Whitening toothpastes, DIY bleaching products and treatments from your dentist may help bring back that white, bright smile, but don’t be fooled by all the advertising hype. There is still some work you’ll have to do yourself.
To get rid of surface stains at home, we recommend a three-part approach:
• Firstly, get your teeth checked and professionally cleaned by your dentist.
• Secondly, use a whitening product (with no more than seven percent hydrogen peroxide) for up to 14 days. Overuse may damage your teeth.
• Finally, reduce your intake of substances that stain your teeth. Red wine, coffee, tea and cigarettes are all common causes of discolouration.
If you have deep stains or colour changes, you’ll need to visit your dentist. Professional bleaching is not a permanent solution, but if you avoid foods and drinks that stain, the whitening results may last for up to three years before you need another bleaching treatment.
For very deep staining, you could consider veneers or bonding, or a crown for a single tooth.
If you’re taking an overseas “dental escape” for cheaper treatment, you won’t be protected by New Zealand consumer law, or eligible for ACC if anything goes wrong.
More informationDental Council of New Zealand: dentalcouncil.org.nz.
For details about dental treatments, including crowns, teeth whitening and veneers, visit nzda.org.nz
Sue Chetwin CEO CONSUMER NZ