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Tips for keeping your teeth whiter and brighter

Barb White, RDH and owner of Harbour Dental Hygiene in Collingwood, discusses teeth whitening options and shares some tips for keeping smiles bright and healthy.

For Barb White and her team of Registered Dental Hygienists, Carly Dale and Leanne Millsap, great oral health and helping their clients feel good about themselves is incredibly important. That includes offering safe and effective teeth whitening options that best suit their clients’ needs.

“People view smiling and having a bright white smile as an important social asset,” says Barb.

Since 1993, Barb has worked as an RDH and helped individuals with everything from teeth cleaning and oral cancer screening to preventative and desensitizing treatments. Barb and her team work closely with a community of other health care professionals in order to have the best outcomes for their clients.

Causes of Teeth Discoloration

There are two types of stains that can affect tooth enamel: extrinsic and intrinsic. “Extrinsic stains are located on the surface of the tooth, which is caused primarily by the foods we eat,” explains Barb. “They can usually be removed by brushing. Adding an electric toothbrush and whitening toothpaste can help with this type of stain removal.”

“Intrinsic stains are located beneath the enamel surface, diffusing into the enamel,” she continues. “These stains can be caused by age, medications, cancer treatments, or genetics and can only be eliminated by doing a whitening treatment.”

Two Types of Teeth Whitening

The team at Harbour Dental Hygiene offer in-office whitening, which is best for those who want to see results right away, and a take home treatment. Choosing the best type requires a complete assessment and considers their clients’ goals and needs.

“Our in-office whitening is for our clients who want to see immediate results. It takes about an hour to two to complete and involves using a very high concentration of whitening solution. It is not for everyone as it may also temporarily make your teeth more sensitive immediately after the procedure. We do have solutions to counteract the sensitivity and whitening results may vary. Continued whitening may be required to reach the expected goals,” says Barb.

Harbour Dental Hygiene’s take-home whitening system is their most popular option. It includes a pre-programmed light system that is built into the tray.

Barb explains, “It is extremely easy to use. All you have to do is load the tray with the solution and push a button. The tray does the rest. You can whiten for multiple days in a row until you reach your desired colour. If you require more solution for the trays, they can be purchased individually so your whitening goals can continue even when the kit solution is gone.”

Whitening is not recommended for those who are pregnant or lactating, are having UV radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy, people who are immunosuppressed, those with anterior implants, and children under 16 years old. It should also be noted that whitening does not change the colour of fillings, crowns, bridges, or implants.

Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Whiter

Barb has a few recommendations that can help people to keep their teeth whiter between treatments:

  • Reduce intake of coffee and tea
  • Reduce tobacco use
  • Brush with an electric toothbrush
  • Floss regularly or use soft picks to reduce staining between teeth
  • Alternate between regular toothpaste and whitening toothpaste
  • Have regular cleanings done by a dental hygienist

For more information about oral healthcare or teeth whitening options, contact Harbour Dental Hygiene online or call (705) 446-0330.