5 Common Questions About Teeth Whitening

Are you ready to get your teeth whitened?

Without a doubt the sharpest rise in cosmetic dental treatments in recent times has been in the area of teeth whitening.

It is no longer the doyen of the rich and famous. And the more options that have become available the more affordable it has become.

It has also become a lot safer since the early days when we heard horror stories of burnt gums and lips, although those dodgy do it yourself kits which are readily available on eBay should be avoided at all costs.

This is a general overview of teeth whitening. Our aim is to educate you about the treatments available, and why you should turn to your local recommended dentist.

Are you eligible for teeth whitening?

The general rule of thumb in the UK that only pregnant or lactating women, and children cannot have their teeth whitened at a dentist. That said, your dentist will appraise your suitability for teeth whitening based on several criteria including not only your teeth but also your dental history. They will examine the enamel on your teeth to determine its thickness and suitability for whitening. Receding gums and sensitivity also play a part. As many people don’t actually know why their teeth have discoloured, your dentist will also look for underlying problems to ensure your teeth whitening treatment lasts as long as possible.

What types of teeth whitening are available?

Your best bet is to ask your dentist which is the most up-to-date treatment they recommend. Technology and treatments advance every year, and only your dentist will know what the latest, most recommended treatments are.

How much does it cost?

This is the big question everyone wants to know and while we appreciate that some people have less disposable income these days, it shouldn’t just come down to cost. We all know the DIY teeth kits are cheapest but at what cost in the long run to your teeth? Dental technology has moved on at a much greater speed than the home kits have and while they are a lot safer than they used to be, there is still risk. If you haven’t had a proper assessment and just want white teeth you have no idea of any underlying factors or whether the DIY method will even work on your teeth. It’s always best to err on the side of caution as far as your teeth are concerned.

What colour will your teeth be?

Depending on the level of discolouration and the thickness of the enamel you may not be able to get the whiteness you desire. You also need to remember that teeth whitening only works on real teeth and will have no effect on crowns or dentures. This is another area where a dentist’s expertise comes into play, as they can monitor the whitening process and make sure you end up with as natural looking teeth as possible. You simply aren’t able to do this with a home kit. And the last thing you want is all your teeth being different colours. This may sound dramatic but it is very rare that discolouration is uniform across all your teeth, even if it looks that way in the mirror. With the discolouration differing so will the result of the whitening, and can actually look worse than they did in the first place.

How long will your teeth stay white?

By pinpointing what has caused the discolouration and staining the first place, and avoiding it in the future, your teeth whitening done by your dentist will last way longer than any home kit. Smokers and lovers of red wine, coffee and tea will have to have the process done more frequently. Alternatively give up the cigarettes, wine and caffeine and it not only last longer but you will be fitter as well. If only it was that easy, right? Those whose teeth are discoloured due to medication will also have to have their whitening topped up. Your dentist will advise you which treatments are best for the top ups.

In summary, then

If you want your teeth to be whiter and more natural looking, in a way which lasts longer, talk to your recommended dentist. That million dollar smile could be only a phone call away.

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