Having white teeth is considered one of the cornerstones of beauty and thanks to the diversity of bleaching products on the market, there appears to be something for every taste and budget from in-chair treatments to take-home whitening kits.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the teeth bleaching techniques on the market and what kind of whitening results you can expect.
First it’s important to understand why teeth become. Intrinsic staining occurs when the dentin inside the teeth turns yellow. This is a natural part of the ageing process and occurs in most people at different times of their lives.
It is different to the staining that is caused by coffee and tobacco products and because of that fact, surface whitening products will not improve its appearance.
Asking ‘How White Can My Teeth Become?”
The answer to this question depends on the person asking and the colour of the teeth before they began. Of course you still want your teeth to look natural so most people opt for a range of two to three shades lighter than their starting shade. For most people this is a noticeable enough difference.
Patients who drink a lot of coffee, red wine or cola or who smoke may report their teeth whiten by as much as three to four shades lighter. Those who do not expose their mouths consistently to staining products may not notice as much of a difference.
A professional service offered by your dentist, light-activated whitening sessions are expensive but they yield pretty instant results. Your dentist will be able to project how much lighter your teeth will become before you have the treatment.
Your dentist will take a cast of the inside of your mouth and create a tray that custom fits. You will take it home and wear it over night or for a few hours every day for about two weeks. You will be able to liaise with your dentist about the projected shade and chat to him or her if you are not satisfied with the end result but two or three shades lighter is standard.
Available from pharmacies and online, whitening strips are popular because they are affordable and relatively easy to use. Because they are a ‘one size fits all’ type of product getting the perfect fit is not possible. For this reason they are best at whitening the flat part of the teeth but are not likely to reach the sides.
Factors That Influence “How White Can My Teeth Get”
The teeth whitening method
The method you opt for plays a role in the bleaching effects you can expect. The strength of the bleaching agent also plays a role in the end result.
Remember that the answer to “how white can my teeth go?” is different for everyone. The whitening effects will not last forever and your teeth are likely to discolour again over time. Some people like to use whitening toothpastes to maintain their newly white smile for as long as possible.
Your lifestyle choices
Smokers and people who drink tea and coffee regularly are likely to notice the biggest change in whiteness. People who do not smoke or consume caffeinated beverages may not notice the same degree of improvement.
Also consider that some degree of tooth sensitivity may accompany the bleaching process. If you are whitening at home keep the bleaching solution away from the soft tissue in your mouth. Also check with your dentist before doing any kind of at-home bleaching because bleaching should only be done in a healthy mouth.