What causes teeth to stain?
Teeth are porous and made up of hollow tube-like structures known as dentin tubules. Staining occurs when the surface (‘enamel’) picks up stains from food and beverages through the dentine tubules. Acidic food and beverages such as carbonated drinks and red wine erode the enamel, thus increasing the pick-up rate of stains from other food substances. Some stains are actually caused by pigments embedded in plague that has become coloured.
Extrinsic stains caused by food and beverages are usually reversible and responds well to good oral care, professional cleaning and whitening treatment.
What is the simplest and cheapest way to whiter teeth?
The most basic step to cleaner and whiter teeth is to see a dentist for Scaling and Polishing. Cleaning the teeth will remove the yellowish-black tartar which will make the teeth appear whiter. Polishing will remove the surface stains e.g.coffee, tea, smoking etc. However, Scaling and Polishing can only return your teeth to the “original” color. If you want the teeth even whiter, you have to go for Teeth Whitening.
What are the various forms of Teeth Whitening?
A dental sealant is a plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth which are rough and contoured with pit and grooves. Properly cleaning in this area can be more difficult that a toothbrush cannot fit into the narrow spaces to remove plaque. Dental sealants prevent dental decay in the grooves.
The 2 main forms are:
Take Home Teeth Whitening
The Dentist will take an impression of your teeth and custom make a set of trays that will specially fit your teeth. This will ensure that the whitening gel used will be applied onto your teeth and not “spill over” to the gums and tongue. The Dentist will prescribe the concentration of bleaching gel to be used after assessment of your teeth condition. You will need to wear the tray with the gel for 6-8 hours a day for about 2 weeks.
Chair side Teeth Whitening
For the best effect, the Dentist may recommend a combination of Chair side and Take home Teeth Whitening procedures. The additional Take Home kit is to whiten the teeth further and to ensure a more long lasting result. Furthermore, the Take Home kit can also be used as maintenance after the chair side whitening.
First visit to dentist who will do a proper examination and diagnosis, followed by treatment planning. An impression of your teeth is also taken to custom make the trays for your Take Home kit
Appointment is given for the second visit where the Chair side Whitening is performed by the Dentist using Active Blue Light Technology
During the same visit, the Take Home kit is also issued, and the patient continues to use the Take Home kit for the next 2 weeks
A review appointment is given usually after 2 weeks to for follow-up assessment.