Thinking about Teeth Whitening? Here’s all you need to know
We may not all be destined to walk the Hollywood red carpet but that doesn’t mean we can’t have the smile for it. With thousands of people in the UK opting for teeth whitening, it has become one of the most inexpensive and most sought after cosmetic treatments in the country. It is available widely and results can be seen in as little as one treatment. It is also one of the safest cosmetic treatments available with a number of actual whitening procedures to choose from.
There is, however, a downside to such a popular treatment. Many companies are now providing especially cheap, dangerous and unlicensed whitening treatments and products, which can cause harm to your teeth and gums. With teeth whitening so readily available, people can become tempted to opt for price rather than looking into the safety of the particular teeth whitening procedure they are paying for.
With this in mind, we’re here to give you all the information you need on teeth whitening so you can make an informed choice.
What causes teeth to discolour?
As we get older, the natural whiteness of our teeth can fade away causing staining or discolouring. Whether this is extrinsically (stained on the surface) or intrinsically (below the enamel), brushing is not always enough to keep the brightness of your teeth from growing fainter. Although there are many types of whitening toothpastes available on the market, once discolouration sets in there is only so much they can do to lighten teeth, especially for intrinsic staining.
Teeth can discolour or stain for many reasons:
- Excessive drinking of red wine, coffee, tea and sugary drinks
- Smoking or use of other tobacco
- A build up of plaque and tartar
- Certain medications
- Too much fluoride ingestion
- Trauma to teeth
Why get your teeth whitened?
People have many reasons for wanting to get their teeth whitened. Here are some of them:
- Becoming conscious of your smile because of yellow or stained teeth is an issue for many. Teeth whitening can restore confidence and help self esteem
- Yellow or stained teeth can age your smile, so teeth whitening can help give you a younger appearance
- Teeth whitening is popular for special occasions, such as a wedding, anniversary or party, so you have that little extra to help you look your best
- Simply to get rid of stained or yellow teeth
What exactly is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is effectively the use of certain procedures to lighten your teeth. Teeth can become a few shades lighter rather than ‘white’, as it is all determined by the natural colour of your teeth. Some require one treatment, and others opt for a number of sessions, but it is important to manage your expectations as the treatment essentially lightens your existing shade, not change the colour completely.
What are the procedures used for the whitening of teeth?
With advancements in cosmetic dentistry, there are a number of options people can choose depending on their needs, comfort and budget. The most popular treatments are laser teeth whitening and bleaching gels which can be used in the comfort of your own home.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Yes! So long as a professional dentist undertakes this treatment, it is safe for patients. Your initial assessment will determine whether you are suitable for teeth whitening, as some patients may not have an oral environment ideal for this procedure, for example, if you have veneers or implants. Home teeth whitening kits that are available over the counter and online can be unsafe as they are not all approved by a dental professionals. We recommend seeing a qualified dentist in order to have your teeth whitened in the safest way possible.
Are there any side effects to teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening does not generally have side effects but you may suffer from some sensitivity following the procedure. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, you should always let your dentist know so they can advise you appropriately.
How long will my teeth stay a lighter shade?
As with any treatment, maintenance is important if you want to benefit from the effects as long as possible. Brushing regularly, flossing and avoiding food and drinks that stain can help results last longer. The procedure is not permanent but with good care, can last for a few years.
Want to speak to our dentist about your teeth whitening procedure? Book an appointment with us!