It’s a new year, a new decade and at the height of the social media boom where happiness, health and confidence are high in demand. It is known that having a whiter, brighter smile improves self-confidence, and research has shown the most memorable feature on meeting someone new is their smile!
More people than ever are turning to tooth whitening but with so many different options how do you choose the safest, most effective, longest lasting, treatment with the best results for you?
Professional teeth whitening systems work by oxidising the teeth. The oxygen molecules from the bleaching gel contacts the discolored molecules latched to the tooth causing them to break away bringing out the whiteness and brightness of the teeth. Applying the professional teeth whitening gel inside a well fitting, bespoke whitening tray is the most recommended way.
Ultimately the answer to this question is “yes”, with professional tooth whitening prescribed by the Bishopsgate Dental Care clinicians.
FALSE “Teeth whitening strips a layer of your tooth”
FALSE “Teeth whitening ruins your teeth”
FALSE “Teeth whitening damages the enamel”
Research has shown no significant long-term effects associated with professional at-home whitening treatments containing 10%, 16% carbamide peroxide or 6% hydrogen peroxide.
As dentists, it is our job and professional duty to ensure that you have healthy teeth suitable for teeth whitening and that the procedure is performed safely. Bishopagte Dental is recognised as a Regional Centre of excellence in teeth whitening.
HOWEVER watch out for illegal tooth whitening which is still happening in the UK and through many online retailers. This can cause painful, permanent damage to to the teeth, lips and gums. In the UK safe, effective and long lasting teeth whitening can only be prescribed for you at a qualified dentist.
To major points to consider; 1. Safety 2. Effectiveness
Safety – As already mentioned illegal tooth whitening is still rife and combinations of ill fitting, leaking whitening trays and formulations containing dangerous acids and abrasive particles pose a serious risk.
The legal limit of Hydrogen Peroxide (the agent used for tooth whitening) that dentists can prescribe in the UK is 6%. Regulations in the UK limit the amount of Hydrogen Peroxide to maximum 0.1% for any off the shelf system. This is 6000 times weaker than the professional whitening and has very little to no impact on improving the long term whiteness of the teeth. Beware of the “whitening toothpastes” many of these are abrasive and may remove some surface stains but will also rub away enamel over time.
Effectiveness – A lot of social media influencers who pose on the Internet using various whitening strips, paint and UV lights. Unfortunately the reality of these systems are that all they do is dehydrate the teeth so that very temporarily (48 hours maximum) they will look slightly whiter. There is a big question mark over many of their safety and long term damage to the teeth and gums.
Your health and safety is of paramount importance to us at Bishopsgate Dental Care. After carrying out a comprehensive health check of your teeth and gums we will go through with you the options you have for professional tooth whitening. We will closely look at the current colour of your teeth and talk through how to achieve the shade you desire. What is also of key importance is given consideration to the dental work you’ve had in the past. If in the past you have had crowns, veneers, bridges or composite bonding it must be considered how to maintain your smile as aesthetically pleasing as the ceramic and composite materials will not change colour with any form of teeth whitening so you dentist will discuss a bespoke plan, unique to you.
Click here to arrange your consultation and make the first steps to a whiter, brighter smile.
Your clinician at Chelsea And Fulham Dentist will go through with you the two options of professional teeth whitening. These two options are our standard and our premier teeth whitening. A table below outlines the details but we will help guide you through this and answer any questions you may have at your consultation.
|Standard Tooth whitening||Premier Enlighten Tooth whitening|
|System||Home whitening 2 weeks||Home whitening 2 weeks PLUS in-surgery power whitening|
|Whitening trays||Looser fitting, no gum protection lock||Long lasting, tight fitted with gum protection locks enabling the use of stronger whitening gels|
|Whitening gels||Standard whitening gels, achieving a less bright, more subtle/natural whitening||Premier whitening gel, more reactive penetrating deeper into the teeth for a brighter white and longer lasting result|
|Side effects||Some mild sensitivity may be expected||Some mild sensitivity may be expected. Enlighten tooth whitening serum and desensitising kit provided to minimise sensitivity.|
|Maintenance||After 2 weeks whitening. One night of whitening every 2 months required to maintain shade||After 2 weeks whitening. One night of whitening every 6-9 months required to maintain shade depending on diet|
|Teeth stained by smoking, coffee, red wine||Moderate||Excellent|
|Difficult teeth that require internal whitening after root canal treatment||Moderate||Good-excellent|
|Diet whilst whitening||STRICTLY no coffee, red wine, curry, beetroot or rich tomato based dishes whilst whitening||More freedom to eat and drink as you wish but the whiter the diet, the whiter the teeth will go|
|Results||More subtle whitening||More powerful whitening giving brighter white results. GUARANTEED B1 bright. You will have control of the whitening shade as each day they will get a little bit whiter. You can stop when you wish so you will never have teeth “too white”.|
The most important thing to establish with your dentist is “Why are your teeth sensitive?”.
For many patients the sensitivity can be managed before considering teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening can cause some mild and temporary sensitivity but your experienced clinician at Chelsea and Fulham dentist will be able to guide you through a routine and system that allows even people with sensitive teeth to obtain a whiter smile. Just because you have sensitive teeth does not mean you cannot whiten your teeth.
There are many people who as result most often of some kind of trauma to a tooth, find that over time their tooth becomes darker and darker; often brown-grey in colour. Historically these teeth were heavily drilled and a crown placed which over a course of a lifetime will be replaced multiple times. But with our Premier Enlighten whitening system carrying out simple Internal and External whitening of traumatised teeth we are able to achieve beautifully natural results without cutting away or sacrificing any tooth structure.
The effect of teeth whitening is less likely to last as long if you smoke or eat or drink products that can stain your teeth. These things can cause extrinsic staining (surface stains) which reduces the brightness of your teeth, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t drink them. For the maximum effect, we generally advise patients to avoid such staining foods/drinks only DURING the course of whitening unless they are using our premier Enlighten whitening system, where diet is less relevant. With good maintenance, regular visits to the hygienist to remove any stains and following the whitening advice provided to you by your dentist you should be able to continue your diet as normal.
NO! There is no evidence to show that any of these products whiten your teeth.
Bicarbonate soda is a versatile ingredient and has endless uses from kitchen cleaning and cooking to removing stubborn carpet stains and neutralising odours. Teeth-wise however, it may do a fabulous job in lifting the red wine or coffee stains from the tooth surface, as will charcoal toothpaste, but they are abrasive so they can wear your teeth – I hope you haven’t already forgotten the point that tooth tissue will never grow back once it wears away.
No they will not. Because you are whitening your teeth gradually night by night at home, when you get to a shade you are happy with you can stop – you have control. Your dentist will discuss with you what results you are trying to achieve but for most people we are trying to match the shade of your teeth to the shade of the whites of your eyes.