What is Tooth Whitening?
Tooth Whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface or damaging it. Usually the original shade of the tooth is whitened to a lighter colour, rather than being turned completely white,
Why would I need my teeth whitened?
As we get older our teeth darken. This is partly due to our getting older, but it is also caused by the foods we eat and drink and by other habits such as smoking, tea, coffee, blackcurrant juice, red wine and other foods that have strong colours can have an effect on the overall colour of your teeth. Teeth may also darken as a result of some antibiotics.
There are a number of reasons why you might get your teeth whitened. Everyone is different; and just as our hair and skin colour vary, so do our teeth. Very few people have brilliant white teeth.
What does tooth whitening involve?
Professional bleaching is the most usual method of tooth whitening. We will assess you first to see whether tooth whitening is suitable for you.
Here at Beacon DentalCare, we do ‘dentist-supervised home whitening’. You will have trays made specially to fit into your mouth like gum-shields. The whitening gel is then put in the trays and you will be given a routine to follow at home.
How long does it take?
The total length of the treatment can vary depending on how discoloured your teeth are and the shade you want to get to. It can usually be finished within two to four weeks.
First we will need to make a thin mouthguard and will take impressions for this at your first appointment. Once made, you will need to continue with the treatment at home. This means regularly applying the whitening product over the two to four weeks for 30 mins to an hour at a time. We will discuss with you excatly how long you should keep the tray in your mouth. It is important to follow the instructions that you are given to achieve the best result.
How long will my teeth stay whiter?
The effects of whitening roughly last up to three years. However this will vary from person to person. The effect is less likely to last if you smoke or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth.
What are the side effects?
Some people may find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after treatment. Others may have discomfort in the gums. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days after the treatment finishing.
What does the whitening product contain?
The active ingredient in the whitening product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel and dentine on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter.
Who can do teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is the practice of dentistry and should only be done by regulated dental professionals. Anyone who practises dentistry illegally risks being prosecuted by the General Dental Council in the criminal courts. Dental hygienists and therapists can carry out teeth whitening on the prescription of a dentist if they have the necessary additional skills.
What about over the counter teeth whitening kits?
The products you can buy online or from high street shops often fail to declare the precise chemicals used so it’s very difficult to assess their safety. Because of this they should not be considered safe. These products won’t produce the same good results you can expect by visiting your dentist.