Over time, our teeth can discolour and become more yellow as a result of the thinning of the dental enamel. This is because enamel reacts to acids coming from food and drinks. Teeth whitening is a simple and extremely effective way of lightening the teeth to give them a whiter, more vibrant and youthful appearance.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a procedure that is a form of general dentistry. As such, it should only be carried out by a qualified, regulated dentist or dental professional, like one of our experienced hygienists. This is because the whitening treatment has harmful properties that can be potentially harmful to your gums if the dosage is not correctly applied.
The process involves taking moulds of your teeth and providing you with discreet gum shields, which are used to apply the tooth whitening agent. In general, whitening your teeth is best undertaken at night and after two to three weeks, the teeth will have lightened significantly.
The procedure involves no damage to the teeth and isn’t painful. The only side effect that some people may experience is transient sensitivity.
Is tooth whitening done by a dentist more effective than ‘over-the-counter’ kits?
Yes, definitely. Home tooth whitening kits that are sold in many supermarkets are not illegal but they have very limited whitening effect as they do not contain enough whitening agent to be entirely effective or long-lasting.
Also, everyone’s teeth and mouth are unique. Mouth guards provided in ‘do-it-yourself’ kits are mass-produced, not custom-made. This means that they will never fit as well as mouth guards or gum shields that are tailor-made using a mould of your own teeth.
How long will my teeth stay whiter?
Your teeth should stay whiter for up to three years. This largely depends on your lifestyle – whether you’re a smoker or a non-smoker or if you regularly consume liquids or foods that are known to stain teeth like curry, red wine, tea and coffee.
We recommend that you ‘top up’ your treatment at home every six to twelve months to keep your smile always as bright and white as possible.