As people age, their teeth grow yellow because the enamel becomes thinner and the dentin beneath becomes more visible. The teeth accumulate stains over time, as well. Fortunately, this condition can be reversed thanks to modern teeth whitening treatments, which are extremely popular. An increasing number of Toronto patients are requesting teeth whitening at their dental appointments.

Gels are used in most teeth whitening treatments, and they contain an active ingredient, peroxide, which penetrates the enamel and eliminates stains. The peroxide also bleaches the dentin underneath.

While over-the-counter options might be attractive to many patients, the best option for optimal whiteness and long-lasting results is to visit the dentist for professional whitening. The gels offered in the dentist’s office have higher concentrations of peroxide, so they’re more effective.

If you need to get whiter teeth in a flash for a big event, try an in-office laser whitening procedure. The gel is activated using lasers, and the teeth become a number of shades whiter in a little over an hour. If you have more time to spare, you can use bleaching trays. Your dentist will take models of your mouth and send them to a lab, which will create custom-designed trays that fit your mouth perfectly. The dentist will give you whitening gel, and you’ll wear the trays and gel overnight. Most patients see results from this method within three days to two weeks.

After you’ve achieved your goal of whiter teeth, you can maintain it by practicing good oral hygiene and having follow-up treatments at least yearly. You should also avoid foods that are likely to stain the teeth for the first week after the treatment.

If you’re unsatisfied with the shade of your teeth, ask your Toronto dentist about teeth whitening at your next appointment.