Tag Archive for: teeth whitening

Teeth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it may lighten the existing shade.

Why would I need my teeth whitened?

There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant-white teeth, and our teeth can also become more discoloured as we get older.

Your teeth can also be stained on the surface by food and drinks such as tea, coffee, red wine and blackcurrant. Smoking can also stain teeth.

‘Calculus’ or tartar can also affect the colour of your teeth. Some people may have staining under the surface, which can be caused by certain antibiotics or by tiny cracks in the teeth which take up stains.

What does tooth whitening involve?

Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. Your dental team will be able to tell you if you are suitable for the treatment, and will supervise it if you are. First, the dental team will put a rubber shield or a gel on your gums to protect them. They will then apply the whitening product to your teeth, using a specially made tray which fits into your mouth like a mouth guard.

The ‘active ingredient’ in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter.

How long does this take?

The total treatment can usually be done within three to four weeks. First, you will need two or three visits to the dentist. Your dental team will need to make a mouthguard and will take impressions for this at the first appointment. Once your dental team has started the treatment, you will need to continue the treatment at home. This means regularly applying the whitening product over two to four weeks, for 30 minutes to one hour at a time.

However, there are now some new products which can be applied for up to eight hours at a time. This means you can get a satisfactory result in as little as one week.

What other procedures are there?

There is now laser whitening or ‘power whitening’. During this procedure, a rubber dam is put over your teeth to protect the gums, and a bleaching product is painted onto your teeth. Then a light or laser is shone on the teeth to activate the chemical. The light speeds up the reaction of the whitening product and the colour change can be achieved more quickly.

Laser whitening is said to make teeth up to five or six shades lighter.

How long does chair-side power whitening take?

Your dentist will need to assess your teeth to make sure that you are suitable for the treatment. Once it has been agreed, this procedure usually takes about one hour.

How long will my teeth stay whiter?

The effects of whitening are thought to last up to three years. However, this will vary from person to person. The effect is less likely to last as long if you smoke, or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth. Ask your dental team for their opinion before you start the treatment.

What are the side effects?

Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Others may have discomfort in the gums, a sore throat or white patches on the gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing.

If any of these side effects continue, contact your friendly Vancouver Dentist.

What about home whitening kits?

There are many home whitening kits available, including paint-on whiteners and strips. How effective these are, depends on the amount of whitening agent they contain.

Regulations on the sale of these vary from country to country and some of the products on the market are not effective.

Before you decide on a whitening product, talk to one of our knowledgable receptionist at EastVan Dental Clinic.

What about whitening toothpastes?

There are several whitening toothpastes on the market. Although they do not affect the natural colour of your teeth, they may be effective at removing staining. Therefore, they may improve the overall appearance of your teeth. Whitening toothpastes may also help the effect to last, once your teeth have been professionally whitened.

Can a single tooth which has been root filled be whitened?

Yes. Sometimes dead teeth go discoloured after a root filling. If the tooth has been root treated, the canal (which contained the nerve) may be reopened. The whitening product is applied from the inside to whiten the tooth.

When might tooth whitening not work?

Tooth whitening can only lighten your existing tooth colour. Also it only works on natural teeth. It will not work on any types of ‘false’ teeth such as dentures, crowns and veneers.

If your dentures are stained or discoloured visit your dental team and ask for them to be cleaned.

How can I look after my teeth once they have been whitened?

You can help to keep your teeth white by cutting down on the amount of food and drinks you have that can stain teeth. Don’t forget, stop smoking can also help prevent discolouration and staining.

We recommend the following tips to take care of your teeth:

  • brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste
  • cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
  • visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.

In Vancouver, having white teeth is important. Your smile is extremely important because it is usually the first thing noticed when meeting someone. A smile that is brighter and whiter, coming from a more confident person, can make a memorable impression on anyone you meet, as well as make you feel great in the process. It is unfortunate that aging and bad habits can darken and stain your perfect teeth. Our Cosmetic Dentists at EastVan Dental Office can help restore the white shine back to your teeth. Call our dental office at (604) 251-4000 for white teeth!

Many things we do on a daily basis contribute to stained teeth, such as:

  • Drinking coffee, tea, pop, wine, etc.
  • Eating staining foods such as blueberries or blackberries
  • Keeping bad dental habits such as not brushing or flossing properly
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco

In-office Zoom whitening: This is a safe, effective, and fast way to whiten your teeth and see instant results. Perfect for the busy patient on the run. With help from your dentist, you will be able to choose the right color and shade for your teeth and have it applied all in one visit!


Reasons for in-office whitening:

  • Fast and convenient
  • Little to no sensitivity issues
  • Long-lasting
  • Performed by a cosmetic dentist

Take-home whitening kits: Custom whitening trays, professionally created at our dental office, can be sent home with our patients. After the desired effects are achieved with Zoom whitening, our trained dental professionals will go over all the instructions to make sure the patient understands how to properly use the kit. Dental Patients can achieve professional whitening results in the comfort of their own home simply by wearing the teeth whitening kit for only 20 minutes at their convenience.

Since whitening kits contain high levels of peroxide, we advise patients to exercise caution during use. Take extra care when placing the whitening gels in the trays and ensure it is not overfilling the gums, which can lead to sore gums or more serious health problems. Also, do not wear the kit for more than an hour when whitening at home, as it could result in increased teeth sensitivity. If your teeth ever feel sensitive, discontinue use of the whitening kit for a few days to allow the teeth to settle. Contact our office for more information.


Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening

east vancouver teeth whitening

Who should use teeth whitening? Generally, anyone with healthy gums and teeth that are looking to brighten up their smile can benefit from the professional teeth whitening system. It has been shown to be highly effective at removing stains from teeth, including tobacco, coffee, tea, tetracycline, and various other tooth stains. A professional teeth whitening system will not affect existing dental work.

Does the whitening system work on Dentures, or Veneers? The process was designed to enhance the natural whiteness of the enamel. Existing restorations such as tooth-colored fillings, dentures, crowns, bonding, veneers, and bridges do not lighten. This means that any pre-existing dental work may need to be replaced to match the new tooth shade achieved in the natural teeth, should a bleaching process proceed. Clients typically apply the gel product only to their natural teeth, allowing these treated teeth to lighten up to match a cap, crown, or veneer.

Is tooth whitening bad for your teeth? Studies of teeth whitening products using 10% carbamide peroxide showed no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface. Professional teeth whitening does not cause permanent damage to the enamel on your teeth, and is considered harmless by most dental health professionals.

How many shades whiter can I expect my teeth to get? The amount of whitening varies from client to client and cannot be predicted or guaranteed; but in general use, teeth may lighten anywhere from 6 to 12 shades on the whitening shade guide.  The results depend greatly on how discolored the teeth were originally. Yellow or brown teeth, surface stains, and uniformly darkened teeth are easiest to whiten.  Additional whitening treatments may be needed in order to achieve the desired shade, especially with heavily stained teeth.

How long do the teeth whitening effects last? Teeth whitening is not permanent. People who expose their teeth to foods and beverages that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month. Those who avoid foods and beverages that stain may be able to wait one year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed.

How long does the treatment take? The process takes only 30-minutes, (2 – 15-minute applications) to achieve a whiter and brighter smile. It is broken down into two 15-minute applications to allow for maximum gel concentration and light exposure, without being under the light for too long of a period to cause gum irritation. Individuals with sensitive teeth may reduce the intensity of the bleaching unit by choosing a lower power setting and those with very heavy stains may need additional treatments.

What happens during teeth whitening? When you visit your dental office for professional tooth whitening, your dentist will have you wear a tray during the treatment that will cover your teeth with a specially formulated whitening gel. Also, your dentist may use a type of light to enhance the whitening effects of the gel.

Does the treatment hurt? Teeth whitening may cause sensitivity during or after treatment and slight discomfort in the gums. Both of these side effects are usually temporary and will disappear a few days after treatment. It is important to tell your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms as the dentist will be able to advise how best to cope in the meantime.

How can I make my results last longer? Luckily, there are a number of steps that you can take to help retain your tooth whitening results. First, avoid eating or drinking any items that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, soda, berries, and anything tomato-based. If you do choose to eat and drink these items, be sure to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth afterward. Finally, keeping up with twice-daily tooth brushing and biannual dental cleanings can help prevent stains from building up on your teeth.

Why is professional whitening better than other options? The greatest benefit that you’ll gain by seeing a dentist for tooth whitening is speed. Unlike over-the-counter kits, professional whitening uses a stronger formula that can provide you with a noticeably whiter smile in a single treatment. At-home kits that you can pick up at the drugstore often take a week or longer to provide noticeable results.