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Frequently asked questions on teeth whitening

Are you ready to get your teeth whitened?

It’s estimated that this year more than 250,000 UK people will have their teeth whitened.

If this is a treatment you are considering, then no doubt you have a shed load of questions. Of course you will get a chance to ask your dentist at your consultation but many of us like to know things in advance.

We’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions regarding tooth whitening to give you an insight before your appointment.


Why should I go to a dentist to get my teeth whitened?

Your dentist has access to the very latest teeth whitening techniques which are improving all the time. Your dentist will also be able to ascertain during your consultation which one of these is best suited to your needs. Not everyone is suitable for certain methods of teeth whitening due to the condition of their tooth enamel. If you buy a teeth whitening kit when your teeth aren’t strong enough, there is a risk you could do your teeth a lot of harm. You wouldn’t try to give yourself a filling so don’t risk trying to whiten your teeth yourself.


Do my teeth need whitening?

You are the best judge of that, but if you drink red wine, or smoke, or drink tea or coffee, or take meds or eat a whole host of other foods chances are your teeth will be discoloured. As teeth discolour gradually it may not be you who actually notices it. Or you may see an old photo of yourself and suddenly see the difference. If you have crowns or veneers that were matched to your own tooth colour and there is now a marked difference, then you will be able to gauge the level of discolouration.


I use whitening toothpaste, isn’t that enough?

Whitening toothpastes undoubtedly help, and will clean your teeth better than ordinary toothpastes. But what many people don’t realise is that tooth enamel is layered, like skin. A toothpaste can only clean the top layer and cannot penetrate any deeper. If the discolouration has taken place over a long period of time, such as with smokers for example, the discolouration will be deep set through several layers of enamel. And no toothpaste is going to remove that.


So why should I have my teeth whitened?

There are many reasons for having your teeth whitened, and they’re really all about personal choice. You could be suffering a crisis of confidence and be embarrassed to smile. You could have recently quit smoking and want to have your teeth restored to their former glory as an incentive not to start again. There might be a big event coming up such as a wedding or a major milestone. You might want to just treat yourself. The list goes on and on.


Anyone can have their teeth whitened right?

Yes and no. For obvious reasons dentists will not professionally whiten the teeth of women who are breast feeding, or children. At your initial consultation your dentist will do a full appraisal of your teeth to assess their suitability for whitening. The enamel will be fully examined and they will also check to see if you have receding gums or sensitivity. Depending on the results they will advise which whitening treatment is best suited to your needs… another reason why home whitening kits should be avoided.


Can I have my teeth whitened without ending up with one of those fake Hollywood smiles?

Absolutely! Your dentist will go through all the options open to you and assess the level of whitening needed to greatly enhance your smile while still looking perfectly natural. You will be amazed at how many shades are available when it comes to tooth whitening. And whether your teeth move up 3 shades or 12, you will be left with a beautiful smile that doesn’t have people reaching for their sunglasses.


It’s way more expensive to go to my dentist though. Won’t a home kit do the same job?

In a word… no. Home kits offer a quick fix. But you have no idea if your teeth are suitable for this kind of whitening and the results are short lasting. Repeated use of these kits to keep your teeth white may cause irreparable damage to both teeth and gums. The teeth whitening treatment you receive at your dentists is tailor made for your needs and gives long lasting results. It is a lot cheaper than it was a few years ago since the technology went mainstream. Contact your recommended dentist today and get a full appraisal on your suitability for the latest developments in teeth whitening.


To book your consultation call 01202 487888.

How restoring your smile can restore your self-confidence
The history of teeth whitening
Dr. Kate Robinson BDS PGCERT ORTH PGDIP SEDATION

Graduated from Guys Hospital, London in 1988, co-established the practice with Simon in 1992. Kate has a special interest in orthodontics and smile design and also provides a sedation service if needed to support our practitioners when treating extremely anxious patients.