Teeth whitening is becoming a highly sort after cosmetic dental treatment. It is now more readily available than ever before and is becoming more and more affordable and accessible to many. But what does it involve? And is it safe to use? Here are some frequently asked questions that we get about teeth whitening…
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening involves bleaching your teeth to make them a lighter shade. Teeth whitening can’t make your teeth bright white, but it can lighten the existing colour by several shades.
Teeth whitening should only be performed by a dentist or another regulated dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist, on the prescription of a dentist.
Some beauty salons offer teeth whitening, but this is illegal if there’s no dental professional present, and it may put your oral health at risk.
Here is a recent episode of BBC’s “Fake Britain” from September 2017 which showed a girl who had used tooth whitening from an unregistered provider. The treatment damaged her teeth and resulted in the complete breakage of some of her teeth. View the video here.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
What happens during teeth whitening at the dentist?
If you have teeth whitening you will need to make a few visits to the dental surgery over a couple of months.
The dentist will take an impression of your teeth to make a mouthguard and will instruct you how to use it with a bleaching gel. Then, using your mouthguard at home, you regularly apply the gel for a specified period of time over two to four weeks for 30 minutes to one hour at a time. The dentist will then review your results.
Can any dentist whiten teeth?
Yes, provided they are registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). Registered dental therapists and dental hygienists can also carry out teeth whitening on the prescription of a dentist.
What about home kits and beauty salons for teeth whitening?
Only go to a registered dental professional for teeth whitening because whitening by people who aren’t qualified, for example in beauty salons, is illegal. We have written a blog article on the dangers of DIY tooth whitening.
How do you go about getting teeth whitening?
Your dentist will advise you whether whitening is right for you. It may be that teeth whitening isn’t suitable, for example, if you have gum disease or crowns.
Is teeth whitening permanent?
No, teeth whitening isn’t permanent. It can last from a few months to up to three years, but this varies from person to person. Generally, the whitening effect won’t last as long if you smoke or drink red wine, tea or coffee, which can all stain your teeth.
Will teeth whitening work on false teeth?
No. Teeth whitening won’t work on dentures, crowns, fillings or veneers. Teeth whitening will only work on natural tooth tissue.
What are the risks of teeth whitening?
No matter what treatment you use, there is a chance your gums can be sensitive to the chemicals used in teeth whitening, especially if you already have sensitive teeth. There’s also a chance of burns to gums.
Whitewash Laboratories products
Our teeth whitening services
At North Street Dental we use a brand called Whitewash.
This brand uses a higher fluoride content than most to reduce the risk of sensitivity to the teeth. It also contains aloe vera to help reduce the risk of burning the gum tissue. We like this brand and feel it is an excellent choice for our patients. They also do whitening strips for those who wish to try whitening or top up previously whitened teeth. We have a blog post on whitewash products.
If you would like more information about teeth whitening or would like to book a consultation with one of our team, call us on 01384 254067.