What is a teeth whitening shade guide?

Many patients choose to brighten their smile with a teeth whitening procedure. When discussing the procedure with your dentist they will use a tooth whitening shade guide to help find the right colour for your smile. Here, our Abbotsford dentists explain. 

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that is safe (in most instances) for people who have stained or discoloured teeth.

Teeth naturally darken over time as a result of a variety of factors, including diet and tobacco use. While professional teeth whitening might not be able to completely restore the colour of your teeth to their original state, it may be able to lighten them and brighten your smile.

Teeth Whitening Shade Assessment

Before beginning the teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will evaluate the shade of your smile with the help of a shade guide.

In order to make use of this guide, your dentist will first match the colour of your teeth currently to the corresponding colour on the chart, and then determine which shade you would like it to be. A difference of only two or three shades usually makes a significant impact on the appearance of almost anyone's smile.

How Teeth Whitening Works

Hydrogen peroxide is typically used as the active ingredient in whitening preparations. The whitening effect occurs as a result of the action of oxygen on the tooth enamel and the breakdown of the active ingredient. The majority of dental offices provide both in-office and take-home treatment options for patients.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

In-office teeth whitening is done at your dental office. The teeth whitening preparation used in-office is stronger than what is available in take-home kits because it is used under the supervision of a dental professional. 

During the in-office treatment, a protective shield will be placed over your teeth and gums by your dentist in order to keep them safe from the whitening solution. Following that, they will apply the solution to your teeth using a mouth guard-like tray that is custom-made for you. Once the solution has been applied to your teeth, your dentist will activate it with the help of a dental laser.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening

An at-home teeth whitening kit, created specifically for you by your dentist, is also an option. In order to hold the whitening solution in place on your teeth, you will be fitted for custom-made whitening trays. For maximum exposure time, you can even sleep with them in place.

Be aware that at-home teeth whitening is a process that usually takes longer than in-office treatment. While in-office treatments can use up to 43% hydrogen peroxide, at-home treatments normally only use around 5% of hydrogen peroxide. While this does mean the treatment will take longer, there is less risk if you accidentally make a mistake during treatment. Remember, the lower amount of hydrogen peroxide is for your safety.

To learn more about teeth whitening options or to schedule an appointment with one of our Abbotsford dentists, please contact us right away.

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