Whitening Teeth: Know Before You Go
Whitening your teeth at the dentist is the most effective way of getting those highly sought after pearly whites.
At-home bleaching kits and home-made whitening mixtures can be really dangerous. Your should avoid them at all costs. If you’re thinking of going to your dentist for whitening treatments, here’s what you should know before you go.
What is teeth whitening?
Whitening your teeth is the process of lightening the teeth. This is done with bleach solutions in order to make them appear lighter and as a result, whiter. The results vary from patient to patient. They are not permanent. Usually they will last from 3 months – 3 years.
Teeth whitening should only be carried out by a dentist or dental professional (a hygienist, dental therapist). Legally, these are the only people who have the knowledge, tools and procedures to give you your bright white smile. They have access to the correct chemicals and equipment. This allows them to carry out the procedure carefully and effectively. You should be aware that whitening treatments carried out in beauty salons are illegal if there is no dental professional present.
There are two main methods of teeth whitening that your dentist may use
Which method you choose will depend on the severity of discolouration and on your general oral health. Some practices may offer only one method so check this with your practice beforehand.
One method is to use bleaching gels. Your dentist will make an impression of your teeth which will then be filled with whitening gels. These impressions should then be worn for the length of time instructed by the dentist. Some gels can be worn for longer periods of time. This process is repeated for roughly 2-4 weeks depending on the desired effect.
An alternative method is known as power whitening
Power whitening teeth involves the dentist painting a bleaching product onto your teeth. They then shining a bright light or laser on your teeth to activate the teeth whitening process. This option is less time consuming as it only takes around one hour to complete. The intensity of the results depends on how many sessions undertaken. Your dentist will discuss this with you.
How to care for your newly whitened teeth
Your newly whitened teeth will require a lot of care. A daily oral care routine is required to ensure that the beautiful whitened effect is prolonged. Avoid or cut back on certain foods and drinks that are notorious for causing discolouration. These include red & white wine, coffee, tea, balsamic vinegar, cherries and blueberries. Rich sauces found in pastas and curries can also stain your newly whitened teeth, so avoid them too.
Find a dentist to whiten your teeth near you
Click the link below and type in your location. Choose the advanced search and click ’Teeth Whitening’. This will give you a list of dentists near you who can help. You can also read their patient reviews!