Teeth stains are inevitable. They may be a result of
- continual tobacco usage, or
- the consumption of certain food and beverages.
If you feel that your smile is lacking some sparkle, you may want to consider going for teeth whitening.
However, prior to such treatment, it is best that you go for a dental check-up first. In certain cases (e.g. if you have cavities, worn enamel or had dental restorations done), this procedure is not suitable.
Types of Tooth Discolouration
|Extrinsic Stains||Intrinsic Stains||Age-Related Stains|
Extrinsic stains are staining on the surface of your teeth. They occur when stain particles accumulate in the film of protein covering your teeth enamel.
These stains are usually a result of tobacco use and frequent consumption of coffee, tea, wine, or cola. They can be easily removed and respond well to regular dental cleaning and brushing with whitening toothpastes.
Unlike extrinsic stains, intrinsic teeth stains are staining below the surface of your teeth. The staining happens when stain particles work through the exterior of your teeth; they accumulate within your teeth enamel, staining their inner layer.
Such stains may be caused by excessive consumption of fluoride during the first 8 years of childhood (fluorosis) or bleeding from trauma to the tooth.
Age-related teeth stains are the result of both intrinsic and extrinsic tooth stains. Teeth discolour with age because the dentin (the core tissue of your teeth) turns yellow over time.
As we grow older, the enamel covering your teeth starts to thin, exposing the yellowish dentin, causing your teeth to stain.
3 Methods to Whiten Your Teeth
- In-Office Treatment
In-office treatments are carried out by professional dentists, promising optimum results in a short amount of time.
In most cases, a brighter smile can be achieved in one treatment, thus offering convenience to busy individuals who are looking for swift results. However, such treatments are usually more costly than other whitening methods.
- Take-Home Whitening Kit
Dentists can make custom-made trays to fit your mouth, allowing you to undergo treatment from the comfort of your home.
These teeth whitening trays typically cost less than in-office treatment and are more convenient. While the whitening process may take a longer time, it is gradual and less harsh on your teeth.
- Over-The-Counter Products – Teeth whitening strips and toothpaste
Note: We do not recommend patients to purchase such products because they are generally ineffective.
As dictated by the prevailing regulations from the relevant authorities, teeth whitening products containing more than 0.1% Hydrogen Peroxide are only available via dentists. Hydrogen Peroxide is the chemical ingredient that whitens the teeth.
Many beauty salons claim that they use non-Peroxide whitening gels. The majority of these non-Peroxide whitening agents use Sodium Perborate to ‘whiten’ teeth instead.
Sodium Perborate is a salt made from Hydrogen Peroxide. It causes dehydration of the teeth, resulting in a brighter colour. However, this effect is short-lived as our teeth are re-hydrated through saliva. In short, Sodium Perborate temporarily LIGHTENS teeth, rather than WHITENING them.
On the other hand, Peroxides are “true bleaches” that whiten rather than lighten teeth. They whiten teeth by opening highly pigmented carbon rings and converting them into chains, which are lighter in colour.
Patient Flyer: Unlock your Path to a Gleaming White Smile with Yotuel