Thu | May 25, 2017

Yellow or white?

Published:Monday | October 13, 2014 | 10:00 AM

"My teeth yellow, Doc, how can I get them white white?" a question asked by many patients.

Teeth whitening is a relatively simple process that lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discolouration.

Most of us have teeth that are various shades of white. They may be white with an undertone of yellow or grey or even red. The colour of our teeth is affected by certain factors, e.g., frequent consumption of darkly stained foods and beverages, age, smoking, and traumatic injury to teeth.

It is also possible to have stains that are inside the tooth. These are called intrinsic stains which most times are either opaque white or brown.

There are two options for professional teeth whitening - the in-office whitening procedure and the take-home whitening kit. Whitening in the office may involve two to three visits of approximately 45 minutes each. For whitening at home, you are given custom trays that are made in the dental office that fit your teeth precisely. These trays are worn with professional strength whitening gel for a few hours, preferably at night, and results are usually seen within two to six weeks, depending on the level of staining.

At All Smiles Dental Care, we advise all our patients interested in teeth whitening to come in for a consultation. Before teeth whitening is done, the mouth has to be in 'tip top' shape, all cavities have to be filled to avoid sensitivity and further damage to decayed teeth, and teeth have to be professionally cleaned to remove any outside stains and calculus build-up, and to ensure gums are healthy. The most common side effect of teeth whitening is temporary sensitivity of teeth, for which you are treated prior to and during treatment.

After having your teeth whitened, certain white fillings or crowns may need to be redone to match your new shade. Touch-ups are generally needed to maintain your desired shade, depending upon habits, e.g., smoking.

Dr Tiffany Francis and her team at All-Smiles Dental Care aim to Create Healthy Smiles that Last a Lifetime. We accept all major health cards and are conveniently located at 17 Holborn Road, Unit A, Kingston 10. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Telephone: 926-9805 or 571-9233. Email: lyndental@gmail.com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @allsmilesdentalja.