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How can a teeth whitening shade guide help plan my treatment?

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If you are looking to transform your smile then you may be considering tooth whitening treatments. Our Langley dentists discuss professional teeth whitening and how a shade guide can help determine how bright you want to go.

Tooth Whitening To Brighten Your Smile

Our teeth change over time, just like everything else, particularly in terms of how bright they are. Due to general wear and tear, lifestyle factors like regular use of tobacco or dark-coloured beverages like soda, coffee, or red wine, or certain medications, our teeth may become stained over time and become darker.

Luckily, a few tried and true professional tooth whitening options can give you lasting results. Below we explain a little more about how a tooth-whitening shade guide can be used to help pick the optimal colour for your smile.  

What To Expect At Your First Visit

To begin the tooth whitening process, your dentist will assess the shade of your smile using a shade guide.

Your dentist will compare your current tooth colour to the shade guide and then work from there to determine what shade you'd like your teeth to be after treatment. Here are some things you should think about when trying to decide on your tooth-whitening goals:

  • Existing stains on your teeth - Darkly coloured or grey can be hard to remove. Whitening may make these stains seem more prominent. 
  • Crowns and fillings - Any type of artificial restoration will not respond to whitening treatment. You should choose a colour that will help these restorations blend in.  
  • Your eyes - Your teeth should be a similar shade of white to the whites of your eyes. This helps you maintain a natural-looking smile. 

Usually, your dentist will suggest a tooth shade for you that still looks natural. The majority of teeth-whitening procedures can lighten your teeth by two to seven or eight shades, but frequently, just two or three shades can significantly improve the appearance of your smile.

As with most things, it is better to take things slowly when whitening your teeth. The plus side is that if you decide later on that you would like your teeth to be whiter you will be able to go back for more.

Is There More Than One Tooth Whitening Option?

The active component in the whitening solution, if you decide to whiten your teeth at home, is typically hydrogen peroxide. When oxygen interacts with tooth enamel and the active ingredient breaks down, the teeth become whiter. Most dental offices provide both in-office professional teeth whitening procedures and take-home kits so that you can whiten your teeth whenever you like.

Tooth Whitening At Your Dental Office

In-office teeth whitening is done at your dental office. In-office treatments are typically the most efficient and effective because your dentist can safely apply a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide than you would be able to at home.

Your dentist will start by covering your gums with a shield to shield them from the whitening agent. The solution will then be applied to your teeth using a custom tray that looks like a mouthguard. Your dentist will apply a special light to your teeth after the solution has been applied to speed up the procedure.

Take Home Tooth Whitening Trays

Many dental offices also offer take-home kits and detailed instructions to safely complete teeth whitening while in your home.

Take-home kits feature custom whitening trays which will be used to hold the whitening solution on your teeth. These trays are typically worn for some time each day for two weeks. 

Are you thinking of having professional tooth whitening done? Contact our Langley dentists today to book a consultation.

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