Over time, teeth naturally become darker and stained. In addition to natural aging, there are other factors that may also discolor your teeth like:
One of the most common ways to whiten your teeth is with a home whitening system. Simply put, home bleaching involves wearing a custom fit mouth tray that contains a concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel which will bleach your teeth to a brighter, whiter smile.
During the first visit, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth after making sure your teeth are free of plaque and tartar. From this impression a custom mouth tray is made specifically for your mouth. On your second visit your dentist will show you how to apply the gel to the bleaching tray and place it into your mouth.
The amount of time you must wear your bleaching trays depends on how badly your teeth are stained, as well as the concentration of the bleaching gel used. This process can vary from a few minutes to a few hours. As an example, many brands are applied twice a day for 1-2 hours over a 2 week period.
Home whitening can last anywhere from a few months to a few years and the degree of whitening changes form one person to another. This in part depends on the original condition of your teeth, specifically how stained they were, as well as the strength of the bleaching gel used. Also, in large part it depends on your eating, drinking and smoking habits, as no teeth whitening solution will result in a permanent color change of your teeth and it won't prevent future staining.
There are some minor risks associated with home whitening systems. The most common side effect is teeth sensitivity. Teeth sensitivity is generally mild and will subside most of the time once the treatment is completed. If you feel severe sensitivity you should wear the mouth tray for shorter periods of time or consider stopping the treatment entirely.
Gum irritation or discoloration of the gum is another possible side effect of the home whitening procedure. This is mainly due to overloading the mouth tray. Simply stopping the process for a few days should help your gums feel and look normal again.
Brushing your teeth with highly concentrated fluoride toothpaste or desensitizing toothpaste, such as 'Sensodyne' will also help reduce the discomfort. Your dentist can also prescribe a fluoride gel that can be used in your bleaching tray which also should help reduce the sensitivity.
If you have any additional questions, please consult with your dentist or get a more visual experience through the MediaMed system.