Teeth whitening is a very popular cosmetic treatment, and it’s probably the easiest way to make you look younger. So I want to answer some common questions on whitening.
Why do teeth yellow?
As we get older we wear away the outer layers of enamel on our teeth, so over time more of the dentine inside our teeth show though. Dentine is yellow in colour so our teeth look more yellow. This is why whitening our teeth can make us look younger, as younger people naturally have whiter teeth. Eating and drinking strong coloured foods and drinks like curry, tea, coffee and red wine can lead to staining on our teeth. This can be removed with good brushing and a scale and polish with the hygienist, but even with the best care our teeth will eventually start to yellow with age.
How are teeth whitened?
Teeth can be whitened with a bleaching agent which is applied to the surface of the teeth. This removes colour and also makes the tooth surface more opaque, like frosting a window, so the yellow dentine doesn’t show though.
Can everyone whiten their teeth?
Only natural teeth can be whitened so it won’t work on crowns or veneers. If you want to whiten your teeth and have, say a crown, then we recommend you whiten your teeth to the desired shade before replacing the crown to match.
How long does it last?
With good oral hygiene to reduce staining the teeth will remain whiter for years, but gradually as the surface of the teeth is eroded through normal wear and tear the teeth will begin to yellow again. Many of our patients choose to top up their whitening regularly to keep up their chosen shade.
Do I need to go to a dentist to whiten my teeth?
Teeth whitening can only be carried out under the prescription of a dentist. We offer in surgery whitening where we whiten your teeth for you, or home whitening where the dentist can prescribe a whitening kit, if it’s safe and appropriate for you, and we show you how to apply it at home. Dentists can prescribe and use whitening products containing 6% hydrogen peroxide.
What’s the difference between in-surgery whitening and home whitening?
During in-surgery whitening, the bleaching agent is applied to the teeth by our therapist every 15 minutes for around 1 ½ hours and an activation lamp is used to speed up the whitening process so the results are seen straight away. You will also have your custom made bleaching trays and some bleach to take away should you want to top up later.
For home whitening, we custom make some bleaching trays for you and show you how to apply the bleach agent. You need to wear the trays for around an hour a day for 2 weeks.
The results from in-surgery and home whitening are the same, the difference is the time it takes to achieve the results. In both cases you have custom made trays that you can use to top up in future if you want.
What about over the counter teeth whitening products?
Most products labelled as whitening are just abrasive and so can help remove staining but they don’t have any bleaching affect. Legally, over the counter products, or products sold on the internet directly to the customer, can only contain a maximum of 0.1% hydrogen peroxide which is not enough to have any noticeable bleaching affect. Dentists can use products containing 6% hydrogen peroxide because they can judge if it is safe and appropriate for the patient.
We have a special offer on whitening at the moment. Our in surgery Zoom whitening is £299, saving £100, and Zoom home whitening is £199, saving £51. This is running until the end of the end of May 2017 so if you are interested or have any questions then call us on 0151 677 3255.