The human teeth consist of a hard outer layer known as the enamel. But this beautiful white exterior isn’t all to teeth; underneath the enamel is a second layer called dentin. Dentin is responsible for the original tooth color, and it contains microscopic tubes that can discolor and darken with time and exposure to various chemicals and foodstuffs.
You may not realize what you are drinking or eating is causing damage to your smile, but most drinks, foods, medications, smoking habits, etc., can cause discoloration over time. Teeth Whitening in Singapore is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in dental offices to remove unwanted discolorations from teeth.
How does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to remove surface stains that may have collected on your teeth over time. The process can be completed quickly and effectively in just one visit, depending on the severity of staining. There are several products available for teeth whitening in Singapore today, but it comes down to two types: In-office bleaching or take-home treatment bleaching.
In-office bleach treatments:
In-office teeth whitening can be achieved through two methods, either with light-activated toothpaste that is placed on the teeth for approximately 5-15 minutes or through an actual light-activated bleaching system. There are specific steps that your dentist must follow to ensure safe and successful treatment.
Take home treatments:
Take-home kits are another option patients have when they decide to whiten their teeth at home. These products usually contain a custom-fitted mouth tray that has bleaching gel placed into it that has been shaped perfectly to fit your upper or lower arch. Your dentist will make sure you have the best product suited for your smile before you leave the dental office, this way ensuring optimum results without any concerns of damage or discomfort.
Take-home kits can be a great option if you have a busy schedule or small children at home that may interfere with your visits to the dentist. These products usually last from 2-6 weeks, depending on how many treatments your dentist prescribes for you based on your desired results.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
As mentioned earlier, teeth whitening is safe. However, no matter which whitening method you choose, it is important that you use some type of protection when going about daily activities such as drinking and eating. Teeth whitening is a chemical process, and certain substances should be avoided while undergoing treatment.
Some of these precautions include:
- Avoiding smoking: Smoking causes staining on the teeth and will darken any progress made from bleaching procedures. It would be best to try to quit smoking during the course of your whitening treatments.
- Avoiding drinking anything that can cause staining: Coffee, tea, soda, and red wine are notorious for staining teeth and should be avoided during treatment.
- Wear a protective barrier: If you do consume any of the substances mentioned above, it would be best to wear an oral barrier such as a wax dental dam or eating/drinking shield when bleaching your teeth. These items will help protect your enamel from absorbing stains and discolorations while you eat and drink.
Teeth Whitening Risks
Teeth whitening treatments are very effective in removing surface stains that have accumulated over time. However, they do have some negative aspects that patients should be aware of. These include:
- Increased sensitivity: Teeth may become more sensitive throughout the day after a procedure because of the increased risk of exposure to harmful elements such as hot drinks and food. If you experience pain while chewing, it’s important not to brush your teeth because it can worsen the condition. The best way to treat this symptom is by rinsing your mouth with cold water, temporarily relieving the pain.
- Tooth damage: Extensive whitening treatments or bleaching for too long of a period of time put you at risk of causing permanent damage to your teeth. This may include chipping and cracking of teeth as well as severe gum irritation and recession.
- Bleaching trays not fitted properly: Not getting custom bleaching trays can cause problems such as applying gel incorrectly, which will result in uneven whitening results and possible pain or discomfort when wearing them due to ill-fitting dental appliances. It’s very important that you seek out a professional dentist who has experience in all aspects of teeth whitening. Teeth whitening in Singapore can be a very safe and successful option for patients who are in good health, but it’s also crucial that you understand all the risks involved before choosing to undergo treatment.
Who is a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Any healthy person who has tooth discoloration due to aging, genetics, medications accidentally spilling something on your teeth, etc., can undergo bleaching treatments. Teeth whitening is a very economical procedure that can dramatically change the look of your smile for just a fraction of the cost of other more invasive dental treatments, such as porcelain veneers and crowns.
Teeth whitening in Singapore is not only beneficial to adults who want to enhance their smile but it’s also used extensively in children with severe coffee or tea stains on their front baby teeth. This type of discoloration can cause permanent damage if left untreated. If any of the following conditions apply to you, then it’s best not to do teeth whitening in Singapore until these conditions are treated, which include:
- Tooth decay or damage: If you have cavities or other tooth injuries causing discoloration, it’s best to treat them first before undergoing bleaching procedures because your dentist may need to drill into the enamel to remove decayed parts of the tooth. Once this is done, a protective barrier will be created over your entire tooth before any bleaching agents are applied so that chemicals can’t seep through and cause further damage.
- Gum disease: It would be best not to bleach teeth if you have severe gum disease because this condition will make it very difficult for the whitening agents to penetrate through the layers of your gums. Teeth can also become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures after teeth bleaching treatments, but the effects are usually temporary.
- Diabetes: If you have uncontrolled blood sugar levels, then you should not bleach your teeth until these are under control because high glucose levels in the bloodstream prevent oxygen from penetrating into your enamel, leaving it vulnerable to stains that can cause them to look yellowish in color. So, controlling diabetes with diet and exercise is a good idea before undergoing treatment.
Bottom Line: Should I do teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening doesn’t damage your teeth, provided that a qualified dentist administers it, and you are a good candidate for the treatment. Talk to your dentist and learn about the risks involved before undergoing any treatments.
Most patients will experience some level of tooth sensitivity for a few days, but this is temporary and should be over by the time you undergo your next visit with your dentist. The benefits you’ll receive from whiter teeth far outweigh the risks as long as you’re under experienced hands.
Dental Designs Clinic (Telok Ayer) – Invisalign, Whitening, Dental Crowns
120 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068589
+65 6221 8284