal because the active ingredients used for teeth whitening is hazardous and is potentially dangerous in the untrained hands. Moreover, beauty salons/kiosks do not adhere to the same strict standards of infection control protocols dental clinics are regulated upon. Patients may be exposed to many transmissible diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis etc if they are exposed to contaminated instruments and tools at these beauty salons.

These regulations are to protect the public. They make sure that anyone carrying out whitening is properly trained and has the right skills and knowledge to carry out the procedure without risking permanent damage to the teeth/gums and the patients’ health.

Who Are Not Suitable for Teeth Whitening?

  • Patients with many dental crowns, bridges, fillings and veneers as these materials do not respond to teeth whitening.
  • Pregnant women, those with gum disease, worn enamel, cavities, and exposed root should not whiten their teeth.

Talk to your dentist for a pre-whitening consult so that they can help you choose the professional option that best fits your needs.

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