Whitening Teeth: Know Before You Go
Whitening teeth at your 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 and should be avoided at all costs. If you’re thinking of going to your dentist for whitening treatments, here’s what you should know before you go.
• Whitening teeth is the process of lightening the teeth with bleach solutions in order to make them appear lighter and as a result, whiter. The results vary from patient to patient and are not permanent but usually 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 that allows them to carry out the procedure carefully and effectively. 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 a dentist will 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 as 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 the teeth and then shining a bright light or laser on the teeth to activate the teeth whitening process. This option is less time consuming and only takes around one hour to complete. The intensity of the results depends on how many sessions undertaken but your dentist will discuss this with you.
• Newly whitened teeth require a lot of care. A daily oral care routine is required to ensure that the beautiful whitened effect is prolonged. Avoiding or cutting back certain foods and drinks that are notorious for causing discolouration (red & white wine, coffee, tea, balsamic vinegar, cherries, blueberries, rich sauces found in pastas and curries) can also help to keep staining at bay.
• If you feel unsure about the treatment, or would like to understand the procedure a little better, chat to your dentist and they will inform you about what it entails and the aftercare process.
If you’re looking to have your teeth professionally whitened, we can help you find the perfect dentist in your area for the job. Head on over to our website, search your location and also click ‘teeth whitening’ under the checklist on the left. Have a read through our reviews, browse the clinics and find one that suits you.