Dr Stasi Botha’s June Newsletter: Teeth Whitening

Welcome to my June newsletter!

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One of the first things that people notice in a person when they meet you for the first time is your smile. There is nothing more beautiful than a gorgeous smile unveiling bright white, sparkly teeth. First impressions last so maybe you should ask yourself if your yellow teeth make you self-conscious. This is why this month I am going to explain the process of teeth whitening at my practice.

Have you ever wished your teeth were whiter? If so, have you ever considered professional teeth whitening?

Did you know that the shade of your teeth should generally match the white of your eyes? After a teeth-whitening session, your newly whitened teeth will create an increase in vertical symmetry, enhancing your natural beauty. This is another step in the anti-ageing protocol of any modern man or woman.

I hope you enjoy what follows and remember, my Facebook page contains much more information on a daily basis so make sure to head over there and to “Like” the posts!

What causes the teeth to lose their whiteness?

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Most of us start out with sparkling white teeth, thanks to their porcelain-like enamel surface. Composed of microscopic crystalline rods, tooth enamel is designed to protect the teeth from the effects of chewing, gnashing, trauma and acid attacks caused by sugar.

Age and lifestyle can affect our teeth. Many of our day-to-day activities can stain and darken our teeth, such as drinking coffee, tea, red wine and cola, and of course smoking. These are bad habits one should be aware of and control as much as possible in order to prevent the quality of the teeth from being impaired.

What happens is that over many years of daily chewing, the dentin remains intact while millions of micro-cracks occur in the enamel. It is these cracks, as well as the spaces between the crystalline enamel rods, that gradually fill up with stains and debris.

As a result, the teeth eventually develop a dull, lack-lustre appearance and no longer seem as healthy as they once were.

Whitening your teeth will not only brighten your smile but take years off your visible age.

What  I can do for you

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There are various options that you have when it comes to teeth whitening. Some of these methods and procedures can be done at home too. Beware of over the counter whitening gels or toothpastes as they cannot provide the perfect and even whiteness that a professional whitening product/service can.

My patients who decide to undergo teeth whitening always see moderate to substantial improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their smile but like I always remind them, teeth whitening is not a permanent solution and requires maintenance or “touch-ups” for a prolonged effect.

Thanks to professional teeth whitening, I can safely remove the stains and debris. Some of the cracks are quickly re-mineralized by saliva, while others are filled up again with organic debris. This is why maintenance is required.

Today, with the ever-evolving science in the cosmetic and aesthetic industry, two major teeth whitening options are available. One being the in-office procdure and the other a professional take-home kit. Both rely on varying concentrations of peroxide and varying application times. We will decide which option best suits your needs, budget and timeframe during the consultation.

As your physician, I will judge which option is best for your teeth in terms of efficiency and expected results. Before the sessions we will discuss your needs and wishes, I will assess your case and plan out your teeth makeover accordingly.

This protocol involves the carefully controlled use of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, applied to the teeth after the gums have been protected with a paint-on rubber dam. The peroxide remains on the teeth for 4 x15 minute intervals.

Of course there are more considerations to take when thinking of this teeth-whitening procedure, but feel free to ask away and I’ll get back to you.

LASER TEETH WHITENING

The latest laser whitening techniques use the help of laser technology to remove a very thin coating of the teeth. Porcelain veneers were used in cases of poorly stained teeth. However the procedure is damaging to the tooth as enamel has to be removed and no further teeth-whitening can be done..

While the latest laser technology is relatively inexpensive, the professional whitening gel procedure is the most cost effective option and does not damage your teeth.

In order to extend the longevity of newly whitened teeth, I highly recommend that you follow the instructions below.

  • At-home follow-up or maintenance whitening – implemented immediately or performed as infrequently as twice / three- / four times a year, depending on your habits
  • Avoiding dark-coloured foods and beverages for at least 2 days after whitening.
  • Whenever possible, sipping dark-coloured beverages with a straw.
  • Practicing excellent oral hygiene – brushing and flossing after meals and at bedtime.
  • Using a whitening toothpaste

HOW LONG DOES TEETH WHITENING TAKE?
The procedure takes a total of 2 hours and includes:

  • A general assessment of the teeth, viability of whitening and pointing out any problematic areas.
  • A professional cleaning of the teeth done by a dental professional
  • Preparation of the teeth, enclosing of all the soft tissue and possible sensitive / problematic areas on the teeth
  • 4 sessions of 15 minutes each – exposure under the laser!
  • Post whitening instructions
  • An at home post whitening maintenance kit, to maintain your white teeth

Teeth whitening procedures are safe, quick and effective. If your teeth are discoloured, yellowed, blackened or simply not as white as you prefer them I can help you.

So if you really want teeth that are pearly white and those that help you give a flashing smile, phone my rooms on 011 616 4040 to book an appointment and discussing the best options for your teeth.

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