How do I make my teeth whiter?
It is important to identify what exactly it is you do not like about your teeth. If the problem is the shade then teeth whitening is usually a good option with minimal risks. If the problem is related to staining or build up of deposits on your teeth, you may want to look into having a scale/polish or an air polish with the hygienist. Again, these are both procedures with minimal risks.
Other treatment options for whiter teeth are composite or porcelain veneers or crowns, but these are more destructive treatment options with more potential side effects or complications. This is because in many veneer or crown cases natural tooth tissue is removed for the veneer or crown to be placed onto your tooth. This increases the chance of longer term tooth damage.
Is there anything I can do at home to whiten my teeth?
- Avoid foods and drinks that stain your teeth. These include coffee, tea and wine
- Avoid smoking which can stain your teeth
- DIY teeth whitening kits are not recommended as they carry many risks
What is tooth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a process which makes your teeth look lighter by bleaching them.
There are many types of teeth whitening. Boutique and Enlighten are home teeth whitening kits provided at the Vallance Dental Centre.
With Enlighten, the shade of your final teeth is guaranteed and the treatment is usually completed within a few weeks. Boutique whitening doesn’t guarantee an exact shade but results are usually seen within 7-10 days.
For both treatments, moulds of your teeth will be taken in order to make trays. You will then need to place the whitening material in the trays and wear them overnight for the agreed upon time with your dentist.
Is tooth whitening safe?
Tooth whitening is safe when prescribed by a dentist. This is because your dentist will prescribe a safe dose of the whitening material, which may not be provided elsewhere. It is currently illegal in the UK for whitening to be offered without a dental care professional present and can be risky.
Are there any risks?
The main risk of tooth whitening is tooth sensitivity. There is also a chance of burns to gums if not used properly or an incorrect percentage/dose of the product is used. This is why it is crucial that it is prescribed by a dental professional and that they explain in detail how to use the product.
How long will my teeth stay white for?
Teeth whitening is not a permanent treatment and will usually last between a couple of months and a few years. This will be dependent on multiple factors including whether you abide by the dentists instructions. These include avoiding coffee, tea and red wine, which can stain your teeth, during treatment. It is also important to note that fillings, veneers, dentures, crowns and bridges will not lighten with whitening. This is something you will need to again discuss with your dentist.