In the quest for a pearly white smile, thousands of individuals across the UK have their teeth whitened every year. This relatively risk-free and cost-effective treatment is the fastest way for anybody to get a pearly white smile, but before you go ahead, there are some things you should know.
First of all, good oral hygiene is essential for long-term oral health. Teeth whitening is a temporary solution to whiter teeth, but not healthier teeth. To keep your teeth and gums in tip top condition, you must look after your mouth daily. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about teeth whitening.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is the process of lightening the natural colour of your teeth. This is not achieved by removing any of the tooth surface. Instead, a process called professional bleaching is used to alter the original shade of a tooth into a whiter one.
Where does home teeth whitening take place?
Professional bleaching is carried out in consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will assess whether teeth whitening is suitable for you and will then explain your options. The most common form of professional bleaching is called ‘dentist-supervised home whitening’, where the patient will have mouth trays and whitening gel to use at home.
What does home teeth whitening involve?
As noted, the most common form of teeth whitening is ‘dentist-supervised home whitening’. This involves the patient applying gel to the teeth at home and using a tray or thin mouth guard to keep the gel in place. Treatments must follow a strict routine in order to be effective. Depending on the type of gel supplied to you, the whitening gel may need to be applied for 30 minutes to one hour. It is rare that gels are supplied which can be applied for up to eight hours at a time, however some patients request this to quicken the process.
So what is chair-side power whitening?
This is a different method used by dentists to whiten a patients teeth. Chair-side power whitening is also commonly referred to as ‘laser whitening’, although a laser is never actually used. This process involves using a highly concentrated gel and a light to heat the gel and start a chemical reaction. The end result of this reaction is whiter teeth.
How long does teeth whitening take?
How long teeth whitening will take depends on your circumstances, but in general, a patient can expect the process to be complete in around two to four weeks. The original colour of your teeth is the biggest determining factor in how long the process will take.
How long does teeth whitening last?
In general, teeth whitening is effective for up to 18 months after a completed treatment, although in some cases after 12 months a patient will need another course. How long your treatment will last depends entirely on your circumstances, so get in touch with us today for your consultation and to discuss home whitening on an individual basis.