What is teeth whitening?
Dental whitening refers to the method to make teeth whiter, a kind of in-depth cleaning of the enamel. A chemical oxygen compound reacts with the color molecules which have settled on the enamel over time resulting in a whitening treatment gives you back your natural color.
How do teeth discolour?

Just like the complexion of your skin, the colour of your hair or the whites of your eyes, the basic colour of your teeth is hereditary. Tooth are made of enamel, dentine and pulp. Tooth colour depends mainly on the colour and thickness of the dentine.

It is different for everyone so one person can have whiter teeth than the next. Enamel, on the other hand, is almost transparent. Canine teeth are naturally a bit more yellowish than the other teeth because their dentine layer is thicker.

Bleaching your teeth yourself or at the dentist can be a first step in making your teeth more beautiful.
Extrinsic discolouring

Diet and medicines

Coffee, tea, red wine, cigarettes, certain medicines, etc, are not friendly to our teeth. They make our teeth more yellow and darker. Depending on how much certain food products are used, discoloration will be greater in some persons than in others.

Bleaching your teeth yourself (at home or in your car during the morning rush hour) can be a solution.


This extrinsic discoloration also increases with age. This is because of wear, or because the teeth necks are uncovered or because the enamel has become more fragile causing small cracks. These factors make it easier for colourants to penetrate the porous dentine. Due to aging the layer of dentine also become thicker causing teeth and molars to darkener.

There is no age limit to whitening your teeth yourself. A solution here can be whitening. Whatever your age, by whitening your teeth you can make your smile seem fresher, such that you will also look younger.
Intrinsic discolouring

Intrinsic discolorations, on the other hand, are inside the tooth structure. Two examples are tetracycline discolorations and fluorosis . In this case whitening does not help.


Such discolouring occurs through the build-up of tetracycline in the teeth, for example by taking antibiotics. Here too whitening makes little or no sense.

The result is usually a grey - sometimes orange - discoloration, partially or totally covering the tooth.


Fluorosis, on the other hand, is caused when children absorb too much fluoride when their teeth are formed. It creates chalk-like, white stains in the enamel of their permanent teeth.


Both types of intrinsic discoloration are generally difficult to remedy with a whitening treatment. In these cases treatment with veneers (facets or facings) is advisable instead of whitening.

Consult our Smile Consultants.
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