Whitening: What To Know
EL Singapore|November 2020
Looking to achieve a brighter smile, but not sure what it entails? Here, dentists weigh in on different whitening treatments and what to expect every step of the way
Amy Greenburg

Why whiten your teeth?

Everyone wants to have a white and natural-looking smile. But, with life comes coffee, tea and red wine, making it hard to keep those chompers as pearly white as you’d like.

“Teeth change colour over the years because of an accumulation of stains on the tooth surface, as well as into the teeth,” explains DR THEAN TSIN PIAO of Aesthete Smile studio. “Teeth also darken over time because the dentine yellows as it ages, and the enamel thins due to wear and tear.”

Surface stains, he says, can be removed by a teeth cleaning at your dental clinic; for internal stains, though, you’ll need whitening or bleaching.

Luckily, achieving that pearly-white smile is easier than most people think, says DR BRENDAN GIN of Smilefocus. “Many people can achieve that dream smile with simple teeth-whitening procedures. It’s the quickest anti-ageing treatment available!”

Can anyone get their teeth whitened?

“Teeth whitening is a safe and effective procedure that can deliver a very good, lasting result with no long-term side effects,” says Dental Surgeon DR CINDY HO of Aesthete Smile studio. “It’s done on permanent teeth, so anyone ranging from young teenagers to elderly adults with their existing natural teeth can do it.” An ideal candidate, she says, is typically someone with healthy gums and no existing decay, cavities or congenital defects on their natural teeth.

Dr Gin notes that it’s generally best to wait until you’re over the age of 18 to whiten your teeth, as immature adult teeth tend to be more sensitive during the process.

He also says that, while most stains will benefit from a whitening treatment, not all of them do – for example, internal stains that originate from frequent ingestion of a certain class of antibiotics at a young age.

Additionally, cases where the enamel has thinned and worn down to turn yellow over the years, or teeth with congenital defects may not respond to whitening treatments, says Dr Ho. “These dental conditions will have a better result with porcelain veneers rather than teeth whitening.”

What happens during the initial consultation?

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