Teeth Whitening in Sherwood Park
As our society evolves and more treatments and services become more routinely available to the common person, the common consumer’s expectations of their appearance evolves with it. Where at one time we would have been happy to have teeth at all, we now desire straight teeth without visible restorations and in the whitest shade achievable. There are treatments available to assist us in this endeavour, but in order to keep from disappointment it is important that we understand what is possible and what is reasonable.
Be Realistic about Teeth Whitening
If we look to media for our beauty standards, we will almost certainly never be happy with the result. Even the most beautiful 1% of film stars are often photoshopped before we see them in the magazines. This means that even the most beautiful people don’t meet the standards that they are setting – how bizarre! It falls on us to take the time to understand what is a reasonable standard to hold ourselves to, and where teeth whitening is concerned, there are several factors to consider – beginning with the fact that the spectrum of natural tooth shade is more diverse than many of us would expect.
Have you ever noticed that your teeth look whiter some days than others? This is likely to do with the fact that lighting plays a role in how white your teeth look, as do other factors like your age. As you age, your enamel thins and more of your dentin becomes visible – this is most visible in men because the size of each of their teeth tends to be larger than in women. So, why does dentin matter?
Dentin makes up the bulk of your tooth, it houses the pulp of the tooth which is the chamber in the center where your nerve and blood supply operate. Dentin is also sensitive, which is why teeth are more sensitive where there has been gum recession. Enamel covers the dentin, but only to the natural gum line. If the gums are recessed beyond that point, teeth can become sensitive due to exposed dentin. Dentin is the part of the tooth that gives it its colour. Even though we often think of enamel as the ‘white’ factor, the truth is that enamel is mostly transparent, and the shade of the tooth is mostly determined by the shade and amount of dentin showing through the enamel. If we want to lighten the shade of the teeth, we need to concern ourselves primarily with lightening the shade of the dentin behind our enamel. Dentures require that food be consumed in small bites, distributed across the arches evenly. Because dentures do not act like real teeth, eating with dentures can be difficult to adjust to. If dentures come with a full palate, ability to taste food is significantly diminished.
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All services performed by a general dentist.
Understand the Whitening Process
Our enamel can be visualized as the final protective coat on our teeth – almost like a glass coating to help us keep the effects of acid attack at bay. It’s hard and smooth and in no way gives any clues as to its porous nature – until you see it under a microscope. Imagine that enamel was made of stacks and stacks of drinking straws which begin at the dentin and extend outward. That would mean that some substances could freely pass through the straws (pores) in the enamel and reach the dentin within. This is effectively how your enamel is constructed!
Tooth whitening relies on the fact that enamel has pores, or channels, like this that allow it to reach the dentin and effectively bleach it. What an amazing discovery! But knowing this reminds us of the importance of doing what we can to minimize the surface staining of the enamel in order for the whitening to give us the best achievable result for our unique mouth.
Do What You Can
If you want whiter teeth, it’s important to pair whitening treatments with other efforts. What you eat, what you drink, and your lifestyle have a lot to say in the way of your tooth colour. For example, eating a diet that is high in sugar and low on oral hygiene is going to promote surface staining, since plaque will accumulate on the teeth and eventually become tartar – which can only be removed by a professional.
Plaque is clear when it first appears, but tartar is readily stained by smoking and by drinking highly coloured fluids like coffee, tea or red wine. You can whiten your teeth, but if you don’t abstain from staining culprits, the effect simply won’t last.
Review Your Options for Teeth Whitening
Your dentist has clinical strength whitening products available to you as well as complimentary products to discourage sensitivity after whitening. If you aren’t sure if whitening is for you, discuss the process with your dentist and whether this is the best approach. Some kinds of tooth discoloration require more than whitening products to improve their appearance. This may include services such as bonding or dental veneers.
If you have questions about these or other services offered by our general dentist, contact Sherwood Park Dental clinic today.
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Learn more about Sherwood Park Dental and our dedicated team here! All services performed by a general dentist.